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I have been considering learning safrut from an individual. I know 2 sofrim in my area, but not well. I understand that learning this skill takes much time and this will probably be a significant monetary as well as time investment, so I want to ascertain that I am getting good value and am learning things properly.

When I interview a prospective mentor, what qualities and types of questions should I ask him so that I can evaluate that this person is well qualified as well as knowledgeable to teach me properly? Obviously, he has to know the halachot, but as I don't know all of them myself, how could I verify that he knows them and demonstrates this in his craft? (I am not talking about interpersonal communications, as that's a separate issue that I may not know until later)

Additionally, is there a different set of standards or questions that I should ask him if I am learning to write tefillin / mezuzot vs. inspecting & correcting others?

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    Ask a competent Sofer for his recommendation. Nobody knows a field like its experts. – LN6595 Mar 18 '15 at 23:52
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I would say that the best way to find a teacher for this is to ask a trusted rabbi to refer someone. Your rabbi would tell you someone who he trusts does the job well. If he doesn't know the field well enough to refer someone, he should at least be able to direct you to someone else who can make a recommendation.

As you said in your question, you don't know the halachos, so trying to ascertain whether someone is an appropriate teacher by quizzing them just isn't a good way to go. You will be far more likely to find a good teacher if you ask someone who knows the important questions to recommend a teacher.

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