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The Role of the Mentor

business accountancy mentoring

The role of the mentor is extremely important in the training of professional accountants. It is defined by the International Accounting Education Standards Board ( IAESB) as such:

“A mentor is a professional accountant who is responsible for guiding and assisting trainees and for assisting in the development of the trainee’s competence.”

The Role of the Mentor

  • To commit their time, skills, knowledge and resources to the trainee, to enhance the trainee’s development towards qualification as a Certified Public Accountant.
  • To provide trainees with appropriate supervision, mentoring, coaching, and evaluation.
  • Responsible for guiding and assisting trainees. Act as a source of encouragement and support to the trainee.
  • To Influence trainees’ access to varied practical experience and understand the trainees’ work, ensuring that it is valid, up to date ,sufficient and relevant to meet the training requirements for admission to membership.
  • To regularly appraise trainees performance and re-assess their learning and development needs. The mentor should not directly state the answers, but ask the right questions that encourage the trainee find the answers & develop solutions for him/herself.
  • To provide feedback to trainees’ on their practical experience, and assess their achievement of the required competences and behavioural attributes of a CPA.

Questions for the Mentor

  • What organisational objectives must be achieved by you and your trainee? 
  • How to do you plan to achieve this? 
  • What are your timescales? 
  • What skills do you have and what skills do you require to mentor the trainee?
  • What communication methods (phone, face-to-face, email, etc) are available to you and your trainee?
  • How can you best measure the effectiveness of your mentoring?
  • What has the trainee indicated that he/she wants to learn from you as a mentor?

Benefits of Mentoring

  • Achieves best practice in Training and Development.
  • Increases productivity & employee focus.
  • Promotes creativity and supports problem solving skills. 
  • Identifies under-performance and strengthens competency levels.
  • Enhances professional development , delivering highly skilled Certified Public Accountants.