Training and Development
Assigning a Mentor to a Fellow is vital to their overall experience during the fellowship. Agencies may have their own policies and procedures for assigning a Mentor to a Fellow, but must keep the following in mind:
- Agencies must execute a written Pathways Participant Agreement with each Fellow that includes mentorship opportunities (5 CFR 362.106),
- Within 90 days of a Fellow’s appointment, the agency must assign the Fellow a Mentor (5 CFR 362.405(b)(3)),
- The Mentor must be a managerial employee outside the Fellow’s chain of command, within their agency (5 CFR 362.405(b)(3)),
- Each Fellow must have an IDP (Individual Development Plan) which must be developed in consultation with the Agency PMF Coordinator and/or the Mentor assigned to the Fellow (5 CFR 362.405(a)), and
- During the Fellow’s certification process, the ERB (Executive Resources Board), or equivalent, may consult the Fellow’s Mentor in reaching its determination (5 CFR 362.405(d)(1)).
OPM’s Pathways Programs Handbook provides the following references to Mentors in the PMF Program: (1) the agency’s Pathways Programs Officers and Agency PMF Coordinators are responsible for ensuring their Fellows are assigned a Mentor, (2) the Pathways Participant Agreement emphasizes the assignment of a Mentor within 90 days of a Fellow’s appointment, (3) the purpose and role of Mentors, and (4) Mentors for Fellows must be current managerial employees inside of the participant’s agency.
The PMF Program Office has created an optional OPM Form 1308, PMF Mentoring Agreement, that agencies and participants may use. The Form is posted under the Agencies\Resources and Current PMFs\Resources webpages. This Form is optional, and agencies may have alternative forms and\or specific policies and procedures in regard to the assignment of Mentors and any agreement.
Additional information on the role and responsibilities for Mentors can be found under the Agencies\Agency Responsibilities\Mentor webpage.
A formal mentoring process affords Fellows with professional development and guidance, and capitalizes on the experiences of seasoned employees who are committed to developing a highly skilled and high-performing workforce. The Mentor supports the Fellow’s developmental growth during the fellowship, motivates the Fellow to achieve their goals while aligning individual aspirations to the organizational mission, and serves as a sounding board and trusted ally. while offering open and constructive feedback. A Mentor listens and offers guidance and constructive feedback to enable a positive professional experience.