Organisation: Care Quality CommissionThe Care Quality Commission logo

Scope: UK

Focus: Mentoring

Sector: Public

Background: The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is an organisation set up by the UK Government to monitor the quality of care provided in hospitals, care homes and other institutions looking after vulnerable people. It has more than 2,000 employees, some at its headquarters in London, but many of them based at home across the country. They carry out inspections against clear quality standards and make recommendations for improvements as needed. The inspectors may take action, including forced closure, to ensure that institutions meet the required standards of care.

Many of the CQC’s staff are from black and minority ethnic (BME) groups. The primary purpose of the mentoring programme is to encourage career progression amongst these employees and also amongst employees, who are potentially disadvantaged by disability.

Project description: CMI’s proposal to the CQC, as part of an open tender competition, involved the following key steps:
We supported the CIPD from scoping of their programme through to matching, briefing mentors and mentees, supporting them throughout their mentoring relationship, and with evaluation of the programme.

    • Establish and work with a steering committee composed of a wide spectrum of stakeholders, including representatives of the BME, disabled and gay and lesbian communities
    • Identify the potential drivers and barriers to success of the programme, through interviews and focus groups
    • Support the in-house team in matching mentors and mentees in two pilot cohorts of 40 mentoring pairs each
    • Design initial and follow up training for all participants – one day initial face-to-face training for each, followed by two subsequent webinars to help participants get the most out of their relationships
    • Support mentors and mentees with online resources, to minimise the time spent by the internal programme management team on troubleshooting. Additionally, mentors were encouraged to form buddying pairs for mutual support
    • Transfer to the in-house training team the capacity to bring both programme management and training in-house
    • Assist in measuring the impact at both programme and relationship levels
    • Facilitate the formal closure of the two pilot cadres in a celebratory event
    • Advise on continuous improvement for the programme


Organisation: Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development

Scope: UK

Focus: Mentoring

Sector: Professional Services

Background: The Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) is the representative body for the HR and training profession in the UK. It has 140,000 members in the UK and across the world. CMI has supported the CIPD in recent years with two programmes: one for new entrants to the HR profession, either taking or having recently taken their professional qualification; and one for aspiring HR directors.

Project description: The career development mentoring programme, delivered with Coach Mentoring,(our CMI UK partner) aims to support CIPD members in: gaining their first role in HR; making a transition in their next role to another area of HR; or gaining a promotion in an HR role.

We supported the CIPD from scoping of their programme through to matching, briefing mentors and mentees, supporting them throughout their mentoring relationship, and with evaluation of the programme.

Feedback from the pilot was that all mentors would take part again as well as most of the mentees, and everyone would recommend the programme to their colleagues. There was also much useful data, which influenced the roll out of further mentoring within the CIPD Careers Service. This virtual programme is rolled out on an annual basis with over 90 mentoring pairs in 2017.  For more information click here

The aspiring directors programme had been a recommendation from CMI over several years. The transition from senior HR practitioner to HR director is complex and demanding. It is very difficult for someone, who has been managing a department within HR to prepare for a role that requires them to adopt a more strategic role as one of the leadership team. The pilot for the programme involved a marketing campaign, to recruit both mentors (highly experienced current HR directors) and mentees (senior professionals nominated by their own HR director as having the intention and ability to move into an HR director role within two years). Participants were matched from different sectors, to provide a breadth of learning.

Both mentors and mentees attended initial training, plus a follow up event to consolidate learning. We also provided webinar-based group supervision and access to other resources. In designing the programme, we took account of the special nature of mentoring potential directors – mentors were encouraged to reflect upon and share their thoughts around what was or would have been most helpful to them, in making this transition. Issues of especial importance were developing the mindset of a director and learning how to let go of operational responsibilities. Feedback from participants was that the programme had been both valuable and enjoyable for both mentors and mentees.

