Mentoring is an effective tool for supporting graduates with identifying objectives, overcoming professional challenges, visualising and achieving goals. With the restrictions imposed by the current pandemic, many Mentors and Developing Engineers are missing out on the networking opportunities previously created by both the Institution and their employers. To provide support to Mentors, Sandra Mulligan, the IMechE BDM for Scotland has set up a new Mentor Forum, which got off to a great start on March 16.
What is the Mentor Forum?
An opportunity for MPDS and SRS Mentors, Scheme Administrators and stakeholders to get together and share ideas, best practice and achieve consistency with reviewing and scoring the work of Developing Engineers. Being an online event, it allows allow staff from a wide variety of companies and industry sectors to interact and engage with each other, supporting and building the IMechE mentoring community on a national scale. It’s a 1 hour meeting which occurs on a monthly basis at lunchtime. After each meeting, Sandra circulates a set of the slides that were used and a summary of the Q&A session, allowing Mentors to build up a portfolio of resources to add to their ‘Mentoring Toolkits’.
What range of topics are covered?
At the March event, John Calcraft CEng MIMechE who runs a very successful mpd scheme at Caterpillar shared tips on assessing developing engineer competence using Sli.do. Attendees were able to review quarterly reports and then score them using this live interactive polling tool. It was very interesting to see the variation in scores on the day! John concluded that the key to successful mentoring is the relationship that’s built up between the Mentor and the Developing Engineer over time. All Developing Engineers are unique and will need to be stretched in different directions, to meet all of the UK SPEC competence requirements.
81 attendees from companies including Rolls Royce, JLR, Technip FMC, Ineos, Integra Engineering, Atkins, SSE, Clyde Space, Millbrook, MTC, Sparrows, Renishaw, Scottish Water, Shoreham Power Station and Sweco enjoyed the inaugural meeting. Sandra Mulligan was delighted to receive lots positive and enthusiastic feedback after the event.
At the April Forum on the 21st, attendees were provided with an update on the mpds/srs system improvements by Lara Mallett, BDM for the Eastern & East Midlands Region. This was followed by guidance on ‘How to help your Developing Engineer construct a good IEng or CEng application form’ The secrets of what IMechE Assessors need to see and the pitfalls to avoid.’
Sandra and Lara were joined by Stuart Aitkenhead, CEng FIMechE, an experienced Professional Review Interview Assessor and Facilitator. Stuart retired in October 2019 after a 35+ year career, holding a variety of technical and managerial positions across a diverse range of industry sectors including construction, Life Sciences and Nuclear Defence. Prior to retirement, he spent the last 11 years as a Director of Babcock Marine (Clyde) Limited, the Ministry of Defence/Royal Navy Tier 1 Industrial Partner at HMNB (Clyde), Faslane, at which the UK submarine fleet and strategic deterrent are based and maintained. In this role, he held board responsibility for Graduate and Apprentice Engineer development programmes.
Sandra, Stuart and Lara shared the secrets of what IMechE Assessors look out for and the pitfalls to avoid when writing up a CEng or IEng application form. The also sought to dispel some of the myths surrounding the process… For example, many Developing Engineers think that PRI Assessors will be able to access their mpds or srs reports and review them in addition to the application from that is submitted for registration. This is simply not true! Attendees left with a lot of new insights to share with both Developing Engineers and fellow Mentors.
The May Mentor Forum will take place on Wednesday 19 May at 12.30 and the topics will be ‘Professional Review Interview – The good, the bad and…..the ugly’.
We’ll also be looking at ‘Communication styles and the differences across the generations’
Click to book your space. Feel free to share it with any contacts it may be relevant to!
What if I can’t attend?
Please let Sandra know and details of future events will be circulated to you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org