Human Resources

Useful links

The 'Coaching Service' and accessing a Coach.

Queries on mentoring or coaching:

Development Toolkit - general information about coaching and mentoring. 

Coaching and mentoring


Mentoring is a form of one-to-one support where a more experienced colleague uses their knowledge, skills and connections to help someone with their current and future challenges.  It has been shown to have a positive effect on individuals’ career success and organisational return on investment.

A mentor is often described as a “critical friend” or “supportive challenger,” because they have a role in helping people become more self-aware and to take responsibility for solving their own problems. However, mentors are distinct from most coaches in that they have often walked the same path before, and use their own experience to support the mentee. They may be able to help with general professional and career advice, or may have particular expertise that is relevant to the mentee’s situation. For example, they may be very successful at engaging industry in research, or at managing people, while the mentee is only starting to develop in those areas.

Although the University does not have a formal mentoring system for all staff, academic staff are allocated a mentor as part of their probation support.

All staff in the Education and Research job family can request a mentor through their departmental mentoring coordinator

Members of staff are free to seek their own mentors, and it is expected that where appropriate and where workloads permit, experienced staff should be prepared to support colleagues in this way.  If you are having difficulty identifying a potential mentor or do not feel able to approach one, you should seek help from your manager or more senior managers in your department.

Read our general guidelines for mentors and mentees


A coach, on the other hand, need know nothing about the work you do or your workplace. Coaching is 'Unlocking a person’s potential to maximise their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them.' 

Coaching is focused guidance and support, usually delivered by a trained internal or external coach over a fixed timescale, with the intention of helping a person with a particular challenge or transition. Coaches work with their coachees, on a 1-1, confidential and voluntary basis, to help them address specific work-related challenges around people or projects, or issues relating to career development. They do not fix the coachee's problems but use advanced skills of listening, questioning, feedback and reflection to create highly effective conversations with a range of techniques and diagnostic tools at their disposal.

If this is for you, now go to the Coaching Service and how to access a Coach.

Support in difficult situations

  • Information on support in 'Difficult Situations'
  • The 'Counselling Service' for staff.
  • The University also has a 'Mediation Service'. Mediation is an informal, structured process in which an independent, impartial, third party (a mediator), helps people in a disagreement to create for themselves a way forward in a dispute or other conflict situation.