Organisation: Cherie Blair Foundation for Women

Scope: International

Focus: Mentoring

Sector: Voluntary

Background: The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women supports women entrepreneurs in developing and emerging economies to access the skills, technology, networks and financial services they need to become successful business owners. Its Mentoring Women in Business Programme is one of the Foundation’s core programmes, combining mentoring with technology to offer cross-border support to women entrepreneurs by matching them with experienced mentors from around the world. Since its pilot in 2010, the Mentoring Programme has supported over 2,500 women entrepreneurs in 100+ developing and emerging economies. Over the course of one year, these women work online with a dedicated mentor using communication tools like Skype or Google Hangouts. They spend two hours each month working on an action plan centred on the mentee’s business and professional development objectives, as well as the mentor’s own expertise and learning objectives. As a supplement to their one-on-one mentoring relationships, they also have access to an online learning and networking platform, which houses a range of trainings and resources on business, financial literacy, leadership and mentoring topics, as well as peer-to-peer learning tools. They become part of a global community of committed, ambitious entrepreneurs who share knowledge through our online platform and become invested in each other’s success. Of mentees to graduate from the programme in the Foundation’s last financial year: 96% of respondents gained confidence; 93% increased their business skills; and 99% would recommend the programme to a colleague or friend. Of mentors to graduate from the programme in the Foundation’s last financial year, 96% benefitted from the work with their mentees, including by building skills around business, leadership, communications, management and mentoring.

Project description: The core of Cherie Blair Foundation for Women’s Mentoring Programme is its personalised support model, which closely tracks each mentee and mentor in the programme and provides additional support and assistance to enable effective, impactful mentoring. This is made possible through a bespoke online platform, which runs a range of software that the team uses to match, train, track and support programme participants. It also house a range of participant-facing resources to foster learning and collaboration. From the programme’s pilot in 2010, the CMI team provided consultancy on good practice and trained the in-house team to manage a complex, multi-faceted, multi-country programme. We also provided materials for the website, for online training and to answer queries from participants. We have continued to support the programme with further materials. In 2016, we carried out a comparison and evaluation of the programme with other international and national programmes aimed at women and/or entrepreneurs. Our report confirmed its status as an exemplar of good practice for international mentoring programmes and outlined areas for further expansion and growth.


Organisation: Mencap 

Scope: UK

Focus: Mentoring

Sector: Voluntary

Background: Mencap is the UK’s leading charity working with people with a learning disability, and their families and carers. They campaign for change at every level of government – locally and nationally. And they provide a wide range of services for people of all ages – like housing, education, employment and leisure – that give people the chance to lead fulfilling, active lives with as much independence as possible. Mencap employs around 8000 people across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In 2017, they were named best endorsed provider of learning and development by Skills for Care.

Project description: The aim of the project was firstly to support talent management and succession planning at all levels and secondly to build a sustainable in-house mentoring capability. The CMI team provided initial training for mentors and mentees, as well as training for HR staff in programme management. On-line materials supported mentors and mentees in their relationships and after 12 months the programme was taken in-house.

The initial programme involved approximately 100 pairs, with some of the mentees being people with learning disability – a visible indication of a belief that talent and aspirations to grow can be found at any level in the organisation. Measurements at the end of the first cohort indicated significant impacts on mentees’ self-confidence and sense of career direction.

Now part of a wider talent programme called “You’ve got talent”, the programme has evolved year on year with measurement of what works well and less well. In 2016, 50% of mentees achieved a promotion, many into management roles, with other mentees making horizontal moves to enhance their careers – for example, from client support work to working on campaigns. Among benefits observed from mentoring as it has become increasingly embedded in the organisation are:

      • Greater understanding and appreciation by participants of other parts of Mencap
      • Increased listening skills – now an important part of the charity’s approach to leadership
      • Developmental conversations happen more naturally throughout the organisation as people have confidence to engage in them – in particular, it has been easier to redesign the appraisal process to be more of a conversation. The mentoring conversations, too, have evolved with practice and familiarity, becoming more natural and relaxed than at first.
      • Easier introduction of other developmental support, such as action learning sets

Mencap’s Learning and Development Team place great importance on early transference of the competence to run mentoring programmes and to train and support participants. Because the programme was owned by the in-house team, it could be adapted and continuously updated in line with the evolving culture and changing operating environment.


