ABSA Mentoring Process
Since one of ABSA’s goals is to promote biosafety as a scientific discipline and to provide a forum for the exchange of biosafety information, the Mentoring Process was established in 2005 to formally promote the exchange of experience-based biosafety knowledge. Many ABSA members have been privileged to have a mentor in the workplace or in an informal relationship. But, there are many new ABSA members who don’t have someone at the workplace to consult with, or are not comfortable contacting a stranger to seek information. Since Biosafety is not a field where all of the answers are found in books or via classroom-based training, Mentoring provides the opportunity to acquire real experience-based knowledge.
We are seeking Mentees who would like to be matched up with a Mentor who has expertise in their area of interest. Maybe you are new to Biosafety, new to ABSA, or an experienced biosafety professional who has a new job task, such as bringing Select Agents into your workplace.
Mentoring relationships will be mutually agreed upon as to goals, time span, type of interaction, etc. Some pairs may want to interact only by phone or e-mail, while others will want to arrange a site visit for an in-depth experience. In any event, it will be up to the participants to decide how they wish to proceed. In order to be matched by the ABSA Mentoring Committee, both the Mentor and Mentee have to be current ABSA members.
We currently have an impressive list of over 40 volunteer mentors, with a wide range of expertise. After a prospective Mentee completes the application form, they will be matched up with an expert in their area of interest. While we have tried to make the process as simple as possible, we felt we had to address a Mentor’s security concerns - this is accomplished via the application form and Confidentiality Agreement.
For the Mentee, the advantages should be obvious - learning new skills, finding a trusted expert to bounce your ides off of, valuable feedback from a non-work related peer, learning about other career paths, etc. For the Mentor, the advantages include sharing knowledge, advancing the field of biosafety, building training and teaching skills, gaining a new perspective on your job, and potentially earning CBSP Certification Maintenance points.