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Update – May 2020

So much has happened since I wrote this article in 2015 that I thought it was time to add to it. Globally we are dealing with a Pandemic and our normal life has changed and we have yet to define our new norm. A lot has changed for me as well and I will share that with you now.

In the fall of 2017 I began the journey of moving to a new certification body which would take mentor certification to a whole new level. I was very fortunate to be introduced to Dr. Stephen Hobbs who ironically was exploring mentor competence as was I. The need for a shift to competence had come from mentor practitioners who wanted more. They encouraged me to move ahead in researching and implementing a mentor certification that was focused on competence. Dr. Hobbs brought his wisdom and knowledge of certification and the ISO standards that were part of that process.

In 2018, the International Mentoring Community (IMC) was formed with that organization becoming the certification body for mentors. Three levels of certification have been developed; Certificate of Achievement – Mentoring, Certificate of Competence – Mentor and Certificate of Competence – Journey Mentor. The Certification schema ISO 9001 – Quality, ISO 17024 – Assessment, and ISO 21001 – Education Management are the global standards that are key to the IMC Certification process. While the IMC could be the provider of “all things mentoring” it has become the independent body to provide governance, standards, certification and re-certification for mentors. The certification process has moved away from using an examination as a determining factor to one of a portfolio based. Mentors wishing to be certified build a portfolio which contains a number of elements which includes a mentoring log. The portfolio once completed is submitted to an Auditor for the Certificate of Achievement – Mentoring and to a Verifier for the Certificate of Competence – Mentor and Certificate of Competence – Journey Mentor. The Verifier is verifying that the mentor is competent based on their portfolio and an extensive Verification interview. Each Certification Level is driven by the Profile document that has been completed. The Profile document contains Action_Outcome or competence statements that clearly articulate the behaviors the mentor must possess in order to create that deeper, richer mentoring experience.

IMC is also a source of knowledge in the form of articles, videos, courses and workshops on all things mentoring. Continuous learning and development is important to certified mentors as they continue to grow their mentoring practice.

We have evolved over the past few years and now have an international certification for mentors and have taken mentor certification to a new level – a deeper, richer mentoring experience based on competence.


Doug Lawrence is the founder of TalentC® and Co-founder of the International Mentor Community.

Doug leads organizations to experience the benefits how mentoring will encourage workforce culture to flow in harmony (mentors), improve productivity from employees (mentees), reducing costly employee onboarding improving the bottom line (organizations).

Doug is an International Certified Mentor, and has obtained his Certificate of Achievement – Mentoring and his Certificate of Competence – Mentor from the International Mentoring Community (IMC). Doug is currently obtaining his Certificate of Competence – Journey Mentor.

Doug’s Practice of Mentoring has resulted in his accumulation of 2,000 hours of mentoring (in person and virtual), 197 hours of speaking opportunities and 672 hours teaching others how to effectively mentor.

Doug is a volunteer mentor with the Sir Richard Branson Entrepreneur Program in the Caribbean and with the American Corporate Partners in the United States working with military personnel in their transition from military life to civilian life. Doug is currently working with researchers to examine the role of mentoring as a support for those struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). His experience in law enforcement coupled with working with people suffering from PTSD has afforded him a unique view of mentoring and PTSD.

Doug is an international speaker and author about all facets of Mentoring. He published “The Gift of Mentoring” in 2014 with his second book set to publish in 2020.

Doug works with organizations to establish mentoring programs, influence mentoring as a culture, and provides one-on-one direct mentoring for individuals of all backgrounds and levels globally.

Contact Doug directly to discover how mentoring can improve your organization.

>>  https://calendly.com/doug-lawrence

March 2015

I wrote an article for Certification Subject Matter Experts (CSME – http://csme.us/certification-in-mentoring-why-is-it-important/) on the topic of Certification as it relates to mentoring. CSME offers the International Certification for Mentoring and the professional designation as a International Certified Mentor Practitioner. The designation is based on International Standards Organization (ISO) 17024.
In some of my conversations with clients there is some confusion in the terminology around mentor training and mentor programs/cultures. There are times where the lines become blurred for some reason and I thought we could set the record straight.

The International Certification for Mentoring and the professional designation as a Certified Mentor Practitioner is achieved through a combination of academic and practical experience. CSME is the independent body that oversees the accreditation, certification and examination process as well as ensuring that the standards and Governance processes are maintained with integrity. TalentC®is the Accredited Training Organization that provides the accredited curriculum required in order to gain the knowledge and expertise required for the professional designation. This is sometimes referred to incorrectly as a mentor program.

A mentor program or a mentor culture in the majority of situations does not go through the accreditation, certification, or Governance process that the International Certification for Mentoring has. In the majority of cases programs are implemented with or without the guidance of a consultant and the organization continues its journey with mentoring. These programs are not certified unless they have gone through an independent process. The International Mentoring Association offers that service where they can certified your mentoring program and provide you with the standards required to ensure that your program will sustain its growth in your organization and more importantly it will have the Governance and standards to ensure its success. (http://mentoringassociation.org/recognition/accreditation-2/accreditation-process/)
When I think of a mentor program I think of a number of different things that need to be in place. I will comment on those shortly but want to refresh our memory on the four reasons that mentoring programs fail: 1) lack of corporate support, 2) lack of structure, 3) lack of training and 4) a culture that will not support mentoring. If any of those are not in alignment it can be a recipe for failure. We strongly recommend a culture assessment to determine an organization’s mentor readiness prior to implementing a mentoring program.

When implementing a mentor program or a mentor culture we should always be asking ourselves what is the business problem we are trying to solve with mentoring. If you can answer that question then we can begin to measure the effectiveness of mentoring in your organization. If you cannot answer that question then you need to step back from your implementation plans and determine “why” you are going on this journey. Once you have progressed past this step you can then look at communication strategies, structures, stakeholders, training, etc. which are all key components to the success of your mentor program implementation. One of the things to ask yourself is do I want to have my mentor program “certified” and if so is it important enough to seek that independent 3rd party review such as what is offered by the International Mentoring Association. Self-certification/accreditation detracts from the credibility that your program may have.

I have done a lot of research on the topic of certifications and accreditation over the past few years and having that overseen by an independent body is a best practice and one that adds value to your clients when it relates to professional designations. When it relates to certifying your program and using the terminology that you have a “certified program” having that done through a 3rd party brings additional credibility to your organization, the program that you have implemented and the services that you provide.
Certification and accreditation is an important step and one that should not be taken lightly.