I am currently applying for a position similar to an assistant prof where I will have the responsibility to supervise two PhD students. For this application I am required to provide a "supervision concept", which got me to thinking what kind of a supervisor I myself would like to be - but also, what structures, institutions, reguations, etc. are already out there, that help smooth the PhD process both for the candidates and the supervisor, that I myself don't know about.
Just for background, I did my PhD in Sociology, not in any kind of structured program (which is quite common around here), which means I had teaching responsibilities and worked on research together with my Prof/Supervisor and my Post-Doc, and whenever I had the time worked on my PhD research. My supervisor did a great job in answering all questions I had, told me about the importance of conferences and international peer reviewed publications, but otherwise sort of left me to my own devices. I had, for example, no fixed meetings with either my supervisor or a mentor or any other institution or personal, to see how things were going or whether I was on the right track, as they exist in some universities or programs. Over the years I've heard quite a bit about structured PhD programs (the good and the bad) from other scholars, and there is quite a few things that I thought were very useful, like having a fixed date on which a Prof from your program would check in with you on your progress and lay out the next steps with you.
What are things that you have/had implemented in your PhD program (or wished you had) that you wished supervisors would do or recommend the PhD candidates to do (like finding a mentor)?