Coaching and Mentoring

At NIMDTA we recognise the value of mentoring as a way to support, develop and release the potential of our trainees.  Informal mentoring relationships with senior trainees provides an opportunity to access support and guidance to help trainees as they progress in their medical career.


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 greater 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.

The characteristics of mentoring are:

 It is essentially a supportive form of development.

  • It focuses on helping an individual manage their career and improve skills.
  • Mentoring activities can have both organisational and individual goals.
  • Can be more informal and meetings can take place as and when the mentored individual needs some guidance and/or support.
  • More long term and takes a broader view of the person. Who is often known as the ‘mentee’ but the term client or mentored person can be used.
  • The agenda is set by the mentee, with the mentor providing support and guidance to help prepare them for current and future roles.

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

  • Professional Support Mentoring Scheme
  • Specialty specific schemes managed by specialty mentoring leads – access more information about these schemes below.

Professional Support Mentoring Scheme

The Professional Support Team manage a generic scheme which provides mentoring for foundation doctors, doctors new to training in Northern Ireland or doctors who would like a mentor external to their specialty.

Become a Mentor

If you are ST1 or above you can apply to 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

Commitment – 1 to 2 years (2 years if matched to a foundation trainee, 1 for other specialties). It is anticipated that you will meet up to 4 times per year with each mentee.

Flexible – you can indicate how many mentees you would like to be matched with (max. 3)

To sign up to become a mentor, click the link below to register on MentorNet (link). You will also have to meet the following requirements:

  • Be ST1 or above at August 2021
  • Received an ARCP outcome 1, 6, 10.1 or 10.2 at your last assessment
  • Seek support and approval from your current Educational Supervisor by completing the support form. This form should be returned to before completion of the ‘Mentoring for Success’ training course.
  • Completion of the Mentoring for Success Training Course scheduled to take place on 16 May 2022 at 9.30am, 23 May 2022 at 9.30am and 24 May 2022 at 1.30pm. The link for the training course will be shared upon receipt of the ES support form.

MentorNet Quick Start Guide – Mentors    MentorNet Mobile App – How to get Started

Hear from current mentors 

Hear from Fionnuala Delap on the benefits of mentoring – Mentoring for Success training Clinical Facilitator

Become a Mentee on the Professional Support Scheme   

Are you a Foundation Trainee or a trainee new to NI commencing August 2022?  If so, apply to become a mentee now!

The Professional Support Unit aims to provide best practice in supporting and developing postgraduate doctors and dentists in training within Northern Ireland.  We understand that beginning new roles and relocating can be challenging, therefore we would like to support you by offering you the opportunity to be connected with a peer mentor.   Your mentor would be a senior trainee, who could support you in the practical aspects of your training, as well as many other areas.

What are some potential benefits?

  • 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

Applications to become a mentee for the August 2022 scheme will open on Monday 18 July 2022.  To register on the scheme, please click on the button below.

Hear from current mentees 

MentorNet – Introducing a secure eMentoring System

Introducing a secure system to help mentors, mentees and administrators to communicate.  Benefits include:

  • Secure, easy communication – allows mentors and mentees to have confidential conversations through the MentorNet app, click here for a guide on how to set this up.
  • Activity logs – mentors and mentees can make notes following meetings; these notes will be shared with both parties.
  • Knowledge base – access to a mentoring resource pack to support your role
  • Share documents securely
  • Choose your own mentor – mentees will have access to view mentors’ profiles to request your own match.

 Specialty Specific Peer Mentoring Schemes

These schemes aim to provide specialty specific mentoring and are led by senior trainees appointed as peer mentor leads, who are supported by a senior educator within the school. For further information about becoming a mentor or accessing mentoring as a mentee please contact the following:

Obstetrics and Gynaecology

If you would like further information about mentoring please contact

 Hear from current mentors

A coach uses the skills of questioning, listening, observation and feedback in conversations aimed to help develop rich insight and learning for the client. 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 all I want in life?
  • 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 manage my time better?

Who can use the coaching service?

This service is available to medical and dental trainees

How do I access coaching? At present the service is only available by direct referral through our Associate Dean for Careers and Professionals Support. 

How many coaching session can I access?

The number of sessions required is very individual to the client. The scheme will offer up to 4 sessions.  If required this can be negotiated on an individual basis with the Associate Dean for Careers and Professionals Support.


Professional Support Unit Coaching Agreement
Professional Support Unit Coaching Guidance

Related Pages