For the first time, this past summer we have gone beyond our industry-standard approach to quality assurance to reach out to our mentors directly to secure feedback on their experiences of our programmes, the available resources and to better understand their individual journey in order to improve our offering.
This approach forms a fundamental part of our enhanced quality assurance framework, which enables us to identify our strengths and areas to improve our quality of service in order to create better working practices.
Typically we have secured responses from our mentors during meetings and events, or through online surveys, but this summer we introduced telephone interviews with a sample group of mentors explore their experiences in greater depth than ever before.
These sessions allowed mentors from across the country and varying backgrounds to share their honest opinions of what they had enjoyed about their work with Mosaic, areas where improvements could be made, and the impact that their mentorships had on both their personal and professional lives.
Michelle O’Brien, Head of Operations at Mosaic, commented: “This marks a step change in how Mosaic has managed volunteer involvement and provides a greater level of detail that will enable us to incorporate their feedback into future programmes to ensure that our work provides lasting benefits.
“Our mentors reported that the new system was invaluable in exploring new ideas for training, support and engagement, and following their feedback we will now conduct telephone interview with sample groups on an annual basis to track our progress and meet our quality assurance standards.”
This approach is crucial to maintaining the possible highest standards, which have been recognised by an Approved Provider Standard (APS) from the Mentoring & Befriending Foundation – an independent accreditation which has been awarded to both our schools and ex-offender programmes.
The APS comprises 10 requirements across four key areas that nurture a safe and effective environment for mentoring including management and operations, service users (mentees), mentors and befrienders, and the mentoring and befriending relationship. To date over 1,000 projects nationally have been accredited, including Age UK, Action for Children and Marie Curie Foundation.