October 2001

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APEGGA Mentoring
Moves to the Launch Pad

Calgary Branch Receives Council and Corporate Support to Develop Program

Director, Professional Development

APEGGA is piloting a mentoring program in Calgary, and it received Council support last month in the form of a $10,000 commitment. The program will be available throughout the province within 12 to 15 months after the preliminary shakedown in Calgary. A complete set up package for all branches is envisioned as part of the successful launch of the program.
Since February the Calgary Branch has been working hard to develop a mentoring program on the basis of APEGGA's Mentoring Guideline and a set of materials purchased from a U.S. consulting group. The committee liked the consultant's step-by-step processes to make mentoring work, and found that it fits our professions well and is generic enough that it can be applied to both technical and non-technical staff. Initial corporate feedback has been very positive.

In the APEGGA Mentoring Program the mentee drives the program. It is the mentee's job to define the skills needed for development; set meeting agendas and ensure that tasks are completed as agreed to. The mentor agrees to set aside a specified time when confidential, constructive support and feedback can be provided.

Each mentor and mentee work together to develop the mentee's abilities and experience. The pair signs an agreement to work together on a defined development program for a minimum 12 months, at which time the formal APEGGA relationship ends.

The mentee, the mentor and the corporation benefit -- the mentee through career development; the mentor through the satisfaction of putting something back into the profession; and the corporation through increased staff development and retention.
The amount and type of mentoring available in the corporations we've spoken to ranges from excellent in-house formal programs to informal to none at all. Some corporations have had mentoring programs in the past, many of which have either fallen into disuse or were cut in their move to a leaner organization. However, most corporations understand the value of a formal mentoring program, especially one that involves a partnership with APEGGA.

Enmax was the first to step forward with $10,000 to help launch the initiative. The company provided nine mentoring pairs as "test pilots" who received training from an APEGGA volunteer. APEGGA also assisted in the pair matching, and provided on-going advisory support.

Early reports from both mentees and mentors are strongly positive. And several other firms have shown strong conceptual support and are evaluating their financial commitment. APEGGA has also approved $10,000 to further develop the initiative over the next three months.

The future of the initiative depends on the conceptual and financial support received from APEGGA permit holders. During the next three months there will be a concerted effort to enrol companies in the APEGGA Mentoring Program.

Please phone the APEGGA office in Calgary at (403) 262-7714 for more information on the mentoring program and how you can participate.

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