https://civilservice.blog.gov.uk/2016/06/02/simpler-match-making-for-mentoring/

Simpler match-making for mentoring

Bryony Taylor
Bryony Taylor

Each of us in our roles in the Civil Service faces challenges. Some of these are big, some small. But whether you’re leading change management across a department, or improving your competencies, what we all need is a guiding hand.

Mentor Match logo and textTo do this more effectively, we’ve developed Mentor Match – a website that takes the areas you’d like to develop and matches them with people across the entire UK Civil Service network. The system also works the other way. If you’d like to be a mentor, you can sign up with your areas of expertise and find someone who you could mentor. Only civil servants can access the system.

More accessible

Mentoring is incredibly valuable for personal and professional development. Our aim is to make it more accessible and to ensure that the full diversity of the Civil Service, across the country, can either share their skills with others, or seek advice from the best people.

It’s simple to sign up. If you have a LinkedIn profile you can use this, or create a profile directly. All we ask for is some simple information to identify your needs and areas of expertise, and you’ve got a profile. It takes less than 10 minutes!  

As soon as you complete the initial profile, the system will match you with people who have already signed up. It will show you those you could help as a mentor, but also those who may be able to help you. Simply click a button and connect.

While the Civil Service has many bespoke mentoring schemes in place within departments, our aim is to provide an option that everyone can use. Mentoring should not be about ‘who you know’, or about filling in long forms, it should be simple and focus on ‘who can offer you the best guidance’. We hope Mentor Match will help you find that person, regardless of where they are in the Civil Service.

Spot-mentoring at Civil Service Live

Join us at Civil Service Live for the spot-mentoring sessions – these will give you a taste of what mentoring is all about. Register to attend the CS Live event nearest to you, and then come along on the day and sign up for a session.

Some departments are also rolling the Mentor Match platform out in the coming month. So, if you don’t find an initial match – check back! As more people sign up, more matches will become available.

Let us know if you have any recommendations for improving the site, or if we’ve missed something. Most importantly, sign up to Mentor Match and find yourself a mentor!

See what civil servants say about the importance of mentoring in this short film:

35 comments

  1. Comment by J Brookes posted on

    Another site blocked by DWP

    • Replies to J Brookes>

      Comment by Bryony posted on

      Thanks for letting us know about this. We have touched base with DWP and asked them to unblock the site. Additionally, are you able to ask for it to be unblocked on your system? Hopefully the more people that ask DWP IT the quicker it will get sorted out!

      • Replies to Bryony>

        Comment by Alison posted on

        The link is still blocked today. Really disappointing that after three months it isn't sorted out.

    • Replies to J Brookes>

      Comment by Kathryn Streatfield posted on

      Yes - most of this is blocked by DWP, so will have to access on a non-DWP device.

      I welcome this venture but as someone who has been on the CSL database for a few years I wonder whether it is viewed as a competitor or replacement for the CSL system (which seems leaderless incidentally so good someone is taking the initiative)

      • Replies to Kathryn Streatfield>

        Comment by Bryony posted on

        Hi Kathryn,

        We see Mentor Match working alongside existing schemes. People do use schemes such as professional and departmental ones and find them useful. We hope Mentor Match can be the more mainstream offer and make it easier.

        Thanks
        Bryony

  2. Comment by Blue Skinned Beast posted on

    I got halfway through signing up for this then gave up. I couldn't give examples of the experience I already have in the categories that I had ticked as (to be honest) I didn't know what some of them meant.
    It's great if you're fluent in management jargon, but to the rest of us.....sorry. The categories need to be made clearer.

    • Replies to Blue Skinned Beast>

      Comment by Andy - Mentor Match Team posted on

      Hi Blue Skinned Beast,

      I'm sorry you found it frustrating - those categories are something we've been thinking a lot about recently - we know that the current set up isn't ideal and won't work in the long term.

      A big upgrade to how Mentor Match works behind the scenes went live earlier this week which lays the groundwork for updating these categories - both to make them clearer and let people with specialist skills or interests to put these on their profile.

      If you signed up on the site or if you follow us on LinkedIn (at Mentor Match UK), we'll be letting people know once these categories have been improved - hopefully we can convince you to try again!

      • Replies to Andy - Mentor Match Team>

        Comment by Blue Skinned Beast posted on

        Andy, thank you for your quick reply. I will keep watching and try again soon !

  3. Comment by Dakota posted on

    Thank you for your blog. The website says that to view matches you must have an email that ends in gov.uk. Not everyone in the civil service has this sort of email address. And how can a Fast Streamer be higher than HEO on the grade drop down? They earn less and have less experience and less potential. That is the bottom line.

    • Replies to Dakota>

      Comment by Bryony posted on

      Hi Dakota, thanks very much for your feedback. I'm not sure it's in any way fair to say that because someone earns less they have less potential. We were not, and are not, trying to suggest who has more potential than others. Mentor Match is about trying to help you and everyone else access all their potential.

      We will absolutely look at the email issue - could you help us by letting me know which email address endings we need to include? What we're trying to avoid is people from outside of the civil service using the system, which wouldn't necessarily be helpful. Much appreciated.

    • Replies to Dakota>

      Comment by S posted on

      They have less experience by definition but your comment about potential is somewhat harsh, they are chosen after being rigorously tested for demonstrating the potential to escalate rapildy to at least G7

  4. Comment by Knulp posted on

    So this is the all new singing and dancing Mentormatch that promises the earth like Lean/Pacesetter, own to Act and other dubious nonsense. Question, how much is this going to cost the Taxpayers ( Not Customers) this time?????

