Mentoring is the process where a more experienced person (the mentor) imparts knowledge and skill to one who is less experienced (the protege, or, as sometimes used in Waze Formal Mentoring programs, the mentee).
Waze mentoring often takes place informally, without structure. this happens any two editors with different experience levels in some aspect of editing get together to help the mentee better understand how to problem solve or how t read a situation. It usually either has no goal beyond the immediate issue at hand, or it may be a repeated interaction without a defined goal that guides all of those interactions. Neither party has any formal responsibility to the other.
Formal mentoring is a more structured program, where a specific mentor and mentee are brought together, with a responsibility to accomplish a specific goal, such as building a particular skill over time, learning how a portion of the Waze technology works, or increasing the protege's editing rank. It will usually define the methods of interaction, the frequency, and their intensity, and will normally have a target date for compoletion.
Formal mentoring is only available in some countries, under the direction of a local or global Waze Champ responsible for mentoring in that region.
Details about the program, the countries that implement it, and informal mentoring alternatives, can be found on the Mentoring page.