Here is a list of frequently asked questions. If you don't see an answer to your question here, please send us an email (mentoring@evaluationcanada.ca) or complete the Contact Form. 

Q.  Do I have to be a Member of the Canadian Evaluation Society to participate?

A.  Yes.  The CES Mentoring Initiative is now available to CES Members only.  All original participants remain in the database and may continue to participate.  This includes CES Members from the American Evaluation Association (AEA) and Australasian Evaluation Society (AES).  

This recognizes the time and dedication for CES Members to offer and receive professional guidance and coaching as evaluators, as part of a professional community of evaluators.  It is hoped that the mentoring arrangements will help to support professional development and advancement of evaluation competencies and skills of participants; for both parties.  The question of access will be revisited when the Initiative will be reviewed.

Q. What do I do if I can’t find a mentor?

A. Don't be discouraged if your registration doesn’t match you with a mentor/mentee right away. If your search for a mentor provides no results then you may expand your search to include more mentors. One way to do this is by lowering your own level of expertise. The software that was developed only returns possible mentors who have identified expertise at a higher level than what mentees have indicated. As a consequence, the software will only suggest mentorship matches with individuals who indicate having a higher level of expertise than mentees in particular competency areas.

Q. How should I initiate contact now that the system has provided me with a name of a mentor that I would like to connect with?

A. The CES Mentoring Initiative provides you with two main contacts for mentors/mentees that include both a telephone number and an email address. As a mentee, you can initiate contact with either mentor, by telephone or by email. If a mentoring relationship is to be pursued, both parties should discuss which method of contact works best for them. Other options that could be explored include face-to-face meetings, Skype, and other voice over internet protocols (VOIP).

Q. Can I change the information on my profile and my Level of Expertise?

A. At any time, both mentors/mentees can log into the CES Mentoring Initiative website and change any of their profile information. Not all mentors and mentees may have profile information that is ready to cut and paste from other resources. Creating a profile does not have to occur in one sitting. This means that mentors/mentees may return to the website several times and modify their information until they are satisfied with it. Both mentors/mentees may also delete your profile or request deletion of your profile by the Administrator.

Q. Is the CES Mentoring Inititive only designed to support one-to-one mentor/mentee relationships?

A. Yes, at present the website is designed to focus on supporting the development of one-to-one mentorship relationships; however you are not limited to having only one relationship at a time. Depending on participation rates and user feedback and future iterations of the program, the CES could consider looking at developing a forum that would support ‘group mentoring’ including an on-line dialogue among several mentors/mentees.

Q. What do I do as a mentor if multiple mentees contact me to be a mentor but I don’t have time for all of them?

A. If as a mentor you do not have time to provide your expertise to several mentees, then this needs to be shared with mentees at the beginning of the process. It is up to the mentor to make a decision about the mentee that they would best be suited to work with them based on the information provided both by the website and any subsequent information provided by the mentee.

Q. What if my mentor/mentee is not responding to my correspondence?

A. At the beginning of your mentoring relationship, the mentor and mentee should clarify what expectations each of them have for each other regarding both time commitments and response times. Each of the pair needs to be comfortable for what was decided in the relationship. If your mentor/mentee is not responding within the timeframes identified at the beginning of the relationship, then please contact us at info@evaluationmentoringcanada.ca so that we can follow up. 

Q.  What are appropriate topics to discuss with my mentor?

A.  Mentoring is a professional dialogue.  Refer to the Evaluation Mentoring Canada Getting Started Guide under the Resources tab on this website for suggestions on optimizing the rapport.  Mentors and mentees are free to begin or end the mentoring relationship at any time.  Another helpful resources is the Evaluation Mentoring Canada Code of Ethics, also under Resources.

Q. Are discussions between mentors/mentees confidential?

A. Yes – this is a conversation between participants.  A healthy mentoring relationship relies on a foundation of trust between the two individuals. It is a developmental relationship that may well bring the mentor and/or mentee to come to know the concerns, past experiences, existing challenges, etc.

Both parties have a responsibility to acknowledge and maintain that the mentoring relationship exists in the context of professional development, the operative word being professional.

There is also a shared responsibility in the mentoring relationship to engage the other in an honest conversation at the outset about what limits they would like to place around the type of sensitive information that they can share in the course of the mentoring relationship both within the mentorship relationship and outside of the relationship.  Refer to the Evaluation Mentoring Canada Getting Started Guide (see Resources) 

Q. Is there a time limit for the mentor/mentee relationship?

A. Research on the effectiveness of mentoring relationships would seem to indicate that a period of six months is the minimum to accrue positive career related outcomes from the perspective of both the mentee and the mentor. However, mentor/mentee relationships may last for shorter or longer durations. The mentoring relationship takes time to develop and it is important that both parties feel that they have the necessary time to build confidence and trust with the other person.

There is no minimum or maximum time limit for mentoring relationships. This is left entirely up to the discretion of the mentoring pair. A shared understanding of the duration of the relationship depends on the needs and expectations around the duration of time the relationship should last; a discussion about this would be suggested at the outset of the relationship.

In some cases, pairs may feel more comfortable not specifying a timeframe for the relationship, preferring instead to let it run its course more organically over time, whereas other pairs may prefer to decide on a time at the outset, and others still may prefer to revisit this occasionally as their time together progresses.

Q. What do I do if there is a problem in my mentor/mentee relationship?

A. Potential conflicts in the mentoring relationship can often, though not always, be avoided by engaging in an open and honest discussion about expectations and preferred ways of handling conflict BEFORE any conflict arises. How does each partner prefer to handle conflict? Is there a way to agree on a certain approach ahead of time that is mutually acceptable to both parties?

The importance of a good relationship with your mentor or mentee warrants the investment in an upfront conversation that acknowledges that a) sometimes conflicts happen; and b) both parties have a responsibility to actively work towards finding solutions when conflicts do arise; and c) resolving conflict means knowing and respecting differences in how each person may view and approach conflict resolution.

If a conflict does occur, depending on the gravity of the situation, mentoring partners are strongly encouraged to attempt to resolve conflicts between them. Both the mentor and mentee have a responsibility to:

  • Listen to the other party;
  • Share any concerns they may have in a spirit of honesty and wanting to find a solution;
  • Identify as concretely as possible what the issue is;
  • Come up with some concrete ideas that could be used to help remedy the situation;
  • Agree on what responsibilities each person has in working towards the solution;
  • Agree on a timeframe in which to return to the table to talk about it, any progress made, more tweaks needed, etc.

If attempts to remedy the situation internally do not resolve the problem, mentors and mentees have a responsibility to communicate openly with the other about the problem and whether the conflict warrants ending the mentoring relationship. 

Q. Will I have the opportunity to participate in an evaluation of this site and/or initiative?

A. Yes this site will be supported by ongoing improvement.  You will be invited to participate in periodic evaluation related activities and contacted by email; your participation is completely voluntary and will not affect your access to this site.