Coaching and Mentoring

Coaching & Mentoring

At NIMDTA we recognise the value of coaching and mentoring as a way to support, develop and release the potential of our trainees.


What is Coaching?

Our team of experienced and qualified coaches provide 1:1 coaching sessions for trainees, providing a valuable way of identifying workable strategies for overcoming blocks to success.  A coach uses the skills of questioning, listening, observation and feedback in conversations, aimed to help develop rich insight and learning for the trainee.  Coaching can lead to greater satisfaction and fulfilment, heightened levels of engagement and performance, enhanced self-confidence and assertiveness and a greater sense of wellbeing.

Coaching can be used in many situations to help development, release potential and move forward with training.  Some examples where coaching can be beneficial:

  • How can I manage my time better to achieve my goals?
  • How can I reduce the stress in my job or my life?
  • How can I achieve a better balance between work life and home life?
  • What skills do I need to grow and develop further?
  • How can I improve my relationship with a specific colleague?
  • How can I progress in this project?
  • How can I improve my exam preparation?


How do I Access Coaching?

Due to limited availability, coaching can currently only be accessed via a 1 to 1 support appointment with the Professional Support and Wellbeing team.  Trainees can self-refer or can be referred by an educator via  Trainees will be provided with up to 4 sessions of coaching.


What is Mentoring?

Mentoring could be described as a form of supported learning and is an increasingly popular tool for supporting professional and personal development. Mentoring is a distinct activity, separate to coaching however it engages a selection of skills which are used in coaching.  In the workplace it describes a relationship in which a more experienced colleague uses their knowledge and understanding of the work or workplace to support the development of a more junior colleague. Mentoring is used specifically as a form of tailored development for the individual bringing potential benefits to both them and ultimately the healthcare organisation they work in.


What Kind of Topics are Discussed?

The most common topics for discussion with mentors are as follows:

Become a Mentee

Your mentor would be a senior trainee, who could support you in the practical aspects of your training, as well as many other areas.  There are a number of benefits for becoming a mentee:

  • Gain practical advice, encouragement and support
  • Learn from the experiences of others
  • Increase your social and professional confidence
  • Become more empowered to make decisions
  • Develop your communication, study and personal skills
  • Develop strategies for dealing with both personal and professional issues
  • Gain valuable insight into the next stage of your medical career
  • Gain advice on relocating to NI and working in the HSCNI

There are currently a number of mentoring schemes in operation.  These are as follows:

  • Professional Support Scheme – The Professional Support Team manage a generic scheme which provides mentoring for foundation doctors and doctors within specialties that don’t have their own scheme. Contact for further information about this scheme.
  • Specialty Specific Schemes – these schemes aim to provide specialty specific mentoring and are led by senior trainees appointed as Mentor Leads.
Programme Contact Email
Obstetrics and Gynaecology

You can register to become a mentee at: sfG MentorNet – Register for a NI Medical and Dental Training Agency account

Hear from NIMDTA Mentees

Become a Mentor

Participation in the scheme offers the opportunity to:

  • Develop your communication skills
  • Develop active listening skills
  • Enhance leadership skills
  • Promote self-reflection
  • Improve working relationships
  • Enhance problem solving skills
  • Advocate for others

To criteria to become a mentor across are:

  • Be ST1+ for the PSU scheme (or ST3+ in specialty schemes)
  • Received an ARCP outcome 1, 6, 10.1 or 10.2 at your last assessment
  • Complete the Mentoring for Success Training Course.

Register as a mentor here: sfG MentorNet – Register for a NI Medical and Dental Training Agency account

What Does Mentoring Involve?

Mentee/mentor pairs are encouraged to meet at least 2-3 times in each placement. This is most effective if done face to face, but depending on geography and time commitments, this can be done remotely.   We would ask you to sign up for a minimum of 1 year, unless you are matched to a foundation trainee as these partnerships are expected to last for the duration of their 2-year programme.  Mentors can also decide how many mentees they are able to partner with, up to a maximum of 3.

Feedback is also valuable, and you will be asked to complete a short questionnaire at the end of the year to help the various schemes continue to improve.

Hear from NIMDTA Mentors

Related Pages