The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising on Monday announced a new 'mentoring' programme for chief executives, managing directors and senior board directors of member agencies.

The programme launches under the guidance of former IPA director general Nick Phillips, with participation from a panel of twenty-five IPA Fellows, all recently retired or no longer with an IPA member agency. The mentors, whose names read like an industry Hall of Fame, have attended specialist training workshops held by Dr David Clutterbuck, an author and acknowledged authority on mentoring.

Prior to mentor selection, discussions both with mentors and the mentored will clarify requirements and objectives and the creation of a programme that ensures both parties gain optimum benefit from the relationship. Details of these discussions will remain confidential.

Explains IPA Membership Committee chairman John Banks: "Mentoring can be a very powerful tool for accelerating experience and transforming businesses. Many agencies have a mentoring system for their own staff, but in many cases the ceo/md, though ultimately responsible for the system, is the one person excluded from it.”

Although expectations are that the scheme will attract most interest from independent agencies - especially startups and new media shops where hardnosed commercial expertise has yet to be gained - it is open to all IPA member companies.

The IPA believes that senior executives of established agencies also stand to gain from the scheme. Says a spokesperson: "All too often the ceo has no-one to turn to in the face of unexpected problems; everyone expects him/her to know all the answers."

Data sourced from: IPA (UK); additional content by WARC staff