If you’re ready to take on your first candidate on the Pathway but don’t know how to start, follow this P2C exam toolkit for Mentors!
Register as a Mentor
After the informal discussion with the P2C candidate about taking up the role of their Mentor, they’ll go and register on the Pathway with a recommendation of you being their Mentor. This will be confirmed via an email that the Landscape Institute will send you that you’ll have to confirm your acceptance.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to register yourself on the Pathway (again!). If you’ve recently passed your exam, you’re possibly already in the P2C system but your account is most likely not active. If this is the case, you’ll need to contact the LI membership department and let them know of the requirement of the account being re-activated as a Mentor this time and it’ll be done for you.
When you’re officially the candidate’s Mentor in the LI’s system, you’ll have access to submitting information for your candidate’s progress. This is required to occur quarterly (every 3 months), 4 times a year until the candidate has been deemed ready to be put forward for the exam. There’s no requirement to submit a progress report after the candidate has been accepted for the exam.
From there it’s completely up to the candidate to set the beginning of the process for both of you, as they might register for the Pathway yet delay the submission of their first development package, as this is tied in with the initial review. This is where you as a Mentor need to be driving your candidate’s progress positively and push them towards an early start so that they don’t waste their time and manage their time effectively.
Assuming that you’ve arranged for the initial review to be held, you need to organise the session in a way that you will get the assessment sorted within a reasonable time and be confident that you haven’t over/under-scored your candidate while in a rush to get it done quickly. The initial review is possibly one of the most important reviews (together with the one immediately prior to putting the candidate forward for the exam) as it lays down the candidate’s knowledge and experience level and creates the roadmap for the following 2 years on average.
These two links might help you get an idea of what the initial review will look like:
Some help for the initial review is also provided by the LI and can be found here.
After the initial review, you’ll also need to perform quarterly reviews (every 3 months) to assess the level of the candidate’s improvement in areas of the syllabus that you most likely had identified as the ones to concentrate on during that quarter.
This is usually arranged after the submission of the candidate’s development package for that quarter, where you have the opportunity to review your candidate’s work related experience and additional activities that they’ve performed to meet the goals for that quarter.
After the meeting with the candidate you’ll need to fill in the report from that assessment and submit it for review by the Supervisor.
It’s very important to be as fair as possible to the candidate but the also the profession when providing progress marks after a quarterly session. As this describes your candidate’s level of knowledge and preparation towards the exams, if it’s not a true representation of the actual situation it may not be accepted by the Supervisor who is appointed on a candidate (without the element of selection by the candidate) and therefore the target exam date may be delayed until the Supervisor is satisfied that the marks are a genuine representation of the candidate’s competence.
The scoring progression needs to follow a reasonable pattern and not have any major jumps from a ‘1’ for example to a ‘3’. Some candidates may start strong during the initial review in a section as their day to day routine allowed them to naturally progress in that area of expertise, yet be at level ‘0’ in many other areas. That’s quite normal and expected, depending on when each candidate decided to join the Pathway.
It is said that it takes an average of 2 years to reach the level of preparation expected from you to be ready for the exam. This is however an average, which means that you may have a very strong and experienced candidate who may start with quite high marks across the board and be put forward in a very short time – you shouldn’t be afraid to provide the higher marks if the candidate can robustly defend them!
The Supervisor is a Chartered Member of the Landscape Institute, typically a working professional holding a Senior position in a practice. He/she is responsible to assess the packages submitted by the candidate and Mentor quarterly and comment on the areas that they feel the candidate may require more focus on and generally help them steer their preparation.
One of the Supervisor’s key responsibilities, is the candidate’s approval for participation in the exam. When a Mentor feels that their candidate has finally reached the preparation stage where they’re ready for the exam, they’ll discuss this with the candidate and then tick the box that suggests that the ‘candidate has the necessary level of knowledge and understanding to take the exam during the next relevant session‘ (quote from the LI’s P2C system). This does not guarantee participation in the next relevant exam session, as it needs to be approved by the Supervisor first.
If the Supervisor believes that the candidate is not yet ready for the exam, they will refuse to put them forward and make relevant comments on the areas that still require improvement before the candidate is considered ready for participation in the exam.
It has been seen that a candidate was pushed back by 6 months, missing the originally targeted exam date, because the Supervisor decided otherwise on the candidate’s progress and did not approve the Mentor’s recommendation. This means that the scoring but also the rest of the assessment provided by the Mentor needs to be as genuine as possible, otherwise you’re running the risk of being questioned by the Supervisor and complicating things.
You can access your online P2C account from this link.
The LI’s Pathway Toolkit is also a good resource to help you understand your responsibilities as a Mentor and provide meaningful meetings and assessments to your candidate.
The LI has also put together this Candidate User Guide, that gives you step-by-step guidance on various processes.
Examples of how you need to fill in your quarterly report can be found here: EXAMPLE #1, EXAMPLE #2 , following the first section where the candidate has submitted their development pack for that quarter.
If you still haven’t found what you’re looking for in this exam toolkit for Mentors, visit the LI’s following webpages: