National Quality Mentoring System

Evidence shows that quality mentoring practices are a determining factor in achieving positive youth outcomes. Through the National Quality Mentoring System (NQMS), MENTOR Rhode Island supports programs in implementing a continuous quality improvement process to improve program practices over time.


Mentoring is about more than helping as many kids as possible – it is also about providing high-quality mentoring experiences, because poor mentoring relationships can do more harm than good. To guide these quality experiences, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership developed the Elements of Effective Practice for MentoringTM, which details research-informed and practitioner-approved standards for creating and sustaining quality youth mentoring programs and facilitating impactful mentoring relationships.


MENTOR and its network of affiliates developed the NQMS to raise the quality of mentoring programs through a structured, systematic process. MENTOR utilized the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring TM, Fourth Edition guidelines to create an online tool capable of assessing current program practices against best practices in the field of youth mentoring. The goal of the NQMS process is to better understand a program’s current strengths and weaknesses in order to improve their practices and ultimately produce stronger youth outcomes. MENTOR Rhode Island is an affiliate of MENTOR equipped to facilitate the NQMS process in accordance with these national standards.


For Mentoring Programs

Participating in NQMS gives your program:

  • Access to an easy-to-use online self-assessment tool that will support you in assessing your program’s practices, operations and management, and in identifying strengths and areas for improvement and innovation.
  • Customized training and technical assistance, based on your assessment, to support you in making quality improvements that support your program’s alignment with evidence-based practice for mentoring.

Completing the NQMS process helps your program:

  • Validate program quality
  • Show results in funding applications
  • Pinpoint areas for improvement
  • Develop an Improvement & Innovation Plan to guide program planning
  • Receive priority search in the national Mentoring Connector, increasing your program’s visibility for prospective volunteers and other stakeholders

To find out about how your mentor program can start the NQMS process please contact Program Development Manager, Ross Bouchard, at 401-732-7700 or

For Funders

How Can I Use The NQMS to Guide Funding Decisions?

  • Recognize the applicant program for its commitment to quality and participation in the NQMS process to better its program and the field
  • The quality assessment is not a punitive process – it helps programs identify strengths and areas of growth to create an Improvement and Innovation Plan
  • Provide funding to programs and help them achieve higher quality in an area of weakness
  • Encourage employees to get involved in mentoring through programs committed to quality

For The Community

NQMS Supports Quality Mentoring – better program practices, operations, and management

NQMS Strengthens Quality Programming – stronger match support for youth and volunteers

NQMS Promotes Stronger Match Support – better outcomes for youth and volunteers

Evidence for Quality Support Based on the Elements of Effective Practice: A 2017 study conducted by Kupersmidt, Stump, Stelter & Rhodes indicated that a greater number of EEPM4 benchmarks and standards implemented by mentoring programs was significantly associated with longer mentoring relationship lengths, particularly for matches lasting 2+ years.

Findings suggest that a program’s adherence and fidelity to the EEPM can enhance program effectiveness and create more satisfying, longer lasting, and effective mentoring relationships.