My mentor was not someone who I saw as the only person I should take advice from. During the whole of the evidence collection period (as I do in normal working life) I sought advice from a whole range of people regarding my work and development.
Part of the regulations for finding a mentor state that your line manager cannot mentor you through Chartership, but this certainly does not mean that your line manager is not involved in your development during the time you charter!
My mentor did all kinds of things to support the process. She did, of course, discuss my professional development, but she was also there to help advise about the documentation surrounding the Chartership process. (Anyone who has tried to make sense of the "Framework Schema Diagram" on page 6 of the Handbook will know that some level of guidance is useful before you even begin! CILIP Quals do not seem to be great at simplifying their ideas.)
She helped me to set deadlines for myself to keep up with the amount of work I had set in my PPDP. (I decided early on that I was not going to let my Chartership run on for years and years, I just wanted to do the 2 years required as an "extraordinary candidate" and submit - job done.)
She helped me to identify which bits of evidence to include in the final portfolio and what I could safely abandon.
There were many other things she did to support the process, a Chartership mentor does a lot more than offer advice, and it is still vitally important that you pick and choose advice from other sources. (You can even pick and choose your mentor - mine was someone I knew already and knew I could trust).
CILIP do make it compulsory that Chartership candidates go through a mentoring process, but they also allow you to change your mentor if you encounter problems (such as geographical issues making it difficult to meet, or even personality clashes). I think the mentoring process was extremely valuable, but I did have a superb and easily contactable (working in the same organisation as me) mentor. I can imagine that not everyone has such a good experience, and a bad experience could easily put people off the system.
Whether or not a Mentor should be compulsory for Chartering I'm not sure, but I do think there should be someone to watch your progress, as with any major course of study or development.
Does anyone have any particularly good or bad experiences of the Mentoring process they would like to share?
Do you think mentors should be a compulsory element of Chartering?