Mentoring and befriending services from NCVO

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The Mentoring and Befriending Foundation (MBF) helped organisations increase the effectiveness and quality of their mentoring and befriending programmes.

From April 2015, MBF transferred the delivery of its core services and these are now provided by NCVO. The services provided include:

Approved Provider Standard

The NCVO Mentoring and Befriending’s Approved Provider Standard (APS) is the national quality standard developed specifically for mentoring and befriending services. It can be applied to projects delivered locally, regionally or nationally.

The quality standard supports safe and effective practice in mentoring and befriending. This includes peer support taking place in schools and colleges.

It covers four key areas:

  1. management and operation
  2. service users (mentees and befriendees)
  3. mentors and befrienders
  4. the mentoring and befriending relationship.

The accreditation process

Getting your service accredited is easy. It involves:

  • an initial self-assessment and access to a workshop and telephone support
  • an assessment visit
  • a final verified report detailing the outcome and any recommendations.

Accreditation is valid for three years during which time the projects are entitled to use the Approved Provider Standard logo.

What are the benefits of APS?

Projects tell us that the standard has helped them to:

  • design and deliver their mentoring or befriending service effectively
  • evaluate the effectiveness of their service
  • access funding
  • ensure continuous improvement.

We feel confident that we are on much firmer ground now that we have approved processes in place to deliver our young journalist mentoring programme. We also have a clearer idea of what areas we now need to focus on in order to consistently deliver an excellent programme. Many thanks for your support and guidance with all of this.

Wendy Wilson, John Schofield Trust

We thank you very much for your support throughout the APS application procedure. We feel delighted to have gained this important accreditation which will help us further build on the success our befrienders have already achieved.

Ashraf Choudry, Age UK Haringey

National training programme

Our training programme consists of short courses designed to help organisations develop good practice in mentoring and befriending.

Our courses take place across the country and are relevant to anyone interested in setting up a new programme, or organisations that want to develop and improve their services.

Our courses are designed in line with the requirements of our quality standard (APS) and draw from the good practice identified in APS approved projects.

What are the courses available?

The current courses are:

  1. Setting up and managing a mentoring or befriending programme part A
  2. Setting up and managing a mentoring or befriending programme part B
  3. Essential mentoring and befriending skills
  4. Essential support and supervision skills
  5. An introduction to coaching skills

We also provide in-house training for organisations or groups of organisations. Courses include:

  • mentoring skills for volunteer mentors
  • befriending skills for volunteer befrienders
  • peer mentoring skills for students.

Feedback from people attending our training is consistently positive. These are just a few of the comments we have received about our training:

Very well presented, I liked the step by step approach. Very enjoyable and all the information was well presented!

Good mix of presentation and the practical, plus this gave me time to focus each aspect of the training on my individual programme

We had an excellent training delivered yesterday, and all the attendees were highly inspired and gained tremendously from the event!

Resources and toolkits

We have a range of resources providing practical advice, guidance and training materials and these include our popular toolkits:

We also have toolkits which have been developed to support effective peer mentoring and peer support in schools and colleges:

Contact us

You can find out more by visiting our website, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling 0161 272 6041.

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