techUK is supporting the NHS Digital Academy to find suitable mentors from industry to mentor individuals from the second cohort of the NHS Digital Academy. This is a great opportunity for techUK members to share their knowledge and experience with the next generation of digital leaders in health and social care.
techUK partnership with the NHS Digital Academy
techUK has signed a partnership agreement with the NHS Digital Academy in 2019 to build trust and foster positive relationships between industry and the Academy cohort by creating a common understanding of shared goals and priorities. techUK and the Academy are now working together on the goal of a digital ready workforce and the partnership aims to help propel the digital transformation of health and social care in the UK. In its first year, the partnership saw forty Digital Academy students from Cohort 1 mentored by techUK members and was well received by mentors and mentees alike. As the composition of the cohorts changes, we are seeking to continuously improve the mentoring process so it better reflects the needs of the students.
The need for mentors from industry
The second cohort of the NHS Digital Academy is well over half way and things are going very well. Over the last few months the Academy has identified a gap in some participants’ capability and/or confidence which they believe could be supported by an appropriate mentor. Additionally, a number of participants have actively approached the Academy asking if they can arrange a mentor. As such, the Academy is in the process of continuing the mentoring scheme for 2020 and is looking for mentors from industry.
Despite current participants coming to the end of the programme, we envisage the mentoring relationship sustaining their development and growth as a digital leader well beyond the end of the programme in April. The mentoring programme will be introduced during the residential at the start of Feb 2020. After the residential, mentors may expect to be contacted by prospective mentees.
We would like to stress that this is not to be seen as a sales opportunity for industry, but rather an opportunity to build relationships and trust between the NHS and industry. Mentoring provides the mentee with an opportunity to think about difficult work issues from different perspectives. A mentor should help the mentee to believe in themselves and boost their confidence. A mentor should ask questions and challenge, while providing guidance and encouragement. As well as helping the mentee develop and advance their career, the mentor can build on their own skills and gain new understanding from the partnership.
The mentoring scheme proposed by the Academy will be light-touch, participant-driven and self-managed. There is no compulsion for all of the participants to have a mentor but this will be encouraged.
How to sign up as a mentor
As a valued Industry Partner who may or may not have been involved to date, we ask you to consider identifying up to three senior executives from your organisation who have mentoring skills and are able to encourage different thinking about the digital challenges that participants face. See the addendum for more information about the NHS Digital Academy and mentoring in general so that you can identify the most appropriate people/person.
If you are willing to participate, I would be grateful if you could send through the following information by listing each of the people/person that you have identified, adding up to two sentences on the key skills that participants can expect from the person identified. This will allow participants to make an initial contact with a potential mentor in the knowledge that they will know something (definitely not everything) about the mentor in advance. Please send to Ellie Huckle: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Skills: Up to two sentences on the key skills that participants can expect from the mentor
Thank you in advance for your support.
About the NHS Digital Academy
In order to understand more about the programme, which is accredited at a Post Graduate Diploma level (Digital Health Leadership) by Imperial College London, please see this short summary.
The NHS Digital Academy Mentoring Programme: Guidance for Participants
What is Mentoring?
"Mentoring is to support and encourage people to manage their own learning in order that they may maximise their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be." Eric Parsloe, The Oxford School of Coaching & Mentoring
It is a partnership between two people (mentor and mentee) normally working in a similar field or sharing similar experiences. It is a helpful relationship based upon mutual trust and respect.
A mentor is a guide who can help the mentee to find the right direction and who can assist them to develop solutions to work issues. Mentors rely upon having had similar experiences to gain an empathy with the mentee and an understanding of their issues. Mentoring provides the mentee with an opportunity to think about difficult work issues from different perspectives.
A mentor should help the mentee to believe in themselves and boost their confidence. A mentor should ask questions and challenge, while providing guidance and encouragement. Mentoring allows the mentee to explore new ideas in confidence. It is a chance to look more closely at themselves, their issues, opportunities and what they want in life.
As well as helping the mentee develop and advance their career, the mentor can build skills and gain new understanding from the partnership.