A personal assistant (PA) is a person that many executives and management boards rely on, across all industries and sectors.
Also known as an executive secretary or a personal/private secretary, a PA works closely with managerial and directorial staff of a business or organisation.
This support is often on a one-to-one basis and they can be an important person in the day to day running of a business, as well as its expansion.
It is a role that takes various attributes and personal qualities, and may not be one suited to everyone. PAs also need to be qualified and skilled in various functions and tasks. But before you plunge head on into any course, we suggest looking at some of these personal attributes.
Assessing whether you have them is important but one of the main attributes of being an excellent PA are organisational skills, from time management to diary management – and not just your own. Being a PA is akin to keeping many plates spinning at all times, prioritising calls and emails, protecting your boss’s time and workload. PAs are relied on heavily by their manager thus, being trustworthy with sensitive and confidential information is also key, as is reliability.
If you feel you have these qualities, moving on to look at various PA qualifications is an excellent idea.
The responsibilities of a PA
The outline of the responsibilities we give below are a generalised view. What one person needs from their PA in one business will differ greatly from another. To this end, you will need to be prepared for the fact that the term personal assistant is an umbrella one, used to describe many differing roles and responsibilities.
But our wide-ranging and broad PA diploma will take into account the main aspects of being a reliable PA at the highest level of an organisation. Responsibilities may include;
• Act as first point of contact for their manager
• Devise and maintain office systems, including data management
• Arrange travel, visas, accommodation and so on – you may be required to travel too
• Screen phone call, enquiries and requests, handling those that are appropriate for you to do so
• Meet and greet visitors
• Diary management
• Deal with emails and post
• Carry our research for presentations and reports
• Produce documents and other materials for meetings and presentations etc.
• Organise and attend meetings
• Liaise with staff, suppliers, clients, customers and so on
• You may also deal with financial matters, such as budgeting too
• Some PAs are also line managers for other administration staff
• It is common for PAs to be involved in decision-making processes, especially those with an executive role
As you can see, personal assistant jobs can be wide and varied. In some ways, this can make choosing a course difficult. On one hand, you want a course that covers a wide variety of topics but you also want to show potential employers that you have the ability, skills and knowledge to act as the PA that a company executive really wants.
The Level 3 Personal Assistant Diploma covers a wide range of topics including the regulatory and legal requirements of a business, customer service, data management systems and so on. This qualification will show that you have underpinning knowledge and skill to be able to adapt within a company and the boundaries it provides for personal assistant jobs and roles.
Learning from home – the benefits
Taking on a course to up your skill level or acquire a whole new set of skills and abilities is a big step, for some a step too far if it means giving up work to attend classes. With home learning courses you complete the course as and when you can, as well as at times that it suits you to study.
Gone are the days when learning something new meant being sat in a classroom, being shown what to do and having seemingly impossible deadlines imposed on your work!
We all learn in different ways too and although course tutors will try and make lessons fun and engaging, there are times when the pace can be too fast. This means you start to feel like you are failing, becoming disheartened with the process and possibly give up on your dreams.
With home study courses, you will find that the probability of becoming disengaged from your course is lessened because you decide at what pace you study, when and how. But you are not alone in your learning endeavours as you will have the support of your assigned course tutor!
Enrolling takes less than a minute. Log on, choose your course, choose how to pay and start your journey to being a PA today.