Mentoring Programmes for Professional Associations

By Jan Murray
Professional Associations mentoring programmes

Last updated

Continued growth and retention of memberships is a necessity for any successful professional association. Yet a decline in membership is highlighting to associations that they must do something different to attract and retain industry professionals.

Return on Investment

Professionals joining membership associations are looking for a return on their investment and need to see that they are getting value for money and tangible benefits. This also applies to existing members when considering whether to renew their membership.

Mentoring programs are a tangible member benefit that can contribute to members' continual professional development and career progression. The availability of a mentoring program to 'members only' can be designated as one of the advantages of professional association membership.

The age profile of a membership changes over time and with it the needs of the membership. It is therefore key that these needs form part of the membership value proposition.

The needs of younger members include:

  • Networking with other professionals in their industry
  • Acquiring new skills and knowledge to ensure professional development

A mentoring program provides a cost-efficient and engaging tool that allows members to gain knowledge, skills and expand their network. In fact, statistics demonstrate how important mentoring is considered to be, with 79% of millennials believing that mentoring is critical to their career success.

Mentors also benefit by being able to demonstrate their commitment to the profession, learn from their relationship with their mentee, and develop their mentoring and communication skills.

But members aren't the only ones that will benefit from a mentoring program, the professional association will also see benefits.

Recruiting New Members For Associations

Providing a mentoring program is very valuable in helping to attract new members to an association. Mentoring gives members the opportunity for the important continued professional development that they are looking for.

Providing a mentoring program will show potential members that an association offers and enables continued learning. Mentoring facilitates knowledge sharing association-wide, allowing members to learn from each other.

Improve An Association's Member Retention

Member retention can be improved with a mentoring program. By providing a mentoring program, a professional association will add value in the form of a tangible benefit that can have a real impact on the members' career development and effectively increase the number of members that renew with the association each year.

"The platform provides a cost-effective external one-stop shop web-based platform to assist with career development, guidance, and support as well as mentoring for our members and affiliates. It manages itself so enables optimum outputs with our limited resources as a Not-for-Profit organisation and is a promotional tool used to demonstrate our value proposition."
Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT)

Increase Member Engagement Within An Association

Increased member engagement can be achieved because mentoring fosters a sense of community within the association and gets members to participate regularly.

Enable Knowledge Sharing Across The Mentoring Programme

A mentoring program helps associations to create a community where members can come to network and share knowledge.

Successful mentoring relationships facilitate knowledge sharing across the association, allowing members to learn from each other. It helps to bridge the gap between different generations of members, with all generations learning from each other.

Mentoring programs also facilitate the transfer of professional values.

Support Continuing Professional Development

Professional associations are increasingly turning towards forms of measurement of continuing professional development as a requirement for attaining and retaining enhanced membership status.

Professional associations with a desire to engage members in a full range of continuing professional development options should now see mentoring as not only being desirable, but as something they can provide through formally structured and facilitated programs.

Mentoring Case Study: Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT)

One of the professional associations that have successfully leveraged our mentoring program is the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT). CIAT is the qualifying body for architectural technology, with a diverse membership base not only in the United Kingdom but also internationally, including overseas centres such as Hong Kong and the Republic of Ireland.

How Mentoring Has Helped This Association

Now in its 8th year, the program has successfully fostered hundreds of mentoring relationships, demonstrating the long-term value and impact of such initiatives. CIAT's experience with our platform underscores its cost-effectiveness and self-managing nature, making it a valuable tool for Not-for-Profit organisations with limited resources.

Recognising the need for career growth and development support for their approximately 9,500 members and affiliates, CIAT partnered with us to implement a mentoring program. The aim was to match those seeking career mentorship with suitable mentors, providing a comprehensive learning and development toolkit built upon the twin foundations of mentoring and e-learning.

Developing A Mentoring Programme Tailored To An Association's Needs

CIAT was one of our early clients, and over time, the platform has evolved with many new features and resources being added, including a new meetings tool, video chats, and numerous training videos and resources. This evolution has created a more robust and dynamic mentoring journey for CIAT's members.

In the words of our client:

"The platform provides a cost-effective external one-stop shop web-based platform to assist with career development, guidance, and support as well as mentoring for our members and affiliates. It manages itself so enables optimum outputs with our limited resources as a Not-for-Profit organisation and is a promotional tool used to demonstrate our value proposition."

As you can see, mentoring can provide as a powerful and transformative role within an association, fostering professional growth among members, amplifying member engagement, and acting as a compelling value proposition for professional associations.

Leverage PLD's Mentoring Software For Your Association

At PLD we have worked with many professional associations to develop mentoring programs that have helped to recruit, retain and engage members, including, The Law Society of Scotland, The Security Institute, Chartered Institute of Marketing, Chartered Management Institute, Chartered Quality Institute, National Association of Head Teachers, Institution of Civil Engineers, Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, The Association of British Dispensing Opticians, The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and many more.

If you would like to find out more why not simply request a free, no obligation demonstration to discuss your Association's needs.

Find out if mentoring software is right for your company.

Take Our 3 Minute Quiz

It might be the best 3 minute investment you'll make all year!

And, if you already know mentoring software is right for you, then   Book a Demo

cartoon person pointing left at the text