THE NATIONAL QUALITY MENTORING SYSTEM
MENTOR Independence Region believes that expanding best practices within mentoring programs protects youth and volunteers and protects the field of mentoring. Advanced research shows that quality mentoring practices are a determining factor in achieving positive youth outcomes.
The NQMS allows MENTOR IR and its network of affiliates to establish consistent quality standards among mentoring programs across the country. This system allows us to provide a meaningful indicator of quality for youth mentoring programs and to lend credibility to individual programs to attract resources and support. Families, volunteers, and funders can feel confident about participating in, and supporting, a mentoring program that meets national quality standards.
Programs ready for next steps can learn how to get started on the NQMS, as well as what to expect along the way by following the link below. Not sure if your program is ready? The NQMS FAQs can help guide you in the right direction. If you believe you are ready to get started or would like to discuss more, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (484) 482-1416.
NATIONAL QUALITY MENTORING SYSTEM (NQMS)
The National Quality Mentoring System (NQMS) is a multi-step process that revolves around the online, interactive NQMS tool and is available to all youth mentoring programs in our service area. Read on to learn what to expect from the process.
- Schedule a Meeting: If you’re interested in NQMS, contact MENTOR IR to schedule a preliminary phone call to determine eligibility and readiness. During this phone call, a member of our team will walk you through the requirements and your program’s responsibility in order to begin the assessment.
- Register Your Program: The NQMS is built into the Mentoring Connector. If your program is not listed in the Mentoring Connector, you will need to register your program in order to have access to the NQMS tool. After submitting the form, MENTOR IR will approve your listing and can grant your organization access to the tool.
- Request NQMS Access: Once you are registered in the Mentoring Connector, contact MENTOR IR to let us know are ready to begin NQMS and we will grant you access.
Assess Your Program
- Start the Self-Assessment: The NQMS is comprised of 92 items that are organized into three sections: program design and management, operations, and evaluation. Each item uses the same rating scale to determine whether the item is in practice and an assessment of the quality of the implementation.
- Provide Documentation: Occasionally you will be asked to provide descriptive information such as your program mission or to upload a supporting document that corresponds to a specific item, such as your mentor recruitment plan.
- Ask Questions, Get Support: When you have a question, use the NQMS tools menu to access FAQs and extensive resources. These resources are indexed by NQMS section and include general information, guidelines, examples and templates to help programs understand and meet each quality standard.
- Submit the Assessment: Ensure all questions are filled out completely and all documents are attached. The NQMS does not need to be completed in one sitting. If you decide to take a break from the NQMS, just be sure to save your work!
Review & Plan for Improvements
- Meet with MENTOR IR Staff: During the onsite review, our staff will go over your NQMS results with you and help you develop a 12-24 month Improvement & Innovation Plan. For more information on the site review, see the NQMS FAQs.
- Plan Approval & Partner Status: When the review is complete, program leadership will be asked to sign a Statement of Accuracy, and once we receive this your program will become one of MENTOR IR’s partners granting your program access to exclusive benefits. You will also receive access to a specialized report based on your assessment to help you view and analyze your results more easily and can share them with stakeholders (if you so choose).
- Receive one-on-one consultation: After your review meeting, MENTOR IR will continue to stay in touch throughout the year to support your program as it moves forward and continues efforts to improve program quality on a timeline that works for you. Through technical assistance, MENTOR IR offers one-on-one, personalized consultation to your program.
- Use Resources: we offer training and encourage your program to take advantage of free monthly webinars, which may help you as you implement your Improvement & Innovation Plan. Also make sure to subscribe to our monthly e-Newsletters and check out the Resources section of the website, both of which are free.