Personal Assistant / Secretary – Career Advice

Personal assistants and secretaries generally fulfil the same roles with one key difference – the personal assistant works for one person whereas secretaries often have more general team or office-based duties.

Both are needed to manage diaries, type up minutes, arrange travel and plan meetings. It’s a job for the extremely well-organised multi-tasker who is good with people, discreet, unflappable and able to communicate effectively.

Seniority brings with it a raft of other skills including report-writing, research, budget management, presentation and staff supervision.

PAs are usually required to have at least five good GCSEs (A to C) and business-related BTEC, HND or even degree-level qualifications.  An NVQ Level 3 and 4 in business administration is a great deal- sealer.

Browse our current vacancies in:

Administrative and Clerical


Other recommended resources:

Institute of Administrative Management
Bringing together administrators and those who manage them to engage in a forum of ideas and best practice, encouraging and improving the highest standard and supporting those within the role. They offer information and guidance, as well as training events that can help administrators on their route to management.

Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators
With events, training, a regular magazine publication and a number of online information resources, the ICSA offer administrators and secretaries all that they need to become successful within their role and continuing professional development to help them ascend beyond it.

Association of Personal Assistants
The APA offer training, support and career guidance for personal assistants, as well as promoting their role in the workplace.

Pitman Training
Offering a wide range of training specifically aimed at administrators, clerks and secretaries, Pitman cover all of the basics for an admin role. Attending seminars and achieving diplomas can supplement an application and see you ascend within the role.

Providing globally recognised business-related qualifications, LCCI can help administrators and clerks train and develop to perform to their highest potential and set themselves on track for higher positions. They specifically host a section on to get you started

Simon Thompson

Simon Thompson is CEO of Simon is a recruitment professional that pioneers the usage of video in recruitment and fully committed to helping young people find employment.