Mentoring Program 

Frequently Asked Questions

More FAQs will be added to this page as questions arise

  • Do I have to be a subject matter expert to be a Mentor in the SQA program?
    Subject matter expertise helps, but to mentor a junior-level QA professional, you only need to know what resources are available and where to direct the Mentee.
  • What is the difference between a Mentor/Mentee partnership and a Peer partnership?
    A Peer partnership is a mentoring partnership between two experienced QA professionals who would benefit from a parallel information exchange, as opposed to the “teacher-student” model of a traditional Mentor-Mentee partnership. The SQA Mentoring Program Committee is not currently accepting applications for Peer partnerships.
  • What is the difference between training and mentoring?
    Training is generally delivered according to a predetermined curriculum, with the trainee carrying the burden of meeting the curriculum's deliverables.  Mentoring is a more customized activity, that assigns deliverables to the Mentor as well as to the Mentee.  In addition, the role of Mentor may be to serve as a "role model," whereas the role of a trainer is generally to deliver a specific content without having a "partnership" with the trainee.
  • What is the difference between consulting and mentoring within the context of this program?
    Mentoring, in the context of SQA’s Mentoring Program, involves providing guidance on a specifically defined topic, within in a structured environment, and for a limited duration. Consulting is a company-funded service provided by an expert in a particular area, as defined by agreement between a client and a contractor.  The Mentoring Program is intended to provide a learning opportunity for an individual Mentee, but not advisement services for a company. Mentoring is not intended to take the place of consulting.
  • How are mentoring matches made?
    As of 2019, mentoring partnerships are made on a quarterly basis via electronic application and matching procedures. Mentors and Mentees apply using the interest form linked on the Mentoring Program page. Every Mentor-Mentee and Peer partnership is confirmed by the MPC: MPC members review both potential partners' applications to ensure they would be a good fit according to the information available. After the MPC makes the matches, SQA Headquarters sends an email to both partners, introducing them and providing additional information and instructions for their partnership.
  • How much time will this take?
    Mentoring partnerships are actively supported by SQA for six months.  The time spent on deliverables is dependent on the goals and availability of the participants.  Participants may choose to continue their relationship beyond the SQA-supported time frame on their own.
  • How will I communicate with my partner?  Will we need to meet face-to-face?
    Communication may be in person, via phone, e-mail, web meeting, or other form of communication.  Communications are at the expense of the participants.
  • Do I have to be an SQA member to participate?
    Yes, you may participate if you are an Associate, Active, Student, Outreach or Emeritus member of SQA.
  • Do you offer mentoring in groups?
    The Mentoring Program was intentionally designed to operate in an environment of one-on-one interaction. Other resources such as SQA Specialty Sections and listservs/discussion forums are available for group exchanges.
  • As a Mentor, how many hours am I expected to spend communicating with my Mentee during the six-month partnership?
    There is no set requirement; however, in Program evaluations, Mentors have indicated that they typically communicate with their Mentees from one to four times per month. Seventy percent report spending less than 1 hour per week in communication, research, and preparing materials for their partnership; thirty percent report 1-2 hours weekly.
  • Will the personal and professional information I share through the Mentoring Program be kept confidential?
    Yes. All program applicants are required to sign a confidentiality statement at the time they apply. In addition, confidentiality statements are built into the MPC Standard Operating Procedures. Finally, all participants should adhere to all applicable privacy policies and procedures instituted by their employers.
  • Where can I find the documents and information I need during my Mentoring Program partnership?
    All current Mentoring Program participants are given access to the Mentor Compatibility platform.  Here Program participants will find important and helpful documents as well as a discussion forum they can use to communicate with other Program participants about mentoring matters.  Instructions on accessing this area are given via email when you are matched with a partner.
  • Why do I get an error message when I click the link for my partnership evaluation?
    If you have difficulty accessing an evaluation link, it may be because of a firewall restriction. Please ask your organization’s technology department to permit access to the link, or try accessing the link from your home computer instead of your office computer. If you are still having difficulties, contact SQA Headquarters for an alternate method of evaluation.

What if I still have questions or challenges?

The MPC is here to help! Contact us:

Mentoring Program Main Page

(Visit the main Mentoring Program page to access applications for the next partnership cycle!) 



The Committee’s mission is to provide a valuable resource to SQA through the administration of a mentoring program for its members. The program will impart an enriching experience to Mentees by providing a basis to interact with successful experts, receive personalized feedback and encouragement, and acquire new technical knowledge and skills. Mentors will gain opportunities to augment mentoring skills, obtain new technical information, increase their professional networks, and gain recognition as subject matter experts in their given fields.

No person, organization, or other entity is permitted to reproduce any part of the SQA Mentoring Program without the express permission of SQA.