The aim of the CommunAbility e-Mentorship Program Code of Conduct (“Code”) is to develop and maintain a standard of conduct and behaviour that is expected of individuals participating in the CommunAbility e-Mentorship Program as mentors and mentees.
As a participating mentor or mentee in the CommunAbility e-Mentorship Program, you agree to abide by this Code. You agree that if you violate this Code, PSDNet may suspend or terminate your participation in the CommunAbility e-Mentorship Program as a mentor or mentee.
Both mentors and mentees must be aware that their behaviour has the potential to negatively affect the mentoring relationship.
Mentors must maintain the name of those being mentored confidential, unless a mentee has given explicit consent to disclose their name to specific others.
Both the mentor and mentee have great responsibility to maintain and respect the confidentiality of all the information shared during the mentoring relationship including, information communicated through the online chat on the CommunAbility website. The mentor and mentee agree to treat all information shared during the mentoring relationship as sensitive personal information, that shall not be disclosed to any third party, with the following exception: if a mentor or mentee violates this Code, a mentor or mentee agree to report the code violation to the program administrator.
Mentors and mentees shall be available for a minimum of 30 minutes every two weeks to communicate with their match. To maintain boundaries and support confidentiality,the CommunAbility e-Mentorship program strongly recommends that mentor-mentee pairs only use the chat feature provided through the program platform to communicate. The chat feature is password protected and only accessible to the mentor-mentee pair.
Mentors agree to reserve time in their schedule to participate in the mentorship and provide their availability in advance to mentees using the availability schedule on the program platform.
If the mentor or mentee will be temporarily unavailable for a short period of time (e.g. traveling for work or studying for exam periods), they should notify their mentee/mentor in advance.
In their communications with each other, mentor-mentee pairs shall not use offensive language, and transmit offensive images. Offensive language includes, but is not limited to: (a) profanity or verbal abuse directed towards each other, (b) sexually suggestive comments directed towards each other, and; (c) derogatory remarks directed towards any individual or group of individuals based on religion, race, color, ethnicity, country of origin, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or sexual identity. Offensive images include but are not limited to: (a) images that are sexually suggestive, lewd, or pornographic and; (b) images that include offensive language, as described above. Communications refers to the exchanging of information via any media; for example, in-person, phone, mail, photographs, voice-mail, audio conferencing, video conferencing, audio recordings, video recordings, e-mail, electronic text messaging, computer files supplied on physical media, and computer files transferred electronically.
To support appropriateness in communication, the CommunAbility e-Mentorship program strongly recommends that mentor-mentee pairs only communicate using the secure chat feature provided through the program platform.
The specific personal issues and the degree of personal detail that are appropriate for discussion will depend strongly on the specific mentee, the specific mentor, and the specific circumstances. While the CommunAbility e-Mentorship program provides suggested activities and discussion topics to support the mentoring experience of mentor-mentee pairs, the program does not provide a compressive list of appropriate and inappropriate topics. The program also does not provide guidance on the level of personal details that should be shared.
Each mentor-mentee pair must collaborate to negotiate and agree on the topics they are comfortable discussing and the degree of personal details they are comfortable sharing.
Mentors need to be conscious of their own levels of mentoring competence and experience and to never overstate them. An appropriate approach for mentors to foster this consciousness might be to engage in reflective practice using a journal or similar approach.
When the mentoring conversation appears to stray away from mentoring (forward-looking, solution- focused) towards counselling (typically talk is firmly rooted in problems in the past), an appropriate approach would be for the mentor to suggest that further conversation of that particular topic happen with those competent to assist such as, the Counselling Services available at the mentee’s institution.
If a mentee or mentor expresses unwillingness, reluctance, or discomfort in discussing any topic that is raised, their mentor or mentee shall promptly stop pursuing that topic. When topics that may be of a sensitive nature arise in conversation or are identified by a match, the mentor or mentee should approach such topics cautiously and ask the match whether they wish to pursue the topic. If the match expresses unwillingness, reluctance, or discomfort in discussing a specific topic, the mentor or mentee shall promptly cease pursuing that specific topic.
Those working in a mentoring relationship may develop friendships over time. However, it is important for mentor-mentee pairs to have a clear mentoring relationship. Mentors and mentees must stay mindful of maintaining confidentiality, objectivity, and equal partnership.
Mentors and mentees must not allow personal bias to influence professional actions.
Mentors and mentees shall not pursue a romantic or sexual relationship with each other.
The CommunAbility e-Mentorship Program is designed as an online service, providing the tools necessary to engage in meaningful relationship using online and social media tools. There is no requirement or expectation that mentor-mentee pairs meet in person.
Mentors and mentees shall not insist that their match meet the in person.
The role of a mentor within the CommunAbility e-Mentorship Program centers on providing guidance and support for the academic and professional development of the mentee. A mentor shall not provide medical, mental-health, or legal advice to a mentee. Medical, mental-health, or legal advice should be provided by a qualified professional. Even if the mentor is coincidentally a qualified professional (for example, if the mentor is a physician, psychologist, or attorney), the mentor shall not provide medical, mental-health, or legal advice to the mentee. The mentor should advise the mentee to seek the assistance of another qualified professional.
A mentee shall not seek medical, mental-health, or legal advice from a mentor. Even if the mentor is coincidentally a qualified professional (for example, if the Mentor is a physician, psychologist, or attorney), the mentee shall not ask the mentor for medical, mental-health, or legal advice. The mentee should seek the assistance of another qualified professional. The role of a mentor within the CommunAbility e-Mentorship Program focuses on providing guidance and support for the academic and professional development of the mentee.
Mentees shall not ask their mentors for money. A mentor should avoid giving their mentee money.
Mentees should not expect that a mentor will find or help them find employment. For some mentor-mentee pairs, it is likely that career and employment may be a focus of discussion. It is appropriate for mentees to ask mentors to assist them brainstorm job search strategies, provide guidance related resume and cover letter writing, and provide advice about interviewing. However, it is not appropriate for a mentee to expect or ask their mentor to find them employment, act as a job placement service, or to circulate the mentee’s resume.
It is possible that a mentor may volunteer to distribute a resume and make job inquiries on the behalf of their mentee; however, such assistance is at the sole discretion of the mentor and the mentee shall not expect or demand the mentor perform these actions as a requirement of the mentorship relationship.
Mentors and mentees shall promptly report to the program staff any observations or knowledge of a participant of the CommunAbility e-Mentorship Program behaving in a manner that violates this Code.