A project was undertaken in 2015 to evaluate the Australian Diabetes Educators Association mentoring program for Credentialled Diabetes Educators and provide recommendations for the future of the program, following some changes to the program in 2014.
Current literature provides evaluation techniques and outcomes for many professional mentoring programs, however these evaluations have been mainly qualitative on small numbers of voluntary participants and do not extend to the evaluation of a formal mentoring program for diabetes educators.
A mixed methods action research approach was used. Secondary data from ADEA, collected between 2012 and 2015 was analysed using descriptive statistics and thematic analysis. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were also conducted with participants of the mentoring program and analysed using thematic analysis.
Quantitative and qualitative results showed very high satisfaction of the mentoring program. Benefits are experienced by both mentors and mentees. Comparison of results before the changes to the program and after the changes did not differ greatly, however some aspects did improve slightly such as the number of mentor registrants, time taken to complete the mentoring partnership and credentialling program, and the satisfaction of the ADEA support from staff and resources. Qualitative data provided suggestions for the future of the mentoring program, including review and development of resources.
Results of the data analysis compares features of participants and mentoring partnerships, and along with review of current literature, has assisted in developing key criteria for successful mentoring.
The project has addressed gaps in current literature for the evaluation of a mentoring program for diabetes educators. Recommendations for evaluation technique and the components of mentoring programs for improved outcomes have been made. These recommendations may be applicable for all mentoring programs and partnerships.
The project results and recommendations will be presented along with practical tools and tips for successful mentoring partnerships.