    • Replies to Knulp>

      Comment by Bryony posted on

      Hi Knulp,

      Mentor Match was designed from scratch in the spare time of the four civil servants behind it. We have paid the minimal costs to set it up. We did it both to fix a problem we saw and and as a learning project. There is no cost to the tax payer. We are not asking any civil servant to pay to be involved in it. We simply wanted to address an issue around mentoring in the civil service.

      I hope that answers your question.

  5. Comment by Knulp posted on

    Yes Byrony that does answer my question, thanks for the response.

  6. Comment by Thought for Today posted on

    Dear delivery Team,

    The MoD Civil Servants do not have a .gov email address and we cannot view the film.
    I'm afraid the system is not really across the entire Civil Service.

    • Replies to Thought for Today>

      Comment by Alys posted on

      Hi there,

      Mod.uk addresses are now recognised by the site, so you should have no issues creating an account. We are working to include all civil service email addresses that don't end in gov.uk - if you know of any more, please do let us know so we can add them. We want this to be as inclusive as possible!

      Unfortunately we can't edit the permissions that the MoD has around watching videos though!

      Thanks
      Alys

    • Replies to Thought for Today>

      Comment by Bryony posted on

      Hi Thought for Today,

      We are aware of this problem - it affects MOD and some ALBs and we are fixing it now. You will be able to register with your email addresses this afternoon. Regarding the film, do you mean that it is blocked by MOD's IT systems? If so, I'll touch base with them and get it unblocked.

  7. Comment by Adam posted on

    Great idea Bryony - simply amazed by some of the neagtive comments on here... i would of thought that the kind of folk who seek mentors would be, by definition, by far more resilient and resourceful in overcoming barriers... keep up the good work.

    (DWP employee by the way!)

    • Replies to Adam>

      Comment by Bryony posted on

      Thanks very much Adam - and apologies that as a DWP employee you've been experiencing problems!

  8. Comment by Peter posted on

    What an excellent idea! I can see this being particularly useful for connecting similar functions (e.g. Procurement) between Departments - particularly outside London where individual departments may not have a large enough presence to support internal mentoring programmes.

    • Replies to Peter>

      Comment by Bryony posted on

      Hi Peter,

      Thanks a lot for your support - what you suggest is a great idea and is one of the ways we hope it will be used. We're always looking to improve the system and make it work for as many people as possible so do let us know what else you might need in to make it more effective.

      Thanks
      Bryony

  9. Comment by Jackie posted on

    Hi there, is this a replacement for the Civil Service Learning mentoring scheme?

    • Replies to Jackie>

      Comment by Bryony posted on

      Hi Jackie,

      We see Mentor Match working alongside existing schemes. People do use schemes such as professional and departmental ones and find them useful. We hope Mentor Match can be the more mainstream offer and make it easier.

      Thanks
      Bryony

  10. Comment by Suzan Adeniji posted on

    Bryony, what an excellent idea, and I would assume that this has been a great development tool for you in setting this up. Keep up the good work. I for one am impressed at your innovative approach, and commmend you and the team for taking this on. I have a mentor and value the opportunity to liaise with someone from a different department who is a critical friend and sounding board. I cannot recommend a good mentor highly enough.

    • Replies to Suzan Adeniji>

      Comment by Bryony posted on

      Thanks Susan! I too have a mentor and have found it invaluable. It's our hope that the system will make it easier for everyone to have a similar experience.

  11. Comment by Hazel posted on

    Brilliant solution - A former colleague of mine struggled to find a manager to mentor him so this should resolve any similar issues. I will certainly forward the email on to encourage others to use the site. However the video is blocked for me. I am a DWP employee! very frustrating when this happens.

    • Replies to Hazel>

      Comment by Bryony posted on

      Hi Hazel,

      Thanks for the support. We have been having IT problems with DWP - but I think we've resolved them now. Do let me know if you are still experiencing problems.

  12. Comment by Hayleigh posted on

    Hi Bryony, I saw this on LinkedIn yesterday- great idea! Could you confirm if this is due to replace the coaching and mentoring database that is currently on Civil Service Learning?

    • Replies to Hayleigh>

      Comment by Bryony posted on

      Hi Hayleigh,

      We see Mentor Match working alongside existing schemes. People do use schemes such as professional and departmental ones and find them useful. We hope Mentor Match can be the more mainstream offer and make it easier.

      Thanks
      Bryony

  13. Comment by Mark posted on

    Good afternoon. I've sent an email to a prospective mentor before finding out that DWP blocks the site! I then sent an email to the help-desk on this site, nothing heard. Any help you can gove would be appreciated.
    Mark

    • Replies to Mark>

      Comment by Bryony posted on

      Hi Mark,

      Apologies that you didn't hear back immediately - we're 4 volunteers working on it in our spare time so please do bear with us. That said, I think we have now responded. We were having IT problems with DWP but we have worked to resolve them. Are you still suffering the same problem?

      Thanks
      Bryony

  14. Comment by Inonge posted on

    I have signed up via LinkedIn but have had no acknowledgement. Help please.

    • Replies to Inonge>

      Comment by Bryony posted on

      Hi Inonge,

      Could you send us an email at mentormatchorguk@gmail.com so that we can identify your profile and take a look. I'm not sure why that would have happened. You normally sign up with LinkedIn and it immediately takes the information and loads the profile page - you don't receive a separate email per se until you're asked to verify you're CS email.

      If you email the us on the above one of the team will look into asap for you. Apologies,
      Bryony

  15. Comment by Anna posted on

    Hi - I can't get the completed form to go through, I've tried a couple of times - is there a problem generally or just a glitch today?

  16. Comment by Mel posted on

    Great idea- well done!