The Cityparents Annual Matching Scheme

Frequently Asked Questions 

1 Q: What is the Cityparents Annual Matching Scheme for?

A:  For the mentor to offer the mentee a supportive and confidential environment in which to discuss and think through issues regarding her/his home/work life. 

2 Q: Who is able to apply to join the Annual Matching Scheme?
A:  Any member of the Cityparents community can apply to join the Scheme. You do not need to be a parent, or based in London to apply - the Scheme is open to all members of the Cityparents Network, Influencers Network and Cityworks Network, and welcomes those seeking a virtual/Skype mentoring partner. There are no formal criteria required to be either a mentee or mentor.
 
3 Q:  What sort topics might be discussed during the course of a mentoring relationship?        
A:  This is for the mentee and mentor to choose between themselves, with the mentee driving the process.  Typical areas are matters such as career planning, work/life balance, tips for pursuing personal goals and objectives, communication and influencing, raising profile, personal confidence and focussing on a specific skill to improve.
 
4 Q:  How long does the mentoring relationship last and how often do we meet?                   
A:  The relationship is assumed by Cityparents to last for a maximum of a year, after which you are of course free to remain in contact, but as individuals rather than members of the Scheme.  We ask you agree to meet approximately every six weeks for a year.
 
5. Q: Can the mentoring relationship be a virtual one, if one/both parties are based outside London?
A: Yes, it can - please respond to the appropriate question in your application form, and we will endeavour to match you with a mentoring partner who is also seeking a virtual pairing. 
 
6. Q: Does a mentor need to have specific knowledge of a mentee’s area of work?
A: We don’t consider this necessary because we all work within the same broad business environment in the City and can share common experiences; however some mentees may prefer to work with a mentor in her/his area of work, and we try to accommodate this where possible.
 
7. Q: How do I apply to be a member of the Scheme?
A: Both mentors and mentees need to apply at a time when a window for applications is open.  Application windows are expected to open annually, and network members will be notified at least a week in advance. During the application period, prospective mentors and mentees need to fill out an Application Form. .
 
Individuals can apply directly to the Scheme via our website. We cannot guarantee that all applicants will be matched as typically mentee applications significantly outnumber mentor applications; if, however, applicants are successfully matched, mentees are asked to pay an individual cost of £100.
 
Employers are also able to submit mentors and mentees to the scheme, and remove the cost burden from individual mentees.
 
8 Q: Can a mentor have more than one mentee?
A: Yes, there is an opportunity for mentors to indicate if would like to mentor more than one person.
 
9 Q: What if a mentee wishes to specify a preference for either a male or female mentor?
A: You can indicate this on your application form.
 
10 Q:  Can I apply to be both a mentor and a mentee? 
A:  A: Yes, you would need to complete both Mentor and Mentee Application Forms.
 
11 Q:  How sure can I be that I will be matched? 
A: We cannot guarantee you will be matched as we do not know on any occasion how many people will apply to the scheme or what criterion they will indicate are most important to them in their mentoring pair.  In our view, having periodic annual application windows rather than a rolling process of applications increases the chances of making successful matches. 
 
12 Q:  What happens after the application window has closed?                                                  
A:   Shortly after the window has closed, matching will be undertaken by the Scheme Director, and matches will be communicated by email within 6 weeks.
 
13 Q:  Is there a fee to be a member of the Scheme?                                                                     
A:  There is no charge for Mentors to join the Scheme.  Mentees are asked to pay £100 to cover administration costs of the scheme at the point they fill out their Application Confirmation Form.  This is the case even for Event/Webinar Pass Holders or people whose organizations are Corporate Access Pass holders for Cityparents Network events/webinars. However, if you are entered into the Scheme via your employer, they take this cost burden and as a result there is no individual fee payable.  
 
14 Q:  What happens to my fee if I am not successfully matched?                                         
A:  If mentees are not successfully matched, they will receive £90 of their £100 administration fee back.  We do not return the full fee because a significant proportion of the cost of the Scheme occurs in the up-front matching process, and the £10 retention is a small contribution towards our costs.
 
15 Q:  How is the matching done?                             
A:  The Scheme Director uses their best efforts to take into account a mentee and mentors preferences based on information they provide in their application form. 
 
16 Q: You say the Scheme is to allow mentoring between organizations.  How do you ensure that I’m not matched with someone from my own organization? 
A: We ask people to identify their organisation when they apply to the scheme.  This information is not communicated generally to other applicants but allows us to avoid such matches. 
 
17 Q: How long will it take for me to be paired up with a mentee?
A: We aim to match mentors and mentees as soon as possible after we receive your application and we will aim to match the majority of people within 6 weeks closing of the application window, but sometimes it can take longer.
 
18 Q:  If I’m matched, when do I contact my mentoring pair? 
A: Mentoring pairs are notified that they have been matched, and you will be asked to contact each other within 10 days of receiving the matching email, to establish that you are happy to work together. If you do not do so, you might not be able to continue within the Scheme.  In the unlikely event that you do not hear from your mentoring pair within 10 days, please let us know and we will chase and if necessary, attempt to rematch you.
 
19 Q: What should I cover in the first mentoring session?
A: We suggest various ways to “break the ice”, by discovering connections between you, talking around current work projects, career accomplishments and common interests and then finally that you ensure you have a clear agreement as to how you contact each other to arrange meetings, when and where you will meet, who will be responsible for setting up meetings and other practical matters.
 
20 Q: Who arranges the meetings?
A: We suggest that the mentee takes responsibility for this, and confirms the meeting shortly in advance of it happening, though exact details of arrangements can be agreed between yourselves.  As a courtesy, we suggest you do not cancel meetings at short notice unless it is really impossible to avoid.
 
21 Q: What if the mentoring relationship doesn’t appear to be working out?
A: There could be a variety of reason for this and we ask that you first discuss any issues directly with your mentoring partner unless you feel that is impossible, or otherwise with the Scheme Director and she will get in touch with your mentoring partner if you wish her to assist. Either way, please inform the Scheme Director as soon as possible if you feel the relationship is not working out.  Please note that, once you have confirmed you are happy with your match, if you decide you no longer wish to proceed for any reason the mentee fee will not be refunded except in exceptional circumstances.  Cityparents may try to find you an alternative mentoring pair, but for practical reasons this may not be possible; if it is not, if you wish to continue in the scheme you will need to apply through the next application window in the normal way.  
 
22 Q: How do you ensure the quality of the Scheme?                                                        
A:  In a number of ways.  First, we ask applicants to read and comply with the Annual Matching Scheme Code, which you can read here. The Code was designed by the Scheme Director in conjunction with Cityparents and contains our ethical code, based on best practice from a variety of relevant sources including the European Mentoring and Coaching Council, the Association of Coaching and the British Psychological Society, and also takes into account our obligations under the Data Protection Act.  Secondly, our Mentoring Scheme Director is available to mentees and mentors to answer queries during the course of your membership.  Thirdly, we provide an online induction to the scheme and conference calls and other support during the course of your membership, and ask for your feedback periodically.  
 
23 Q: How do you obtain feedback?
We will typically ask for your feedback in survey or email form.  If you do not respond electronically, as stated in the Code, we may follow up by phone to the number provided in your application form.  We do not want to intrude but it is extremely important for the efficacy of the scheme that we monitor the scheme regularly.   
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