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Coaching and Mentoring


Competence is obtained from a mixture of experience, training, and mentoring. Mentoring is simple to visualise, and its purpose easy to understand. Training involves the transfer of information, but not knowledge. Knowledge can only be stored in the human brain – we will cover this in more detail below. Hence, mentoring is how we transfer knowledge to staff. No mentoring – no knowledge.

Learn more about mentoring (pdf download)

The confusion with mentoring is often based on misconceptions; for example, mentoring is not:

  • managing… (‘control and command: overseeing the work of others’);
  • coaching… (‘focus on developing agreed skills’).

Mentoring is a focus on the individual, where knowledge, guidance, and advice is passed onto staff, based on experience. In mentoring, this transfer is within a personal relationship agreed between provider and seeker. The mentor needs to be a trusted counsellor or teacher.

PHL can help with mentoring of staff at all levels.


Coaching is a one-to-one relationship, involving a series of conversations, just like mentoring. It may be confidential, but its main purpose is to identify opportunities for improved performance and practical ways forward. It is important: a coach is someone who intervenes and improves the performance of an individual in a specific task. Coaching has a fixed agenda, related to a task, with a clear outcome, usually short term, and focused on a competency

This is different from a mentor who is responsible for overseeing the career and development of another person, outside the normal manager/subordinate relationship. Mentoring does not have a fixed agenda, it is related to the development of an individual, without a variable outcome, is long term, and focused on the individual.

PHL can help with coaching of staff at all levels.

Contact PHL if you need coaching or mentoring services.

About PHL

PHL is an engineering consultancy company, based in the UK. We offer consultancy in pipeline engineering, and present training courses and education programmes in pipeline engineering and management. We specialise in pipeline integrity consultancy (including defect assessment, risk management, and failure analysis), and in pipeline engineering training (onshore pipeline engineering, and pipeline integrity engineering). We also offer a wide range of coaching and mentoring services to staff on all levels.

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