The magic of mentorship

The Royal College of Podiatry (RCPod's) mentoring scheme was introduced in 2019 and is an integral and important part of our member benefits package. The scheme, which is tailor-made for podiatrists and available to all members at any stage in their career, is available on an external online platform. It is free of charge and completely confidential.

If you are thinking of joining RCPod's mentorship scheme and would like to be linked with a mentor or mentee, you can find out more here.

Read our blog, The magic of mentoring, to hear how it works in practice.

Mentoring at the Harrogate and District Foundation Trust

College member, Emma Noe, reports on the mentoring scheme set up by the Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust podiatry services in 2019

We introduced a career-long mentorship scheme into Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust (HDFT) podiatry services in 2019. At the time we had a well-established preceptorship package for new starters but had noted that mentorship was only really given to those that proactively sought it or in response to a performance issue.

Three years on and the mentorship scheme is still going strong. We have learned that not all colleagues wish to access mentorship all the time – there are times within a person’s career when the focus is more on staying current and relevant than on development. However, in saying this we are assured mentorship is accessible for all when needed and have received positive feedback from team members.

Mentors say:

  • "As a mentor, I've found it massively valuable. I think it's important staff have a mentor that they feel comfortable with, not all personalities mix, and some staff need more support than others etc. I've been able to support staff and hopefully lightened the burden for the team lead somewhat. I think historically we feel bad for blocking out clinic/domiciliary time, but the mentoring sessions are needed".

  • "I feel very privileged to be a mentor. During sessions, I’ve confidentially discussed both home and work items which have a huge impact on one another. Positive training or shadowing has been part of an outcome that in turn sees a "junior" member of the team gain confidence and expand on their skill set. Mentorship re-enforces staff asking or querying as they know the support will be there or as a point of contact in the week if needed".

  • "One-to-one meetings provide the comfort of asking clinical questions that a staff member wouldn't have necessarily asked in a larger meeting. They have a bespoke package which they can utilise to how they would most feel beneficial and worth for their needs which they need to bring to the mentorship to gain the most out of what they want".

Mentees say:

  • "Mentorship enables me to get things off my chest in a safe environment, whether it be work or home related"

  • "Sometimes it's just nice to have some time which is just focused on you. It always makes me feel as if I am important and I can say what I want"

  • "I have recently moved teams. The support from my mentor has helped me manage the change and made me feel right at home"

  • "Guidance and support makes me feel valued and part of the team. It also gives me the drive to improve our service"

  • "Mentorship gives me the time to reflect and a solid foundation on which to build my clinical skills".