Lindsay Taylor, Senior Training Partner with the IAM and Director of executive training and coaching organisation Your Excellency Ltd meets with PA Life to chat all things PA and share some exciting news.
Tell us a bit about your background.
I’m a former EA/PA and now Director of Your Excellency Ltd. I support the PA profession with training and coaching across the world – and I absolutely love what I do!
I worked in both the UK and US as an EA/PA for 12 years – so I have first-hand experience and knowledge of this profession. I love the diversity of the role. The PA is in a hugely influential and privileged position – working alongside senior management you are privy to confidential information. A leader in your own right, while working in partnership with your director/managers, you will get involved in all aspects of the business. With this responsibility comes challenge.
In order to meet the challenges of the role, it’s vital that skills and learning are kept up to date. PAs need to regularly reassess and evaluate their current working practices and ensure they’re being as effective and efficient as they can be.
There are huge benefits to attending conferences and training events – including the networking element where PAs can learn from others in the same profession and share best practice and ideas. This is evident from the feedback from the recent PA Life Training Day that I spoke at and attended.
You’ve recently added two PA qualifications to your learning and development offerings – what makes them different to what’s already available to PAs?
Firstly these qualifications are accredited by IQ/IAM. They cover topics relevant to the PA profession – marketing, HR, finance, minute taking and communication skills to name a few. Specialist topics are delivered by our associate trainers with first-hand experience of these topics – they’ve worked (or are currently working) in these sectors. We’ve designed the materials and content to share the most up-to-date knowledge and skills that we believe are necessary for PAs and admin professionals to succeed in their career.
All our trainers believe in fun, interactive learning and ensuring any new skills that are shared are absolutely relevant to you and can be instantly put into practice. It’s all very well attending training but you really need to come away with clarity around how and when you will put your new skills into practice to benefit you, your boss and your organisation as a whole.
The thing I love about the qualifications is that you can choose which training courses you want to attend – so in effect you’re pulling together a bespoke training programme that works for you in terms of dates and topics. We have a schedule of courses being rolled out from January 2017 in London and can also deliver training in-house if you have a team of administrators/PAs who want to learn together.
We make sure class sizes are limited to 14 so you get lots of interaction with the trainer and our support continues throughout your learning. We recognise that this might be the first time you’ve had to write an assignment since leaving college or university (or maybe you’ve never had to do this) so we’ll be on hand to help you with any questions you have, to ensure you get a passing grade on each paper and ultimately achieve your qualification.
The other thing that I believe makes our training attractive is the cost – we purposely keep our training courses at a competitive price. While we don’t like the fact that many PAs have to pay for training out of their own pocket, we recognise this is unfortunately still the case. A one-day training course is £340+VAT, while a two-day is £595+VAT. Undertaking the whole qualification, whether Level 3 or 4, is £1500+VAT. Obviously if we run something in-house for you this can be even more cost effective too.
Is there a time limit for completing the qualification?
We recommend you complete the qualification over a year. There are 12 one-day courses to choose from – by attending five of your choice and completing written assignments in those you can achieve a Level 3 qualification. We are also delivering a Level 4 qualification, which consists of four two-day courses – attending three of these and completing written assignments can result in a Level 4 qualification.
You are a Senior Training Partner with the IAM and we here at PA Life have a partnership arrangement with them too – tell us a bit more about the organisation.
The IAM is The Institute of Administrative Management, one of the oldest professional bodies for business and administrative managers in the UK. When you’re undertaking your qualification you will become a student member of the Institute. They have a fabulous CPD scheme in place and issue the quarterly Manager magazine to members.
There are other benefits to being a member, which you can check out on their web page at instam.org – including being able to use designated letters after your name when you are a member. For me, this proves you are serious about the profession and proud to be keeping up to date with the latest thinking, learning and news.
We wish Lindsay all the best with the qualifications.
The IQ/IAM Level 3 Award in Professional PA & Administration Skills and The IQ/IAM Level 4 Certificate in Office & Administration Management can be found by watching Your Excellency’s informative video (here) and visiting the website at yourexcelelncy.co.uk. To register your interest contact firstname.lastname@example.org, quoting YELPAQ.