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The Groundbreaking, Globally Recognised, Certified Training Program for the modern day Executive Assistant


The Advanced Certificate for the Executive Assistant: ACEA™ (formerly known as the Advanced Certificate for the Executive Personal Assistant: ACEPA™) is a world-leading intensive and interactive 5-day executive level training programme, that equips current and aspiring Executive Assistants with the skills and knowledge they need to become true “Business Partners”.

The role of the Executive Assistant is on a journey and the responsibilities of this highly demanding and visible role continue to grow exponentially. To succeed in their role in modern times it is now imperative that Executive Assistants have a deep understating of ‘the business’ and their Executives’ role & responsibilities. Organisations are looking for Assistants that possess ‘Executive Level’ business acumen and skills now more than ever.

Uniquely delivered from an Executive led perspective the ACEA™ programme focuses on delivering a fundamental conceptual understanding of business and organisations as well as practical skills, including:

  • Strategic Thinking
  • Corporate Visions & Missions
  • Understanding the linkages between Strategy, Projects & Operations
  • Governing & Managing Projects,
  • Communication Skills
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Leadership skills including Influencing, Negotiation and Conflict Management
  • Change Management and Problem Solving,
  • Risk Management and Corporate Governance
  • Ethics & Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Understanding the role of Financial and Management Accounting,
  • Developing Productivity and Time Management techniques,
  • … and much more:

Over 1,000 Executive Assistants have now participated in this globally recognised and ground-breaking ACEA™ programme which is delivered in both Public and In-House/On-Site formats as requested.

The 2018 ACEA™ programme is available internationally. Courses will be running in the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Canada, United States of America, Dubai, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Kenya, South Africa, West Africa, Egypt and Australia.

Course Contents


  • Personal introductions
  • Course background
  • The “Journey”

Fundamentals of Modern Corporate Behaviour

  • Exploring the characteristics of today's global business environment
  • Understanding the role of the Executive Assistant in a modern world
  • The role of the modern Executive Assistant


  • Strategy understanding
  • Corporate vision and mission
  • Delivering the strategy
  • Goals vs objectives
  • Principles of planning
  • Project alignment with strategy and organizational goals

Balanced Scorecards

  • Understanding and measuring corporate performance
  • Drilling down to the Executive Assistant role
  • Measuring success

Business Ethics

  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Business ethics

Time Management

  • Prioritising
  • Tactics
  • Delegation
  • Managing effective meetings

Financial Awareness

  • Financial accounting vs management accounting
  • Understanding the 4 key financial statements
  • Principles of budgeting

People Management & Leadership

  • Understanding leadership
  • Identify your leadership profile and explore how you can use this knowledge to create your own future
  • Assess your leadership competencies and learn how you can develop your strengths
  • Identify those additional skills and tools that can make you a better leader


  • Motivation theory
  • Motivation through Rewards

Fundamentals of Project Management

  • What is a project
  • Project methodologies
  • Work breakdown structures
  • Project estimating
  • Implementing effective project governance
  • Controlling the project, including status meetings and issues management

Effective Communication & Conflict Management

  • Develop your ability to influence and communicate with others
  • Understanding communication
  • Diversity, assumptions and stereotypes
  • Listening skills
  • Verbal and non-verbal communication

Other Essential Management Skills

  • Stakeholder management
  • Risk management

Problem Solving & Multitasking

  • Differentiate and define various types of problems
  • Root cause analysis
  • Evaluate solutions and apply creative thinking techniques to problem solving

Presentation Skills

  • Understanding fear
  • Planning presentations
  • Overcoming nervousness
  • Presentation preparation

Emotional Intelligence (EI)

  • Emotional quotient (EQ) vs intelligence (IQ)
  • Emotional intelligence framework
  • Using Emotional intelligence
  • Personality and behaviours (DISC)
  • Know your inter-personal style and how your behaviour impacts others

ACEA™ Examination *

* Only those who successfully complete the examination and participate effectively in the course case studies will receive the Advanced Certificate for the Executive Assistan: ACEA™

