Publication description

This document explains the standards of behaviour and conduct we expect of all participants in the Civil Service LGBT+ mentoring programme.

Code of Conduct


The focus of the discussions between a mentor and mentee should be on issues related to their professional and career development.

Mentees should be clear about their priorities and what they need from their mentors. Mentors should be responsive to those needs, and should not impose their own agenda or priorities on their mentees.

General behaviours

Mentors and mentees will be open and truthful with themselves, and each other whilst participating in the mentoring relationship.

Mentors and mentees will respect each other’s time and other responsibilities, ensuring they do not impose beyond what is reasonable.

The mentee will increasingly be responsible for managing their mentoring relationship; the mentor will empower them to do so and will promote the mentee’s autonomy.


Mentors should never work beyond the bounds of their capability, experience and expertise to the point where they do not feel confident in providing the mentee with proper support. Where appropriate, mentors should seek advice or refer mentees to another more appropriate point of contact. This might be to refer the mentee to professional contacts or support services.

Mentors and mentees should conduct their relationship in the same way that they would in any other work environment.

Mentors and mentees will not intrude into areas either wishes to keep private until invited to do so. Mentors should, however, help the mentee to recognise how other issues may relate to these areas.

Mentors and mentees may develop friendships over time. It is important to have a clear, professional, relationship so as to not allow personal bias to influence professional actions.


Mentors and mentees will share information, advice and their experience with each during the course of their relationship. Some of this information might not be intended to be shared. Mentors and mentees should agree whether or not their conversations are kept confidential.


Mentors and mentees have a responsibility to disclose to each other any conflicts of interest that may arise during a mentoring relationship at the earliest opportunity.

Ending the relationship

Either the mentor or the mentee can ask to end the relationship at any time.

Mentors will share the responsibility for the smooth winding down of the relationship with the mentee, once it has achieved its purpose – they must avoid creating dependency.

Concerns and complaints

If a mentor or mentee has a concern about the conduct of their partner on this programme, then they should raise this with them directly in the first instance.

If, after raising this with them, a mentor or mentee still has concerns, they should seek to raise this via their usual departmental complaints procedures.