Having access to a good coach or mentor can be a powerful tool in your career development. 

Coach or Mentor - what is the difference?

A mentor will focus on the person, their career and support for individual growth and maturity whilst a coach is role-focused and performance orientated.


Mentoring is a partnership between two people with emphais on mutual learning. A good mentor will provide the learner with the right kind of help and supoort and adapt to the needs of the learner. The role of the mentor is often one of listening, encouraging, sharing experience, professional friendship and encouraging reflection to help the learner develop. The mentor would not be professionally responsible for the learner (e.g. a line manager) and is usually from outside the immediate work team.


The role of a coach is to give feedback on observed performance and so can be from the workplace (although this is by no means necessary). Coaching targets high performance and improvement at work and focuses on specific skills and goals. A coach will challenge unhelpful belief systems and aims to enable the learner to identify their own resources to meet their goals. The process provides feedback on both strengths and weaknesses. As such it is a skilled activity and should be delivered by trained individuals.

Coaching and Mentoring with FFF

Future-Focused Finance aims to enable individuals and teams to develop themselves to have rewarding and enjoyable careers in the NHS. Coaching & Mentoring are integral parts of developing potential at all levels of the finance function. With our colleagues at HFMA we developed a series of six free webinars that sought to give participants the skills to develop effective Coaching & Mentoring relationships and skills as both coach/coachee and mentor/mentee. You can review all six of the webinars, for free, by clicking the links below.