Elements & Toolkits

Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring™, Third Edition

MENTOR’s keystone publication on mentoring standards, the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring™, Third Edition, was sponsored through a generous grant from The MetLife Foundation and, as in past editions, brought together the nation’s foremost authorities on mentoring under the leadership of Dr. Jean Rhodes of the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and Dr. Janis Kupersmidt of innovation Research & Training.

This publication includes six evidence-based standards addressing mentor and mentee recruitment; screening; training; matching; monitoring and support; and closure. Each standard offers benchmarks for day-to-day operations, and they are applicable in stand-alone mentoring programs, as well as programs where mentoring is one component. Each standard also offers program enhancements, based on the experience of outstanding mentoring practitioners. Further, this resource includes a section on practical advice in building a new mentoring program or strengthening an existing one. It focuses on program design and planning; program management; and program evaluation.

Download a copy of the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring™, Third Edition and the Checklist for Mentoring Programs.

Glossary of Terms

Responsible mentoring:

  • Is a structured, one-to-one relationship or partnership that focuses on the needs of mentored participants.
  • Fosters caring and supportive relationships.
  • Encourages individuals to develop to their fullest potential.
  • Helps an individual to develop his or her own vision for the future.
  • Is a strategy to develop active community partnerships.

Types of Mentoring:

  • Responsible mentoring can take many forms: traditional mentoring (one adult to one young person); group mentoring (one adult to as many as four young people); team mentoring (several adults working with small groups of young people, in which the adult-to-youth ratio is not greater than 1:4); peer mentoring (caring youth mentoring other youth); and e-mentoring (mentoring via email and the Internet).

Locations of Mentoring:

  • Mentoring can take place in a wide array of settings, such as at a workplace, in a school, at a faith-based organization, at a juvenile corrections facility, in a community setting and in the virtual community (e-mentoring).
Source: Rhodes, J.E. (2002). Stand by me: The risks and rewards of mentoring today’s youth. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.


MENTOR is grateful to the hundreds of mentoring practitioners and researchers who so generously contributed their time and good counsel to the development of the third edition of Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring™. It is their work, along with their dedication to sharing their best practices and research, which made this edition possible. And, it is their work which continues to propel mentoring to ever-higher levels of performance.

Elements of Effective Practice™ ToolKit

How to Build a Successful Mentoring Program Using the Elements of Effective PracticeTM is a comprehensive toolkit, with tools, templates and advice for implementing and adhering to the second edition of the Elements — rigorous guidelines that, when followed, will help to ensure quality mentoring.

Whether you are new to mentoring or a seasoned veteran, this tool kit will save you time and effort because it contains materials and information you need to start or maintain a quality mentoring program. The tool kit is written to follow the format of the Elements, but it allows you to take portions of it in a different order, depending on whether you are starting or strengthening your mentoring program.

We hope you will use the tool kit with great success. For further assistance, we encourage you to reach out to your Mentoring Partnership to find the latest resources for the mentoring field.

Download the full toolkit in English (PDF, 1MB) or Spanish (PDF, 3MB) or by section:

Downloadable Tools

The tool kit contains OVER 160 ready-to-use tools that you can download and adapt to your program's needs. While the tools will be helpful on their own, they are much more effective when combined with the information available in the toolkit. Please take a moment to download the toolkit.

Tools available

How to Build a Successful Mentoring Program Using the Elements of Effective Practice Toolkit was funded by a generous grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.