In order to comply with the requirements for the qualification each learner must be assigned to a workplace mentor. Mentors have a very specific task in providing learners with supervision, guidance and support in the workplace. A mentor can be described as someone who gives guidance and example to learners and must ensure that learners undertake their practical work in a supportive working environment.
Workplace training plays a major role in the South African Post School System and for this reason CEFA uses behavioural methods to assist learners to practice good behaviour in a real fashion in the workplace. Community Development (CommDev) programme (NQF Level 5) requires 60% workplace training and learning is stimulated through experience, skills transferred and attitude influenced. On-the-job training is seen as a combination of many methods and is effective at developing knowledge, skills, and attitudes.
Mentoring focuses on providing learners with guidance and a clear understanding of how the workplace goes about its business. Mentoring is concerned with improving the learner's capability fit within the workplace and ability to integrate theory into practice.
- Mentors need to display a positive attitude towards the learner as well as the mentoring process. They need to be willing to guide, educate and support the learners.
- A mentor must be mindful of the learner’s problems and needs, identify these and document them. Should the learner need additional professional help the mentor may contact CEFA for guidance.
- The mentor must ensure that the learner undertakes his or her practical work in a supportive working environment.
- Mentors are trained by CEFA and must be informed and knowledgeable about the learning programme, theoretical content, relevant SETA requirements, the focus of the assignments and the role and task of learners in the workplace, as they need to be able to guide, educate and assess learners.
- Mentors are contracted as part of their Service Level Agreement (SLA) to attend work sessions on mentoring prior to the practical training, conducted by CEFA.
- Following these work sessions, mentors are expected to study the mentor’s guide at each of the work sessions, so as to develop and increase their insight and skills relating to the process of mentoring.
- Mentors are expected to study the Guide on Workplace Activities that is provided to them before commencement of the theoretical cycle.
- Mentors are granted the opportunity to evaluate each work session through verbal feedback as well as in writing (learner logbooks).
- Mentors assist learners in planning their activities related to each of the practical cycles.
- Mentors are to be based in the same location as the learner, ensuring an effective process of guidance, monitoring and evaluation.
- Learners are guided, monitored and supported throughout the process of completing their assignments (theoretical, practical and reflexive sections).
- Following the completion of each compulsory assignment, the mentor provides evaluative comments on the attached cover sheet sign and dates them.
- Mentors are required to provide written feedback on the evaluation form provided, following conclusion of the assignments and training module. The evaluation form is completed together with the learner and provides written evaluation feedback to the learner.
- The mentor uses compulsory workplace activities to guide and support the learner’s workplace training. The mentor manages and controls the written work place activities per module, signing off and dating each activity.
- Mentors and learners are required to provide written feedback after completion of each activity.
- Feedback forms need to be submitted to CEFA for filing on each learner’s PoE.
- To ensure that learners are provided with a cross-feed alternative route regarding evaluative feedback relating to their workplace training, each learner must complete an evaluation form reflecting on their experience of mentoring. This form is submitted to CEFA via the facilitator/assessor, not the mentor – thereby ensuring that any mentor difficulties encountered by the learner within the working environment are identified in time.