CPA Martin mentor FAQs

Wondering what’s involved in being a CPA Martin mentor? Find answers to your questions.

Is a mentor the same thing as a coach?

No. Coaching is shorter term and functional in nature. Mentoring is longer term and relationship oriented. A mentor is an experienced and trusted one-on-one advisor. In Indigenous culture, the traditional learning model is for elders to share knowledge and wisdom with young people. When a good relationship is established, the mentorship relationship flourishes, producing great benefits for both the student and the mentor.

What does a CPA Martin mentor do?

CPA Martin mentors fulfill several roles:

  • role model – students will learn from your education and training experiences
  • career guide – as you have an established, successful business career, students will benefit from your professional and personal advice
  • information source – you will provide information about the business world to students who may not be familiar with it

What are the responsibilities of a CPA Martin mentor?

CPA Martin mentors are responsible to:

  • participate with your students, mentorship team and school team lead to develop a program of group mentoring activities for the year
  • engage in a positive relationship with students, demonstrating the care and concern of a good adult friend
  • attend all training and follow-up meetings
  • comply with the school’s policy for obtaining the police background check that will be set up by your teacher lead
  • participate in group activities
  • help the school organize activities
  • notify the school in advance if you are unable to meet with students as scheduled
  • follow the policies of the school with respect to meeting protocols, contact with students outside of scheduled program activities and use of social media
  • consult the school’s teacher lead or your mentorship team lead if you have any questions or concerns

Who can become a mentor?

Our program is open to CPA members and other business professionals whose employers are part of the program.

How are mentors chosen?

Our program works with accounting firms, government organizations and other employers. Mentors are recruited through their employer and are invited to the program based on strong personal and professional credentials. For more information, please email us.

What is the time commitment needed?

Mentors must plan, organize and participate in group activities, which take place three to eight times a year, depending on the program. When school policies permit and encourage it, some mentors also maintain regular contact with their students – about one contact per month during the school year (6-8 months), either by email, telephone or in-person meeting. These interactions are always conducted in accordance with the school’s policies.

Do I need a police check?

Generally yes, police checks are required by most boards for all volunteers working with students. Most schools and school boards have established processes for this with their local police and will arrange for your background check.

What behavioural, ethical and other policies must be followed during the mentorship?

Care, trust, respect and integrity are at the core of all good relationships and should define your behaviour as a mentor.  The expected behaviours are defined in the CPA Martin Mentor Code of Conduct. The policies of the school will also guide your interactions with students. Your teacher lead will advise you on specific guidelines for your school.

How are the students chosen?

Teachers nominate students who show an interest in developing their academic potential through further education after high school, and in learning about career options.

Is there training available?

Yes, all mentors attend a training session. In addition, this website and The CPA Martin Mentorship Program: Mentor’s Handbook will provide guidance on everything you need to know to be a CPA Martin mentor.

Who will support me during the mentorship?

You can depend on the following sources of support as you take on this exciting volunteer position: 

  • mentorship team lead – a senior professional appointed by your employer who will facilitate the program with the school   
  • teacher lead – will help you obtain necessary police checks, understand relevant school policies and support you in program development and relationship building with students
  • regional co-ordinator – will liaise with your mentorship team lead, teacher lead, school and schoolboard leaders and CPA Canada on your behalf
  • CPA Canada – will provide you with the resources needed to conduct your mentorship 

Are ideas for activities provided?

Yes. Most activities are conducted in a group setting and we provide a number of ideas for activities to help you get started, working with your mentorship team and the students. We also provide guidelines to create your own activities.

What do I do if I am unable to answer a question from a student?

Depending on the question, you can:

  • answer candidly that you don’t know the answer, but will try to find out
  • refer the student to a teacher or parent

It is not your role to provide solutions to all challenges facing the student. Never hesitate to speak with your mentorship team lead or teacher lead if you need guidance.

Can I use digital media to connect with the student?

Check with your teacher lead for the specific school policy on social media and digital communication with students. If the school permits digital communication with students, use it cautiously and professionally:

  • maintain an appropriate boundary between your volunteer position and your personal life
  • do not leave yourself open to misinterpretation or misunderstanding
  • remember that digital media lives forever and reflects your personal and professional character and the quality of the mentorship program

Questions? Please email us.