Mentoring is defined as one client benefiting from personalized SCORE interaction. This interaction can be with one volunteer or multiple volunteers. The interaction must have provided substantive advice (of sufficient value to have resulted in a billable client service by a paid consultant). These interactions can occur in person, via video, phone or email. The client or primary mentor must complete the client information requested in SCORE reporting systems and the lead mentor must add session notes detailing the interaction.
Other items of note on mentoring:
- The initial mentoring case or session must be at least 30 minutes or more in length to be reported as a case, including preparation time.
- There is no time requirement for subsequent visits (follow-ons).
- Preparatory time is reported in addition to the length of a mentoring session.
- The Business Entity is the client.
- A session with two or more individuals representing a single business entity or client counts as one mentoring session or case.
- A session with two or more mentors and a single business entity or client counts as one mentoring session.
- Travel time can be tracked so that mentors are credited with having donated the time, but this will not be included in the length of a mentoring session nor is the time credited to the mentoring session.
What Does Not Constitute Mentoring
Providing non-business information or advice is not counted as a case or session. The following are examples of some of the activities that do not constitute a mentoring case or a session. These examples CAN still be recorded as a Client Note within the client record in the SCORE systems.
- Client calls for and receives directions to the chapter or information about office hours or SCORE activities.
- Client calls for and receives the telephone numbers of local or state government offices for business registration or other contact information for other potential resources.
- Client visits or is referred to a chapter, mentor, workshop, or website for information. This includes an email response to a mentoring request advising them to seek a workshop training service.
- Client downloads information, software, templates or other files from a chapter volunteer or other website without mentor contact that meets the definition of a case.
- Client is sent an email newsletter or marketing information electronically.
- Mentor contacts a client for the purpose of scheduling a meeting, and the conversation does not meet the definition of a case.
- Mentor contacts a client for the purpose of following up or checking in, and the conversation does not meet the definition of a case.
- Mentors will not engage directly in the practice of law. This includes, but is not limited to, providing specific legal advice, representing an individual in litigation or any legal proceeding, or otherwise practicing law as defined by the state in which the Recipient is located. Those members of Recipient’s staff who are qualified by experience and training to discuss legal issues may do so in a general way, but they must not engage in conduct that leads to the creation of any attorney-client relationship and must make appropriate disclaimers to that effect when providing such counseling and mentoring. SCORE may offer courses on business law issues, provided that legal topics are presented by individuals qualified by experience and training to address such topics.