FAQ for Mentors
When the Professional Governance Act (PGA) came into force earlier this year, it introduced restrictions on certain advocacy activities for regulators under its purview, including Engineers and Geoscientists BC. The intent of these restrictions is to ensure that regulatory bodies focus on activities that support their regulatory mandate, and avoid activities focused on the interests of registrants.
As required by the Office of the Superintendent of Professional Governance, the provincial entity that now oversees our activities, Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s Board undertook a detailed and strategic review of our programming. While our core operations and many other programs can continue, some programs, including our Mentoring Program, will need to be realigned to meet our regulatory mandate under the PGA.
The Board sees tremendous value in continuing to have a Mentoring Program and considered the best way to maintain this program while ensuring compliance with the PGA. Their review determined that we could maintain a Mentoring Program if the program was refocused to support mentees through Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s registration process.
As such, the program will be realigned to focus on supporting the path to licensure and successful registration for engineers-in-training or geoscientists-in-training and applicants. To that end, the program will no longer include career counselling, retirement and succession planning, entrepreneurship, or other general business or career mentoring. In addition, to support this change, eligibility to participate in the program has changed: moving forward, mentees must be trainees (EITs or GITs) or applicants.
1. Why is the Mentoring Program changing?
The Mentoring Program will need to be realigned to meet our regulatory mandate under the Professional Governance Act. The program will be realigned to focus on supporting the path to licensure for applicants and trainees, helping them to attain their professional designation. As part of that goal, a particular emphasis will be placed on supporting our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion goals by supporting female applicants and trainees as the data shows that they experience a more significant drop-off during their application or trainee journey.
2. When will these changes go into effect?
November 2022. During the transition period, Engineers and Geoscientists BC will continue to provide support to mentors and mentees to ensure both parties have the information needed on the program changes.
3. I currently participate in the program to discuss career development, retirement and succession planning, entrepreneurship, or other general business or career mentoring. Can I still formally participate in the program?
Discussion and mentorships regarding these topics are valuable and are encouraged to continue informally. However, they will fall outside the scope of the revised Mentoring Program. The program will be refocused on assisting and supporting applicants and trainees becoming licensed as professional registrants.
4. I am a mentor, what do these changes mean for me?
In order to support the revised program focus, mentors will be provided with additional training and support to provide the best guidance for trainees (EITs or GITs) and applicants. A required component will be to complete the Registration Mentor Training. The self-paced module will provide an overview of work experience, reporting details, and general registration requirements trainees need to fulfill in order to obtain their professional registration. Upon completion, mentors can gain Continuing Education (CE) Hours.
5. As a mentor what contribution would I be making after these changes are in effect?
You will have a unique opportunity to support a less experienced emerging professional toward their pathway to licensure, which will not only enhance your leadership and coaching skills, but also enable you to help shape the profession for future generations. Mentors will be provided with additional training and resources to help support them including continuing education opportunities. As a mentor, you can continue to provide a pivotal role in supporting the next generation of professionals, especially the retention of applicants and trainees from underrepresented groups.
6. Who can participate in the mentoring program?
Trainees (EIT or GIT) and applicants who are working towards their professional designation can participate as mentees.
Professional registrants in good standing (P.Eng. or P.Geo.) can participate as mentors.
7. Is a mentor the same as a supervisor?
Mentors and supervisors have different roles. A supervisor directly supervises the work of the engineer-in-training, geoscientist-in-training, or applicant. A mentor provides mentorship with issues that may arise during the professional experience phase. A mentor does not provide direct supervision to the engineer-in-training, geoscientist-in-training or applicant. The mentor and supervisor should work collaboratively to assist the engineer-in-training, geoscientist-in-training or applicant to achieve professional status.
8. Does the supervisor need to be involved in the mentoring relationship?
While it is optimal that the supervisor and mentor work collaboratively to meet the needs of the mentee, the involvement of the supervisor in the mentoring relationship is not required.
9. What happens after I send in my application form to the mentoring program?
The mentoring program coordinator will contact you to confirm if you qualify for the program. Following confirmation, you will gain access to the mentor listing. Please browse through the listing and apply to any interested mentors. Each request will be reviewed and forwarded by the program coordinator.
10. How long does it take for a match to be made?
Engineers and Geoscientists BC is committed to matching all participants within a suitable time frame. However, it can sometimes take several months before a suitable match is made. Periodically, the mentor listing is updated with new mentors. Please check the listings often to apply to any new match requests.
11. How do you match mentors with mentees?
A match is based mainly on the industry, expertise, and geographic location of the mentor and mentee.
12. Am I obligated to accept a match?
No. It is important that you feel comfortable with the person you are matched with, so please feel free to let the mentoring program coordinator know your concerns, and they will initiate another potential match for you.
13. What happens during a mentor-mentee meeting?
Please refer to the resources page for documents and templates that may be of assistance to you.
14. How often do the mentor and mentee meet?
For maximum benefit, the mentor and mentee should communicate on a monthly basis.
15. Are Continuing Education Hours granted for involvement in the mentoring program?
Continuing Education (CE) Hours can be claimed for mentoring activities as outlined in the Guide to Continuing Education Program.
Professional Engineers and Professional Geoscientists
1. Does the mentor need to be an Engineers and Geoscientists BC registrant??
Yes, to be eligible to participate as a mentor you need to be an Engineers and Geoscientists BC professional registrant (P.Eng. or P.Geo.). The purpose of the mentoring program is to assist the engineer-in-training, geoscientist-in-training or applicant to achieve professional status.
2. How much time is involved?
It is encouraged that you invest at least one hour per month into the program.
3. Will I be paired with a mentee right away?
Pairing a mentor and mentee can take some time depending on the type of mentees available. When a match is found you will be contacted by an Engineers and Geoscientists BC staff member to see if you are still interested in the program and if you are still available to volunteer as a mentor.
4. I have never been a mentor. Who can I talk with if I have any questions?
There are several resources available to assist you. Once you have joined the program, please view the Mentoring Program Resources to access templates, guidelines for mentors and mentees, and more. You may also contact the mentoring program coordinator, [email protected] directly for any questions you may have about the program.
Engineers-in-training, Geoscientists-in-Training and Applicants
1. What if I do not have a professional engineer (P.Eng.) or professional geoscientist (P.Geo.) supervisor?
A mentor is not a substitute for a supervisor. If you do not have a supervisor and you are seeking professional registration, please contact the organization's Registration Department by email at [email protected] or by phone at 604.412.4856 for further information.
2. What if someone is willing to be my mentor?
Please contact the mentoring program coordinator and provide the mentor's contact information. Once the match is confirmed, the program coordinator will mark your match as active in Engineers and Geoscientists BC's database and will forward on a welcome package to the mentor and mentee.
3. What if there is someone in particular whom I would like as a mentor?
Please feel free contact the potential mentor directly. If the mentor is interested, please contact the mentoring program coordinator and provide the mentor's contact information. The program coordinator will then mark your match as active in Engineers and Geoscientists BC's database and forward the welcome package to the mentor. If you would like assistance in contacting the mentor, please contact the program coordinator and they can help facilitate the initial contact.
4. What if I have questions regarding supervisors, reporting and other registration-related issues?
Please contact Engineers and Geoscientists BC's registration department by email at [email protected] or by phone at 604.412.4856.