CPA Martin mentor orientation

Find out more about being a mentor and inspiring the students you work with.

In Indigenous culture, the traditional way of learning is from elders. If a good relationship can be established, the mentorship relationship can flourish and reap great benefits for both students and mentors.

The CPA Martin Mentorship Program offers mentoring opportunities within a framework of scheduled group activities. Students work with the mentorship and school teams in developing their program. Some programs also include one-on-one contact between the mentor and the student, often about once a month during the school year, in accordance with school policies.

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 accounting and/or 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

The nature of your mentoring relationship with students will be guided by the requirements of the school. These requirements will be provided to you by the school teacher lead. To ensure the well-being of students and the reputation of the program, the policies of the school must be strictly followed.

Students have been nominated by their teachers because they have shown academic potential and interest in pursuing post-secondary education.

School responsibilities:

  • appoint your school champion and teacher lead for the program
  • support and supervise the mentorship program, liaising with mentors, students and parents
  • arrange for mentor police checks
  • participate in orientation sessions and program development
  • inform mentors of relevant school policies and provide ongoing guidance
  • encourage and support student attendance and engagement
  • monitor program progress and help resolve any issues
  • participate in program evaluation

Student responsibilities:

  • sign the commitment agreement
  • participate in discussions about the activities you will do together
  • suggest activities that would be interesting, enjoyable and beneficial
  • participate in group activities
  • participate in program evaluation 

Mentor responsibilities:

  • participate with the students, the mentorship team and the school’s teacher lead to develop a program of group mentoring activities for the year
  • engage in a positive relationship with the students, demonstrating the care and concern of a good adult friend
  • attend all training and follow-up meetings
  • obtain appropriate police background check as arranged by your school’s teacher lead
  • participate in group activities
  • help the school organize activities
  • notify the school in advance if you are unable to meet with the 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

Code of conduct

Mentoring comes with the responsibility to always act in the best interest of the students. The following is a list of mentor requirements.

Follow the school’s policies for non-student volunteers

On an ongoing basis, your teacher lead will advise you about the specific guidelines at their school. These policies will help guide:

  • the choice of locations where activities are permitted
  • notification requirements to the school supervisor and parents
  • guidance for conducting one-on-one meetings
  • physical contact between you and students
  • social media contact
  • transportation

Establish trust

  • care, trust and integrity should define your behaviour as a mentor at all times
  • model appropriate behaviour for students to emulate as part of your mentorship
  • ensure neither your behaviour nor the activities you undertake promotes or facilitates an inappropriate personal relationship
  • maintain realistic expectations based on the level of personal development of the students; quick changes in attitude, self-esteem or attendance should not be expected
  • respect the primary role of the parent in guiding students in career decisions and dealing with daily challenges
  • speak with your mentorship team lead, or the school’s teacher lead, if you need guidance

Meetings

If your school’s program includes one-on-one meetings with students under guidelines set by the school, take care that:

  • meetings do not take place in private or isolated locations (This does not preclude one-on-one meetings in appropriate settings. Check first with your teacher lead for the specific school policy.)
  • parents and the school‘s teacher lead are notified of any meetings held off school property
  • all contacts are reported to the school through the reporting process
  • students are never invited to your home or given personal gifts

Digital media

Check with your school’s 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 

Building a strong mentoring relationship

  • engage in a positive relationship with students
  • be there and show that you care
  • have a good sense of humour
  • have a strong capacity for empathy
  • be flexible and able to adapt to student needs
  • listen well
  • communicate on a level that students can understand
  • provide leadership and guidance
  • be a positive role model
  • plan activities in advance and meet regularly with students
  • do not be judgmental
  • put the best interests of students first
  • respect student dignity and privacy
  • reinforce student success 

To learn more about how to be an effective mentor, see CPA Martin mentoring activities and resources.

Activities

The program engages students by involving them in a number of activities. For ideas, see CPA Martin mentoring activities and resources.

Training

Support

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 firm or employer 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  

Reporting and evaluation

Mentorship team leads update their regional coordinator and CPA Canada on program progress throughout the school year.  

On program completion, your mentorship team and school representatives will complete an evaluation scorecard. Students also complete a year-end evaluation

Questions? Contact your teacher lead or email us