The Personal Assistant Diploma - Level 3 Course is designed to give an overview of the key areas of business understanding and abilities that are needed within the role of a Personal Assistant (PA) or Personal Secretary (PS). The role of a Personal Assistant can vary quite a bit but can be generalised as someone who will assist in the daily business or personal tasks on the behalf of a Senior Manager. The practical roles required are much more than sound administrative skills, and the role requires strong personal skills and a firm grasp of business requirements and procedures.

The position of the Personal Assistant is a strong example that demonstrates that for a professional to add value at work is not only about competence in individual job role, but is also about understanding issues within the broader context of business.

On successful completion on this course students will receive an accredited Level 3 Certificate of Achievement.

Course Delivery Notice: You will receive access to the course materials through an online portal for a 12-month period. Students can use the portal for accessing their course materials, submitting assignments and to log tutor questions. A hard-copy book version of the course notes are also supplied. Due to the current circumstances surrounding COVID-19 hard-copy versions of this course are being dispatched twice a week so there may be slight delays.

The course includes the following units:-

  • Unit 1 - Understanding Organisations

The learning objectives of this module are to: Understand the management role in an organisation, Explain what is meant by the business environment and how it impacts on an organisation, Explain the nature and scope of corporate strategy, and understand the strategic planning process, Explain how an organisation may structure its various functions and activities, Understand what is meant by organisational culture and how it impacts on business performance.

  • Unit 2 - Professional Approach to Work

The learning objectives of this module are to: Define professionalism and explain the role of the professional, Understand how the professional employee adds value to an organisation, Identify the various sources of internal personal effectiveness, Understand what is meant by professional and business ethics, Explain the concept of corporate social responsibility, Understand the essential ingredients of professional development.

  • Unit 3 - Communication

The learning objectives of this module are to: Understand the purpose and importance of effective communication, Explain the process and cycle of communication, Identify the various kinds of workplace communication and how it is sent, Understand how to communicate effectively to others, Be able to use properly the main methods of business writing.

  • Unit 4 - Time Management

The learning objectives of this module are to: Understand the dilemma and concept of time, Explain the importance of effective time management, Demonstrate how time management problems may be identified, Identify the causes of ineffective use of time, Describe the strategies to make best use of time, Outline the benefits to be gained by effective use of time.

  • Unit 5 - Managing Business Information

The learning objectives of this module are to: Understand why it is important for organisations to maintain business records, Identify how data may be gathered, interpreted and presented, Explain the legislative requirements relating to the storage of personal data, Outline the key conventions and main elements of financial accounting, Explain the purposes of budgets and the approaches to preparing budgets, Distinguish between the different types of costs that exist.

  • Unit 6 - Office Management Systems and Procedures

The learning objectives of this module are to: Understand the ways in which organisations may be structured, Explain the use of various key management processes, Identify the effective use of office administrative systems and procedures, Explain how to plan and design office administrative procedures, Explain the correct procedures for conducting effective business meetings.

  • Unit 7 - Customer Service

The learning objectives of this module are to: Understand the importance and benefits of valuing customers, Identify the different types and categories of customers that exist, Explain how to recognise and meet customers' needs and expectations, Identify and understand the main consumer legislation that exists, Understand how to effectively handle customer complaints and problems, Outline how to plan and manage the organising of a conference or event.

  • Unit 8 - Working With Others

The learning objectives of this module are to: Understand the importance of effective teams at work, Explain the various teams that may exist in organisations, Explain how the development needs of others at work may be identified, Understand what is meant by employee consultation, Explain what is meant by being assertive in front of others, Outline the techniques for speaking effectively in a group situation.

  • Unit 9 - Legal and Regulatory Requirements

The learning objectives of this module are to: Identify the main legislation relating to health and safety at work and its impact on the employment relationship, Explain the duties of employers and employees relating to health and safety, Explain the issues relating to the forming of a contract of employment, Describe the main areas of statutory employment legislation and antidiscrimination legislation, Describe the main legislation relating to the disclosure and access of information in the workplace.

  • Unit 10 - Handling Difficult Situations

The learning objectives of this module are to: Understand what conflict is and how it may affect workplace relationships, Explain the approaches available to assist employees who have personal problems or concerns, Explain the procedures to deal with situations of discipline and grievance, Understand what stress is and the strategies available to manage stress, Identify specific communication skills required to handle difficult situations.


There is no prior learning knowledge or experience required to take this course.

Course Duration & Support:

Students may register at any time and have a full year to complete their studies. As the course is self-study, you can complete in as little or as long a time as you prefer. You also have access to a personal tutor by mail or email for a 12 month period and our student support team is available for any other queries that you may have whilst completing your course.


The Certificate of Achievement is gained by successfully completing a series of assignments. Your personal tutor will review, mark and provide you with feedback on your work.

Coursework assignments can be returned by uploading to the online portal, by email or by post. We recommend that assignments are completed and returned as word-processed documents through the online portal. Handwritten documents can be accepted but need to be clear and legible and may be subject to a longer marking time.


NCFE On successful completion of this course students will be awarded a Personal Assistant Certificate of Achievement by NCFE, and a Learner Unit Summary (which lists the details of all the units you have completed as part of your course).

The completion of this course alone does not lead to an Ofqual regulated qualification but may be used as evidence of knowledge and skills towards regulated qualifications in the future. The unit summary can be used as evidence towards Recognition of Prior Learning if you wish to progress your studies in this sector. To this end the learning outcomes of the course have been benchmarked at Level 3 against level descriptors published by Ofqual, to indicate the depth of study and level of difficulty involved in successful completion by the learner.

Information on level descriptors can be found on the Ofqual's level descriptors page.

NCFE is recognised as an Awarding Organisation by the qualification regulators for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, who are: the Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator (Ofqual) in England, the Welsh Government, and the Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) in Northern Ireland.

NCFE accreditation gives assurance that the content of a training course is of a high standard and meets the rigorous requirements of a national awarding organisation. NCFE accreditation also gives formal recognition to courses, which result in the award of a certificate of achievement but does not qualify you for a nationally recognised qualification. This course has been accredited under NCFE IIQ Licence through NCC, an approved NCFE Investing in Quality (IIQ) centre to give formal recognition to this course. Training courses have been specifically designed by the course developer to meet the needs of learners who prefer to study from home.

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