Organisation: National Health Service, National Leadership Academy

Scope: UK

Focus: Maternity Mentoring

Sector: Health

Background: The National Health Service is the UK’s largest employer, with over 1,600,000 staff. The National Leadership Academy is the NHS’ centre of excellence for leadership development. It is supported by local Leadership Academies in each of the NHS regions.

Project description: Return to Work Mentoring Programme

Transitioning back into a complex and changeable system after an extended period of leave can be a difficult and lonely journey for leaders.  Some of the challenges faced can include:

      • Understanding what needs to be considered when preparing to take leave such as handover and succession planning
      • How to stay connected with the organisation while on leave
      • Planning for transitioning back into the workplace after time off
      • Recalibrating one’s identity in the run up to, during and after a significant life change
      • Coping with and managing change
      • Getting a balance between personal and work life
      • Developing and maintaining resilience when facing career and personal pressures
      • Reconnecting and developing new networks

This is why the NHS Leadership Academy offer NHS leaders at all levels an inclusive mentoring support package in order to:

      • Stabilise productivity and efficiency of the individual and team during the early months of returning back into the workplace
      • Foster a culture of inclusion where the uniqueness and diversity of our workforce is valued along with the new skills and learning an individual brings back into the workplace
      • Provide an environment where leaders feel well supported and the knock on impact this will have on the patient experience and quality of care
      • Reduced sickness absence and Occupational Health referrals thanks to a smoother, better supported transition
      • Greater likelihood of retaining diversity and talent within the organisation

There are two opportunities being offered:

      • Train as a Return to Work Mentor
      • Access the programme as a Return to Work Mentee

Both mentor and mentee receive expert, in-depth training on the specifics of the programme before then embarking on the mentoring relationship. Mentors receive ongoing supervision and CPD and the entire programme is delivered through a virtual platform which makes this programme unique, accessible and inclusive.



Organisation: Twinings

Scope: International

Focus: Mentoring

Sector: FMCG

Background: Twinings has been a major tea business since 1706 and is now an international brand with more than 200 teas sold in over 100 countries throughout the world with a growing portfolio of beverage brands, including Twinings, Jacksons of Piccadilly, La Tisanière, Nambarrie, Ovaltine, Ovomaltine, Caotina, Jarrah and Options.

Project Description: We’ve come a long way from our humble origins 300 years ago, but if there’s one thing that hasn’t changed it’s the Twinings’ entrepreneurial spirit and belief that it is people that give us our competitive edge. The Mentoring Programme was launched in 2012 with a clear purpose to help strengthen our key talent, giving them every opportunity to develop their careers within Twinings, and gain from the significant breadth of experience we hold across our business. Our mentoring programme is truly international and training took place for both mentors and mentees with a mixture of virtual media and face to face meetings. Since 2012 nearly 150 people have had the opportunity of being mentored in our business increasing our cross organisation communication and expanding their professional network. The benefits have not only been enjoyed by our mentees, our mentors have developed a wider perspective on their organisation and work and a sense of satisfaction in helping others develop.


United Nations Climate Change

Scope: Ghana

Focus: Mentoring

Sector: Non-Governmental Organisation

Background: United Nations Environment operates internationally to educate and support action in areas of conservation, including climate change. A particular issue for its Climate Change operations in Ghana was educating officials in local government, education and other spheres of influence relevant to managing climate change – frequent changes of personnel meant that UN staff were involved in constant re-education. Mentoring was seen as one opportunity to address this issue.

