Exploring Primary Healthcare Students and Their Mentors’ Awareness of Mentorship and Clinical Governance as Part of a Local Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Program: Findings of a Quantitative Survey

Robert McSherry, Michael Snowden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Introduction: Previous research exploring the benefits of mentoring and the place of clinical governance in enhancing care delivery illustrated an unexplored synonymous relationship between mentors and mentees (students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels) and its potential impact on patient safety and quality of care. The significance of the research was in recognizing the importance the role of the mentor can play in raising awareness of patient safety and clinical governance principles and processes in the primary healthcare setting. Aims: Building on this preliminary research, this research aimed to explore primary healthcare workers and their mentor’s awareness of mentorship and clinical governance as part of a local Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program. Furthermore, it aimed to establish any relationship between the mentors, the mentee, and their awareness and application of clinical governance in the primary healthcare setting. Methodology: A quantitative research design using a survey was adopted. Data Collection Instrument: The researchers integrated previously validated questionnaires incorporating a Mentor Potential Scale, the Dimensions of Mentoring, and a Clinical Governance Awareness Questionnaire into a new questionnaire. This was called “Mentorship and Clinical Governance Awareness”. Sample: Convenience sample surveys were posted to complete and return to 480 primary healthcare workers undertaking post graduate study. Findings: A total of 112 completed questionnaires were included for the analysis amounting to a 23% response rate. A principle component factor analysis combining part 1— the characteristics of an effective mentor and part 2—the personality characteristics of an effective mentor identified four primary characteristics. These are: (1) “A Facilitatory Adviser”, (2) “Critically Enabling Facilitator”, (3) “A Change Facilitator”, and 4) “An Approachable Facilitator”. These newly identified characterizations according to the primary healthcare workers significantly impacted on their awareness and application of clinical governance in primary healthcare practice. Implications for primary healthcare practice and education: The newly devised questionnaire can be used to gauge the effectiveness of mentors and mentoring and how the characteristics of the role can impact on mentee’s awareness and application of clinical governance. Healthcare manager’s, leaders, and educators should focus their attention on how these newly established characteristics of the mentor can influence clinical governance awareness and application in healthcare the future
Original languageEnglish
Article number113
Number of pages14
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2019


Cite this