NCMI has adopted "The Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring" standards and benchmarks as our guide and foundation for implementing best practices for mentoring services. In addition to the "Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring", NCMI has adopted additional capacity elements regarding standards in the following: Monitoring and Evaluation, Organizational Management and Governance.

As quoted from the National Mentoring Partnership: "The Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring™ Third Edition, reflect the latest in quality mentoring research, policies, and practices and serve as the gold standard for operating effective mentoring programs. The third edition includes six evidence-based standards addressing mentor and mentee recruitment; screening; training; matching; monitoring and support; and closure. Each standard offers benchmarks for day-to-day operations, and they are applicable in stand-alone mentoring programs, as well as programs where mentoring is one element. Each standard also offers enhancements that program staff can incorporate, based on the experience of outstanding mentoring practitioners."

Within the NCMI document titled “NCMI Mentoring Initiative Criteria Checklist”, each standard is accompanied by its benchmark and criteria. Each organization seeking consideration for selection in this mentoring initiative must complete the Selection Criteria Checklist. Prior to completing the Selection Criteria Checklist, NCMI requires the applicant to attend the archived webinar: MENTOR's Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring* Overview, 3rd Edition.

This archived webinar provides an overview of the third edition of the Elements, highlighting the research and studies that underpin the benchmarks. Featured speakers included Dr. Jean Rhodes, Chair, MENTOR's Research & Policy Council and Professor of Psychology, University of Massachusetts – Boston; and Dr. Janis Kupersmidt, President and Senior Research Associate of Innovation Research and Training. Dr. Kupersmidt managed the revision of MENTOR’s Elements.