Level 7 Executive PA Diploma - Course Outline
This fully endorsed Level 7 Executive PA Diploma takes place over a series of 22 in-depth modules, as outlined in brief below:
Module 1 - The Job Functions of a PA / Secretary
The course begins by providing candidates with a detailed overview of the job functions and responsibilities of the professional PA or executive secretary. Daily duties and working routines are discussed, along with the objectives of PA/secretarial services and the benefits of professional PA support.
Module 2 - Telephone Skills
Candidates then consider the importance of appropriate telephone manner in the second module, in which a series of essential telephone skills are discussed. The advantages of appropriate telephone etiquette are also discussed, along with the types of calls the professional PA or secretary can expect to make and receive in a typical working day.
Module 3 - Mail Services and Shipping
Shipping and mailing duties as a PA or secretary are examined in the third module, in which candidates learn how to select appropriate shipping methods for different consignments. An introduction to postal automation is also provided, along with an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of private carriers and national mail services.
Module 4 - Travel Arrangements
Making travel arrangements on behalf of others is discussed in-depth in Module Four, in which candidates learn how to make various types of domestic and overseas transportation and accommodation reservations. The potential benefits of using a travel agent for international travel are discussed, along with how to find and select a reputable agent.
Module 5 - Organising Meetings
A step-by-step guide to organising and managing meetings follows in the fifth module, in which candidates are familiarised with several different types of corporate meetings and their unique characteristics. The anatomy of a meeting is also discussed, alongside common problems when scheduling meetings and how to plan for a conference.
Module 6 - Time Management
Tips and guidelines for improved time management as an executive PA or secretary are detailed and discussed in Module Six, which outlines the importance of proactively controlling procrastination. The benefits of maintaining an activity list and working to a schedule are also discussed, along with how setting appropriate objectives can improve time management.
Module 7 - Keeping Accurate Records
Record keeping as an executive PA or secretarial worker is then discussed, introducing candidates to several common filing and indexation standards. The use of traditional and digital filing systems is also discussed, along with the potential consequences of poor record keeping and typical challenges in keeping accurate records.
Module 8 - Writing Business Letters
Candidates are then presented with a series of important business letters and their functions, along with the basics of writing business communications from scratch. Tips and guidelines for effectively beginning and closing business letters are provided, along with how to select the right business letter in accordance with the message and recipient.
Module 9 - Other Written Communication
Additional business documents and communications are presented and discussed in Module Nine, along with their purposes and characteristics accordingly. Learners are familiarised with internal and external business communications, memorandum reports and e-mail communications, with helpful report templates provided for each.
Module 10 - Presentation Skills
The art of putting on an impactful and memorable presentation is examined in Module 10, in which candidates consider the importance of effective planning and preparation. The use of visual aids to enhance the effectiveness of a presentation is also discussed, along with how to start and end a presentation the right way.
Module 11 - Communication Skills
The importance of honed and confident communication skills as an executive PA or secretary is then analysed and discussed, along with the appropriate use of nonverbal communications and demonstration queues. Communication as a key performance driver in all aspects of quality customer service is also brought into discussion.
Module 12 - Active Listening
Learners then consider the important differences between passive and active listening, along with the advantages of becoming a better listener. A detailed breakdown of the human communication process is provided, along with tips and guidelines for improved listening skills and how ‘listening’ and ‘hearing’ are two entirely different concepts,
Module 13 - Administrative Skills
A crash-course the introduction to office admin and essential administrative skills as a PA or secretary follows. Module 13 walks learners through the contemporary business environment, while examining the various different types of business environments and the basics of social responsibility as a business.
Module 14 - Office Management & Supervision
Management and leadership in an office environment enters the discussion in Module 14, which examines the role of the office manager in-depth. Techniques and strategies for building and maintaining workforce trust are also provided, along with an introduction to ethical issues in business and the concept of ‘whistleblowing’.
Module 15 - Budgets and Managing Money
Monitoring and managing budgets as a PA or secretary follows in Module 15, in which candidates consider the importance of confident financial decision-making as an executive PA. The importance of efficient budgeting and accurate financial record keeping is also discussed, along with the main money management responsibilities of the PA.
Module 16 - Anger Management
Candidates then learn how to take more proactive control of anger and frustration in challenging situations, by building a deeper understanding of anger and why we become angry. The extent to which anger can affect our thinking and decision-making capacity is also discussed, alongside tips and guidelines for improved everyday anger management.
Module 17 - Stress Management
Module 17 discusses stress as an inevitability in high-pressure PA and secretarial careers, along with how the key to coping with stress lies in understanding and accepting stress as a standard part of the job. Relaxation techniques and effective stress management strategies are also detailed and discussed.
Module 18 - Dealing with Difficult People & Conflict Resolution
Proactively and professionally dealing with difficult people is examined in Module 18, which provides tips and guidelines for appropriate conduct in challenging situations. An overview of important conflict resolution concepts is also provided, including the different stages of conflict and how to reduce the risk of conflict in a workplace environment.
Module 19 - Business Ethics for the Office
More detailed analysis of office ethics follows in Module 19, in which candidates are introduced to several major philosophical approaches to ethics. The objectives and importance of an office code of ethics are also discussed, alongside the benefits of business ethics and typical challenges associated with running an ethical business.
Module 20 - Business Etiquette
The importance of good manners and appropriate conduct in a variety of corporate settings and scenarios is examined in Module 20. Candidates learn how to conduct themselves with confidence in business meetings, leave a lasting impression on important individuals and leverage the full potential of business dining events.
Module 21 - Effective Planning and Scheduling
Tools, techniques and strategies for more effective planning and scheduling as a PA follow in Module 21, which also includes an introduction to the ‘Work Breakdown Structure’. The potential benefits of working to a schedule are also discussed, alongside typical challenges in effective planning and the potential consequences of inefficient scheduling.
Module 22 - Microsoft Office Skills
Concluding the course, Module 22 provides an essential overview of Microsoft Office and its role as an everyday workplace essential worldwide. Candidates are familiarised with the functions of MS Word, MS Excel and MS PowerPoint, along with how to perform a variety of tasks using all three MS Office programs.