The website of the Belgian Federal Police describes the role Mentors play in their strategy of on-the-job internal training. Mentoring has a certain advantage in that it is based on what already exists and is available, and perfectly structures the transition between the theoretical (in the case of businesses, the work stipulated) and the practical (the work that is really carried out).
“The Mentor role is part of our new strategy of internal training : the participants include all members of the teaching profession who have been given the task of carrying out a theoretical or practical teaching assignment in the police academy, as well as members of the police service staff involved in the mentoring of trainees.
“The Mentor is a member of the police staff with professional experience who is willing and motivated to commit themselves constructively to the support of a trainee within the police service. Their essential qualities are therefore a preference for on-the-job training and a desire to teach their job to a future agent, inspector, chief inspector or officer.
“Indeed, one of the major challenges involved in introducing the police reform is achieving symbiosis within a unit between the teaching provided by the police academy and the learning of the tasks required in the police service.
“Training an aspiring member of the police staff on the job should therefore allow them to learn and quickly integrate know-how, but also develop social skills and self-fulfilment ; the idea is that theory and practice are combined and complement each other so that the new member of staff is successfully integrated.
“This is why the material, organisational and logistical context of the unit into which the Mentee is being integrated are crucial aspects of their on-the-job training – but equally important is the training of the Mentors and the promotion of their role.
“With this in mind, we offer a training course in “becoming a Mentor”. Upon completing the course the participants receive a diploma – one of the eligibility criteria that must be fulfilled in order to be appointed a Mentor. Firstly this training course is open to all serving members of the police staff. For those who have already been a Mentor or who are currently Mentors, this course will allow them to reconsider their work in the context of internal training. For those who are not yet Mentors, we hope that they will apply for this rewarding role (the registration form is included in the training advertisement).
“Secondly, the course is aimed at Chiefs of Police who will turn the Mentor role to good account in the training of the Mentee they will support within the unit.”