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Ehrich, L., Hansford, B. & Ehrich, J. F. (2011). Mentoring across the professions: some issues and challenges. In J. Millwater & D. Beutal (Eds.), Practical Experiences in Professional Education: A Transdisciplinary Approach (pp. 93-113). Brisbane: Post Pressed..


Mentoring has been identified as a valuable learning activity for beginners and more experienced personnel across a range of professions. For example, education, nursing, medicine, law, accounting , and public administration are among those professions that have utilised mentoring programs as a way of socialising and developing the skills and competencies of new professionals. The definition of mentoring used in this paper comes from Hansford, Tennent, and Ehrich (2002, 2003) that describes mentoring as a process whereby a more experienced practitioner works with, supports, guides and provides professional development to a less experienced practitioner. Mentoring, then, is often used to develop novice or less experienced professionals at two important phases in their career: (i) during their initial university training; and (ii) after graduation from university. For example, within the field experience components of many university degrees in education, nursing, medicine, social work, and other human service programs, students are assigned workplace mentors who assist them in transferring important skills and knowledge learned at university into practical setting. For concentrated periods of time during their degree, pre-service teachers, pre-service nurses and medical students work in the field alongside a workplace mentor.

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