Mentoring and befriending services from NCVO

NCVO MandB purple small RGBNCVO’s Mentoring and Befriending services include:

  • the Approved Provider Standard quality mark
  • a national training programme of courses for organisations delivering mentoring and befriending projects
  • resources to inform projects and help them to develop.

Approved Provider Standard

Approved Provider Standard badgeNCVO Mentoring and Befriending’s Approved Provider Standard (APS) is the national quality standard developed specifically for mentoring and befriending services. Projects delivered locally, regionally or nationally can all apply for accreditation.

APS supports safe and effective practice in mentoring and befriending, including peer support taking place in schools and colleges.

The standard covers ten requirements across four key areas:

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

APS was originally created by the Mentoring and Befriending Foundation to help organisations increase the effectiveness and quality of their mentoring and befriending programmes. In April 2015 MBF transferred the delivery of its core services, APS, resources and the national training programme to NCVO.

What are the benefits of APS?

Projects tell us that the standard has helped them to:

  • design and deliver their mentoring or befriending service using appropriate policies and procedures
  • ensure safe, professional practice and continuous improvement
  • evaluate the effectiveness of their service and evidence its impact
  • access funding
  • gain skills and knowledge 

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

Who can apply for APS?

APS accreditation is aimed at fully operational projects, and projects must have active mentoring or befriending relationships taking place at the time of their assessment. Going through the accreditation process is helpful for reviewing and evaluating existing activities. 

APS also provides an excellent framework for planning and developing new projects, so can also be used by organisations that are in the process of setting up a mentoring or befriending project for the first time.

Find out about the accreditation process, and what’s involved.

Find a project

Search our online directory to discover mentoring and befriending projects from across the country.

Projects that have achieved Approved Provider Standard have the APS logo next to their name. These projects have been quality assured for safe and effective project management.

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.

Mentoring and Befriending courses

The current courses are:

  1. Setting up and managing a mentoring or befriending programme (2 days)
  2. Essential mentoring and befriending skills
  3. Essential support and supervision skills
  4. An introduction to coaching skills

See the training and events page for course details and dates

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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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