Benefits of Attending

  • Gain an accredited Certificate approved by a UK regulated body –the Advanced Certificate for the Executive Assistant: ACEA™
  • Get 3 Months FREE membership of the Institute of Administrative Management www.instam.org
  • Be awarded 30 CPD Credits from the CPD Standards Office www.cpdstandards.com
  • Existing members will be awarded 30 CPD Credits from the Institute of Administrative Management www.instam.org
  • Gain a broader understanding of business, increase your business acumen & bring new ideas / skills to your organisation
  • Give your Executive greater confidence to delegate more important and critical tasks to you.
  • Be able to manage projects more efficiently and assist your Executive in their role as Project Sponsor
  • Develop skills to increase your productivity through enhanced Time Management and Delegation Skills
  • Gain respect from senior Executives and the Board
  • Join & share experiences with EAs from other sectors and nationalities
  • Stand out with a globally recognised accredited certification
  • Enhance the recognition of the role & its responsibilities
  • Show what you are capable of
  • Rejuvenate your passion for your career, take the next step up & progress career
  • Learn from world renowned trainers & accomplished business leaders
  • Use ACEA™ on your business card and on your resume

Who Should Attend?

  • Executive Assistants
  • Management Assistants
  • Chiefs of Staff
  • Office Managers
  • Senior Assistants
  • Executive Personal Assistants
  • Executive Secretaries
  • Personal Assistants
  • Personal Secretaries
  • Administration Managers
  • Management Secretaries
  • Executive Personal Secretaries

PLUS anyone else responsible for the support of the senior management and executives


Richard Arnott BA FInstAM FITOL

Richard Arnott Richard is the Director of BMTG (UK) Ltd and is the author and lead presenter of the ACEA™ programme which is delivered globally and receives critical acclaim from all delegates.

In his career Richard was an accomplished Programme Director and Big 4 Management Consultant with over 25 years global experience specialising in project/programme management, strategic business transformation and change management within the Financial Services, Utilities, Logistics and Infrastructure sectors.

Richard sits on the Editorial Board of Executive Secretary Magazine, is a Fellow of the Institute of Administrative Management (IAM) and a Fellow of the Institute of Training and Occupational Learning (ITOL)


Ian Shipley FITOL

Ian Shipley Ian is a highly accomplished, passionate, visionary, and results driven Executive who has spent more than 20 years at a senior level within the service sectors in UK FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies.

Ian has been responsible for delivering major turn-around and business transformation through creating a culture where people feel comfortable to make decisions, take ownership and make it happen.

The common factor throughout Ian’s career has been a passion around service excellence and delivering results through highly motivated teams.

Ian is a fellow of the Institute of Training and Occupational Learning (ITOL)



Jeff Lockhart Jeff Lockhart is an international training consultant, specialising in Finance, Business Administration and Management Development.

Jeff is a highly experienced Financial Manager and Management Consultant, with extensive knowledge of finance and business management within a multi-disciplined and multi-cultural environment. He has held several senior level positions for industry-leading international businesses and, since 2001, has operated as a consultant to businesses in the UK, Azerbaijan, Russia, Bulgaria, Kuwait, Oman, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Malaysia, China, USA, and New Zealand.

Jeff studied at Sheffield Business School in the United Kingdom obtaining a Post Graduate Certificate in Management (PgC) in 1992, a Diploma in Management Studies (DMS) in 1995 and a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA) in 1996.

Jeff is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (FRSA), the Chartered Institute of Credit Management (FCICM), the Chartered Management Institute (FCMI), and the Institute of Training and Occupational Learning (FITOL). Mr Lockhart is also a PRINCE2 certified Project Manager.


John Bullock

John Bullock John is a driven, enthusiastic and dynamic individual that started his successful career within both the Leisure and Retail sectors.

After 12 years in an operational role John became an international business consultant and for the last eleven years has worked with a diverse mix of organisations ranging from large blue chip companies through to the public sector, dealing with large programmes through to 1:1 Executive Coaching.

He specialises in award winning pragmatic leadership, business improvement and change programmes. This draws upon his senior operational / commercial expertise within industry.

