Mentoring has become recognised as a valuable tool for those working in the areas of staff training and the personal and social development of at-risk individuals. However, while outcomes for clients have typically been positive, due in large part to mentor knowledge and skill, success can not always be guaranteed. While this may be due, in large measure, to a lack of commitment on the part of the protégé, the inadequacy of on-going professional development for mentors also plays a significant part. The risk is that the learning outcomes for the client may be impaired. For the protégé to benefit from the mentoring relationship, he/she needs to be engaged in the process. Learner self-direction – recognition of the need for and commitment to, learning outcomes – is vital. However it does not stop there. The mentor can facilitate this process by his/her commitment to good leadership, to careful management of the power issues in the relationship, and an ethical stance that enables good practice.