2022 Edition

Mentoring Services (CA-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.

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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 organization’s training and supervision system for the mentoring program (see CA-TS 1 and CA-TS 2).
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
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


CA-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 organization;
  5. the responsibilities of the organization to the mentor; and
  6. realistic expectations for the mentoring relationship.
Examples: One example of how the organization 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.


CA-MS 5.02

Mentors receive training that addresses: 
  1. good mentoring practices;
  2. communication and relationship-building;
  3. role modelling;
  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 youth 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. behaviours and symptoms corresponding to the victim’s relationship with their traffickers, including Stockholm Syndrome; and 
  6. situations where a clinician should be contacted.