Who can be a mentor?
All applicants for Registered Membership are expected to have spent a
period of time working under the guidance of a mentor who is an
experienced ergonomist or human factors professional. Wherever possible a
mentor should be a Registered Member or Fellow of the CIEHF. We
encourage senior members of the Institute to provide a mentoring service
to less experienced colleagues, and to provide this time for free. The
role of mentor does involve a modest degree of time and effort and as
the contribution from the mentor is important to the individual under
their guidance, potential mentors should always consider carefully
whether they will be able to fulfil the commitment before agreeing to
Where can I find a mentor?
Mentors should have professional experience within your particular
area of work, so you firstly look for a mentor from within your own
organisation, although mentors in other organisations are acceptable.
Where a mentor is from outside your organisation, you should meet
reasonable expenses incurred by your mentor, although it is important
that these are agreed in advance by both parties. If you do not know
anyone who could be your mentor, you could attend a Regional Group event
in your area to meet more people locally, or go to the CIEHF’s own
Ergonomics & Human Factors conference where there will be lots of
people who might be able to help you.
If you can't find a mentor, email us with a paragraph or two about yourself, where you live and work, your professional interests and what you would like a mentor to help you with, and we'll do our best to find you a match through contacting our Chartered Members.
Overseas applicants may not always have access to Institute members.
In these circumstances a mentor holding an equivalent grade of
membership with another federated society or organisation, recognised by
the International Ergonomics Association or a related professional
body, may be acceptable. Check with us in advance that such a mentor is
likely to be suitable.
Why is mentoring so important for me?
Mentors help to ensure that you have the opportunity to receive
independent advice and guidance from a qualified and experienced
ergonomist/human factors expert on your professional development. In
particular, mentors are expected to:
– look for and encourage the holistic approach that defines ergonomics.
– advise you on methods and techniques.
– assist in developing and reviewing a plan of professional development for you.
I’ve been asked to be a mentor. What do I need to do?
You could use, as a high level template, the questions that the
assessors work to when they are assessing an application. Assessment is
clearly more than a tick the box exercise, but if all those questions
cannot be answered positively from the information provided then the
application will not be approved. So you should be able to look at the
log book and identify areas where knowledge or experience is
insufficient and then guide the applicant to fill the gaps.
- Make suggestions in terms of tools and techniques that might be appropriate for particular work.
- Look particularly at those areas of knowledge and experience where the applicant might be weak.
- Help the applicant identify how they can gain necessary experience, particularly if it is not part of their mainstream work.
- Help and guide the applicant so that they are thinking and working in the way that a professional ergonomist would.
- Help the applicant learn and gain from their experience.
- Ensure that the applicant has progressed through the period of the
mentorship in terms of work undertaken and approach adopted.
- Guide and encourage.
If I become a mentor, what's in it for me?
Mentoring can be very rewarding. Seeing someone else progress and attain their goals with your help can be extremely satisfying. You'll empower
someone, who may start out lacking confidence in their own abilities, to make their own decisions and take responsibility for their
own actions and development. Mentoring helps you develop your own transferable skills and strengths
in active listening and empathy, passing on your knowledge and expertise
clearly, encouragingly and helpfully. These are all great attributes for a human factors professional and can be logged as reflective practice for your CPD.