BESC5112 Theory and Practice of Mentoring

Graduate Diploma Course Unit

BESC5112 The Theory and Practice of Mentoring

Duration: One trimester

Level: 5th year

Credit points: 3

Prerequisites: None

Unit co-ordinator: Dr Tim Chambers

Unit description

In this unit you will explore the major models and practices of mentoring, and gain an understanding of the origins of mentoring, its purposes and its benefits. You will learn the various stages that define the mentoring process and be introduced to a selection of mentoring techniques you can apply throughout the mentoring relationship, including establishing the relationship, setting direction, building self-knowledge, exploring roadblocks, relationship evaluation and termination. These techniques will take into account the diverse cultural backgrounds that exist in elite sport. You will engage in a range of practical mentoring activities, including role play and case analysis, to facilitate the development of these skills. You will also be encouraged to draw upon your personal and professional experiences, and contextualise them within the mentoring frameworks and models discussed in class.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit students should be able to:

  • describe the purpose and benefits of mentoring
  • analyse various models of mentoring
  • discuss the roles and responsibilities of the mentor and mentee
  • demonstrate a series of mentoring techniques
  • identify the stages of a mentoring relationship

Unit content

  • The purposes and benefits of mentoring
  • The principles of mentoring scheme design
  • An exploration of developmental mentoring models
  • An introduction to the mentoring relationship
  • Analysis of various mentoring skills

Learning and teaching process

This unit will be taught as an intensive unit and the contact hours for the trimester will be condensed into blocks of whole days. The blocks will be spread out across a number of weeks to allow time for preparation and the consolidation of previous learning. A record of attendance will be kept and a minimum attendance at 80% of classes per trimester is required.

In the intensive blocks you will be expected to review key mentoring research, and discuss the findings and the models which are used to explain the findings. You will also be expected to participate in practical activities such as role plays and case studies.

Assignment summary



Word count


Mentoring report

Learning outcomes: a, b, c and e







Brief mentoring session and report

Learning Outcomes: 
a and d







Graduate attributes

The following graduate attributes will be developed in this unit:

    1. Demonstrate and appraise knowledge of the elite sporting environment. Students need to be familiar with the organisation and operation of elite sport in order to offer effective mentoring services to athletes. This attribute covers an understanding of the support services, programs and personal development opportunities available to athletes.
    2. Demonstrate and appraise knowledge of mentoring. This attribute includes the topics of mentoring, professional practice, coaching, multicultural and indigenous mentoring, information processing and language, learning, career transitions, positive psychology, and health and wellbeing.
    3. Apply research methods in mentoring. This attribute includes an understanding of the characteristics and principles of research into mentoring and the different and varied research methods available. It also includes the acquisition of practical research skills and other methods, the design of studies to address questions, critical analysis, the choice of an appropriate methodology, the question of reliability and validity and their meanings and operations, the analysis of data, and the writing of reports.
    4. Provide mentoring services to athletes. This attribute covers the fundamental mentoring knowledge and skills that a student requires to effectively provide mentoring services to athletes. It also considers the professional and ethical principles that are linked with the provision of mentoring.
    5. Awareness of the influence of gender and cultural diversity on mentoring relationships. This attribute covers the evaluation of the physical and psychological influence that gender and cultural diversity exert on mentoring relationships. Students need to demonstrate an awareness of the impact that an individual’s culture or gender can have on the development and maintenance of effective mentoring relationships.
    6. Think critically about mentoring research and practice. This attribute includes the application of scientific method to the study of mentoring research and practice, the examination of other modes of understanding the cognition and behaviour, and recognition of the fallacies and the biases that can affect human thinking and analysis.
    7. Integrate ethical principles into mentoring practise and research. This attribute includes the integration of ethical principles into the practise and research of mentoring, and the evaluation of the behaviour of mentoring practitioners and researchers and other professional contexts. This attribute is grounded in the context of the Australian Psychological Society’s code of ethics. Values and professional ethics must also be understood and evaluated in the context of social ethical principles and ethical conduct in legal, medical and institutional behaviour.
    8. Apply communication skills. Students need to learn how to communicate effectively orally in various settings (e.g. group discussion or presentations, both formal and informal) for various purposes. Written communication, in the form of written reports, should be according to professionally accepted formats. The School of Psychological Sciences follows the American Psychological Association structure and formatting conventions.
    9. Apply learned knowledge to new situations in mentoring. This attribute covers the application of knowledge gained throughout the course of study to new mentoring situations that arise in the workplace, and includes the application of mentoring skills and techniques in new settings.

Special provisions

A record of attendance will be kept and a minimum attendance at 80% of classes per trimester is required.

Recommended text

Garvey, R., Stokes, P., & Megginson, D. (2009). Coaching and mentoring: Theory and practice. London, England: Sage.

Other significant references

Clutterbuck, D., & Ragins, B. R. (2002). Mentoring and diversity: An international perspective. London, England: Butterworth-Heinemann.

Law, H., Ireland, S., & Hussain, Z. (2007). The psychology of coaching, mentoring and learning. Chichester, England: John Wiley and Sons.

Layton, R. (2002). Making mentors: A guide to establishing a successful mentoring program for coaches and officials. Canberra, Australia: Australian Sports Commission.

Megginson, D., Clutterbuck, D., Garvey, B., Stokes, P., & Garrett-Harris, R. (2006). Mentoring in action: A practical guide (2nd ed.). London, England: Kogan Page.

Parsloe, E., & Leedham, M. (2009). Coaching and mentoring: Practical conversations to improve learning (2nd ed.). London, England: Kogan Page.

Relevant journals and resources

Readings will be available for class discussion throughout the trimester. For general reference of topics and issues related to the unit, students should search for mentoring articles available through EBSCOhost, through the Library eResources tab in the ACAP Current Students website –

Academic misconduct

Ethical conduct and academic integrity and honesty are fundamental to the mission of ACAP. Academic misconduct will not be tolerated by the college. This includes plagiarism of any nature. It is your responsibility to make sure that you understand what constitutes plagiarism in order to ensure that you do not engage in it. Please refer to for full details of the Academic Misconduct Policy.


This unit outline may be updated and amended from time to time. To ensure you have the correct outline please check it throughout the trimester. Your lecturer will advise when there are updates on the site and also when readings are available for class discussion.