Mentoring contract checklist

This article is part of a series from Good Practice, offered to ICAS members and students as part of the ICAS mentoring programme.

At the start of a mentoring partnership, it is essential to discuss mutual expectations and establish a set of ground rules as to how the relationship will be conducted. This will ensure that the relationship develops effectively and that the client's needs are met.  

The contract need not be in writing, but it should at least be discussed and agreed verbally. Also, it is not set in stone – amendments can be made at any time. In fact, you should make a point of reviewing the contract together regularly to ensure that you are both still on track.

Use this checklist to ensure that you have agreed on the most important aspects of the mentoring contract.

Items to be agreedComplete
Expectations (of each other, of the relationship, of what both parties will learn) 
Confidentiality (should any third parties be informed? If so, what can be discussed with them about the relationship and the discussions?) 
Duration of relationship 
Meetings (frequency, duration, location – in office or outside the workplace?) 
Broad purpose and goals (what the client hopes to achieve) 
Review and evaluation (of relationship, of mentor/client, and of client's progress) 
Roles and responsibilities (preparing for meetings, setting the agenda, ensuring the meetings take place, setting goals) 
How feedback will be handled (trust and openness) 
What responsibilities do you have to the client's line manager, and how will you ensure they are supportive? 
How you will end the relationship (celebration, disengaging)


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