Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Mentoring Services (PA-MS) 5: Mentor Orientation and Training

Mentors receive the orientation and training they need to be effective role models and develop positive, lasting mentoring relationships centered on mentees.
2020 Edition

Currently viewing: MENTORING SERVICES (PA-MS)



Individuals participating in Mentoring Services develop supportive, positive relationships that contribute to the achievement of personal, social, and educational growth.
Note: When paid program staff are used as mentors, the standards in this section should be incorporated into the agency's training and supervision system for the mentoring program (see PA-PDS 1 and PA-PDS 2).
Full Implementation, Outstanding Performance
A rating of (1) indicates that the agency's practices fully meet the standard and reflect a high level of capacity.  
  • All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, with rare or no exceptions: exceptions do not impact service quality or agency performance. 
Substantial Implementation, Good Performance
A rating of (2) indicates that an agency's infrastructure and practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement.
  • The majority of the standards requirements have been met and the basic framework required by the standard has been implemented. 
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality or agency performance.

Partial Implementation, Concerning Performance
A rating of (3) indicates that the agency's observed infrastructure and/or practices require significant improvement.  

  • The agency has not implemented the basic framework of the standard but instead has in place only part of this framework.  
  • Omissions or exceptions to the practices outlined in the standard occur regularly, or practices are implemented in a cursory or haphazard manner.  
  • Service quality or agency functioning may be compromised.  
  • Capacity is at a basic level.
Unsatisfactory Implementation or Performance
A rating of (4) indicates that implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all.  
  • The agency’s observed service delivery infrastructure and practices are weak or non-existent; or show signs of neglect, stagnation, or deterioration.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Table of contents of mentor orientation and training curricula
  • Documentation of mentor orientation and training
  • Mentor orientation and training curricula
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Mentors 
  • Review personnel and case files for mentors 

PA-MS 5.01

Mentors receive an orientation that explains: 
  1. the program’s philosophy, including the role of a mentor;
  2. their responsibilities to the mentee, including any health and safety responsibilities;
  3. their responsibilities to the mentee’s parent or legal guardian, as appropriate;
  4. their responsibilities to the agency;
  5. the responsibilities of the agency to the mentor; and
  6. realistic expectations for the mentoring relationship.
Examples: One example of how the agency can outline responsibilities is by developing a contract between the mentor and mentee, which can serve as an effective tool for establishing the specific role of the mentor.

PA-MS 5.02

Mentors receive training that addresses: 
  1. good mentoring practices;
  2. communication and relationship-building;
  3. role modeling;
  4. building trust with mentees and their families;
  5. establishing appropriate boundaries and setting limits with mentees and their families;
  6. diversity and cultural awareness; and
  7. topics relevant to working with the population served, including strengths, needs, and challenges.


Training may need to be more extensive when mentors are matched with individuals facing special challenges (e.g. youth involved with the juvenile justice system, individuals with mental health or substance use conditions, or victims of human trafficking). Training for mentors working with victims of trafficking should include:
  1. trauma-informed practices, 
  2. nonverbal communication cues, 
  3. the cycles of change model, 
  4. triggers for running away, 
  5. behaviors and symptoms corresponding to the victim’s relationship with their traffickers, including Stockholm Syndrome; and 
  6. situations where a clinician should be contacted.