Project Description: CMI’s role included:

  • Initial scoping of the mentoring programme and comparison with international standards
  • Programme manager workshop
  • Mentor and mentee training
  • Ongoing support


Organisation: Youth Business International 

Scope: UK

Focus: Mentoring

Sector: Voluntary Sector

Background: Youth Business International is a global network of organisations dedicated to helping young, aspiring entrepreneurs to start, grow and scale their businesses with the potential to create employment. It operates through local partners who are independent non-profit initiatives (‘members’) in 48 countries. YBI has been a long-standing advocate of the value of mentoring for young entrepreneurs and its place in supporting them to grow their businesses and mentoring is key element in the many programmes it supports. Its community of mentoring practitioners is sector-leading and the YBI network currently encompasses over 14,000 volunteer business mentors who inspire and empower the young entrepreneurs with the support they need to reach their potential.

Project description: CMI has supported Youth Business International (YBI) over several years, helping in the design of the mentoring programme methodology and its supporting materials; and at its annual masterclass which brings together programme manager from around the world and supports them to learn from each other, further develop their programmes and explore international good practice. Professor Clutterbuck is also a Special Advisor to the longitudinal research project looking at the Impact of Volunteer Business Mentoring on Young Entrepreneurs, with the final report to be released in March 2018.


Organisation: A global natural beauty retailer, trading in over 66 markets

Scope: International

Focus: Mentoring

Sector: Cosmetics/ retail

Background: Our client is a global retailer of cosmetic products with a strong reputation for social responsibility. It pioneered environmentally sustainable, animal-friendly cosmetic production.

Project description: Our client wanted to introduce a mentoring programme to grow the capacity for learning in the organisation. It was also an important way of increasing the skill and confidence of senior leaders to hold a coaching style dialogue. CMI assisted with project design, matching, training of mentors and mentees, briefings for mentees’ line managers and the provision of reference materials on line. We also assisted with mid-term reviews to ensure relationships were working and could be re-energised as needed. The programme was featured in Coaching at Work magazine as a best practice.


Organisation: FTSE 100 company

Scope: International

Focus: Mentoring

Sector: Food and ingredients

Background: Our client is an international FTSE 100 company with a wide portfolio of brands, products and services.

Project description: Our client commissioned advisory support to set up a Two-way Mentoring Programme as part of their focus upon Gender Diversity. Lis Merrick who heads up our UK CMI partner, Coach Mentoring, has been responsible for conducting individual and group Mentor supervision sessions, and providing on-going guidance on the matching and training processes, as well as maintaining the engagement of all that are involved.


Organisation: National subsidiary of a global FMCG 

Scope: Poland

Focus: Mentoring

Sector: Confectionary

Background: This global organisation has developed over the decades a strong capability in leadership, talent development strategy and succession planning. It had had some mentoring present for a long while, but wanted to ensure it to have greater impact.

Project Description: The aim of the programme was to improve the capabilities of experienced mentors (Director Level) and mentees (Senior Managers) so they could derive even greater value from their mentoring relationships – as they defined it “moving from good to excellent”. The project was planned to last a year.

Context: “mentoring” in one way or another had been taking place for over two years in this organisation (using David Clutterbuck materials/manuals) but no training had been provided. We were, therefore, engaging with an already existing system and processes which, firstly, we did not know and, secondly, which functioned reasonably well, with some degree of networking, energy (both negative and positive) and some learning needs being met but some not.

Process: We designed a focus group with mentees and mentors and used Appreciative Inquiry to define the existing mentoring expertise levels as well as assess participants’ motivation to actively attend the programme. Following this, we provided mentors and mentees with training, providing masterclasses for both groups separately after the first 2/3 mentoring meetings (about 4 and 6 months into the programme) and an end of programme review. We also created a bespoke Mentoring Guide, pitched to the existing level of expertise and the level participants wanted to reach. The review demonstrated significant improvements in mentoring capability for mentors and mentees.

Outcomes: The company reported that the intervention has:

  • co-created “movement” of energy, ideas and a commitment to organisational change which made sense to Senior Managers
  • enabled articulation of how they want to lead mentoring in their organization and what they want to change
  • helped the Directors to define the role they wanted to play in this change process
  • clarified the purpose and outcomes of the scheme; the role of mentors and mentees; shaping the process
  • generated knowledge which re-shaped the project, served as the foundation for change overall and as a platform for evaluation
  • improved mentoring capability in the organisation.