BAC Mentor Scheme

The BAC Mentor Scheme is a professional development scheme designed to match mentees to experienced business archivist mentors. The scheme is open to those working in business archives and looking to develop their skills and network. Our mentors work for business archives of all shapes and sizes. The list of prospective mentors can be found here. 

For more information or to be put into contact with a mentor please email


It's an ideal approach if you want to:

  • Work within a collaborative long-term learning partnership.
  • Work with an experienced person, who shares their skills, knowledge, thinking and ideas.
  • Gain access to networking relationships across the sector.
  • Learn by asking questions, experimenting and trying out new approaches.
  • Model others and learn from their success.
  • Seek a sounding board for difficult decisions.
  • Gain an independent view to put things into perspective.
  • Work with someone to encourage you when things are not going well.
  • Find someone to act as a role model for some of the personal goals you want to achieve.
  • Work with someone to help in understanding how the sector works and support you in building networks.


Unlike coaching, mentoring is all about sharing and learning from each other. It is the combination of personalities and experiences which makes each mentoring relationship so unique; the creation of a space in which both people can develop and grow. The best and most effective relationships are based on mutual curiosity and a desire to explore and experiment.

At its best a mentoring relationship provides the mentee with the opportunity to:

  • Work with a more experienced archivist, who generously shares their wisdom, knowledge and skills.
  • Identify and achieve long-term goals.
  • Ask questions, experiment and try out new ways of thinking and working.  To take risks in a safe environment.
  • Develop a wider perspective and valuable insights into the sector.
  • Meet and work with a wider network of experts and individuals from both inside and outside the sector.
  • Build a confidential working partnership to share ideas, approaches and successes
  • Develop their career


Mentoring is a medium to long term relationship. The mentee should take responsibility for the sessions, which should be planned, with clear goals and objectives. Make it easy for your mentor and you to use the time well, by possibly providing the mentor with a short agenda, making any specific considerations and expectations known in advance - be considerate of the mentor's time, prepare well with examples and the information you need to explain your issue.

The mentee can expect the mentor to:

  • Provide a confidential sanctuary to the mentee - a safe place where the mentee feels able to share their agenda, interests and goals.
  • Offer empathy and interest and a willingness to understand.
  • Share experience, success stories, knowledge and creative solutions.
  • Offer wisdom and insights that the mentee finds valuable, relevant and rewarding.
  • Be a support by listening, asking appropriate questions and drawing out solutions that might work for the mentee.
  • Offer stimulation by provoking thought.
  • Offer constructive challenge and stretch to the mentee.


You would benefit from demonstrating the following -

  • Be clear of your outcomes and know what you want to achieve from the relationship.
  • Be enthusiastic and interested.
  • Respect the mentor for their experience and who they are - reserve your judgments!
  • Listen carefully and make good use of note taking.
  • Demonstrate integrity and openness: be honest with yourself as well as your mentor.
  • Use your full range of questioning skills to get greater understanding and detail.
  • Be prepared to go beyond your comfort zone - explore and probe.
  • Give yourself reflection time between meetings - what have you learned?
  • Seek feedback and accept criticism - it is all helpful!

The best mentees take responsibility for the relationship -

  • Make the first contact and manage the diary and meeting times.
  • Be considerate of the mentor's time and be well planned - you may want to consider frequency of meetings (one a quarter, bi-monthly) and duration (generally 60 - 90 mins).
  • Provide the mentor with a short agenda prior to the meeting and ask for any specific considerations and expectations.
  • Prepare well - examples and information you need to explain your issue.
  • Contract for confidentiality and feedback - share what you are getting from the relationship and ask the same of the mentor.
  • Agree a "get out clause" - if it's not working for either party - be honest!
  • The best mentees become mentors for others - consider how you might provide this.
  • Do your best to maintain a personal log/notes of how you are feeling and what action you are taking and if appropriate, share the contents with your mentor.