John works at a senior level across all sectors and has a proven record in enabling organisations to move forward in a results focused way, engaging their employees to deliver the return on investment and culture required.

Frequently Asked Questions

What differentiates ACEA™ from other administrative professional courses?

ACEA™ is an Executive Led Business focussed programme and is only ever delivered by Executives or ex-Executives

Why was ACEA™ developed?

The Executive Support profession is on a journey. From the traditional "Secretary" the role is evolving into that of Executive Business Partner. In order to survive in the profession Executive Assistants need to learn more business focused skills.

The BMTG leadership team recognised this evolving pattern and realised that those in the profession required something that would give them the knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to undertake these new and challenging roles.

What are the entry requirements?

As ACEA™ is an advanced level course we look for a combination of skills and experience. Entry to ACEA™ can be granted if you fulfil one of the following criteria:

  • University degree or equivalent
  • 3 years’ experience in role or similar role
  • Fellow or similar level of a recognised local PA/EA Association

Does ACEA™ qualify for CPD credits?

Yes ACEA™ is independently accredited by the CPD Standards office and offers 30 CPD Credits.

Is the ACEA™ certificate valid for life?


Unlike most, if not all, other Certified/Chartered courses the ACEA™ certificate and post nominal is yours for life.

Do I need to maintain "Membership" of pay Annual Fees to use ACEA™?


Again unlike most, if not all, similar Certified or Chartered courses ACEA™ does not require you to maintain "membership" or pay annual fees for the privilege of using you well earned post nominal for interviews or on business cards etc.

Do I need to maintain a level of CPD credits to keep ACEA™ post nominal?


Is ACEA™ recognised?

ACEA™ has been attended by delegates from hundreds of companies across the globe who selected ACEA™ due to its uniqueness, reputation and course content. A full list can be found here

As well as being independently Certified by Qualifi, a recognised UK awarding body, ACEA™ is also accredited by the CPD Standards Office and fully endorsed by Executive Secretary Magazine, the Association of Office Professionals of South Africa (OPSA) and the prestigious Institute of Administrative Managers (IAM)

Does ACEA™ have any testimonials?


ACEA™ uses www.findcourses.co.uk to collect testimonials and is the highest scoring course amongst all Administrative Professional Courses in terms of Volume of Courses and Delegate Score

Details can be found here

Can ACEA™ be Run In-House for my Company?


Please Contact BMTG or our country partners for further details

Can I sit the BMTG examination and get the accreditation without attending an official BMTG course?


What is the format of the BMTG examination?

The "Open Book" examination consists of 50 questions which are a combination of written answers, multiple choice and true/false answers

Most delegates take up to 2 hours to complete the examination as it is a strong test of delegates' knowledge.

The pass mark with effect from 1st July 2016 is 70%.

Is additional research required to successfully complete ACEA™ course or is everything I need to know contained in the course materials?

Any additional research is always useful for a delegate, however the examination is based on the course materials alone, and no additional research is required to sit the examination.

Can I do the ACEA™ course and not sit the examination?

Yes of course. After participating in the course, it is your choice whether to take the examination or not, but without passing the examination, you would not be eligible to use the ACEA™ designation on your business card or resume and would not be Certified.

How long after the examination will I know my results?

The examination results are generally published within one week of sitting the examination.

Certificates can take up to 30 days.

What is the percentage of delegates who fail the BMTG examination?

Generally, delegates are failed for the following reasons as:

  • Failure to achieve the minimum Assessment score
  • Failure to fully attend all sessions,
  • persistent lateness, non attendance or non participation.

Examination failures are between 5%-10% of all delegates who attend.

If I fail the examination, what happens next?

In the event of an Assessment fail, there is an appeals process which can involve resitting the examination under classroom conditions or writing an essay on learning outcomes and application thereof.

Delegates who fail the Assessment may also re-attend the course at a discount of 50% of the price originally paid.

There is no appeal process for delegates who failed due to non attendance, persistent lateness or non-participation unless due to certified sickness or illness

What should I look for in Certification?

There are a multitude of bodies offering credentials for the Administrative profession.

Our view is that any credentials must be totally independent of the training body and/or association offering the training otherwise there is conflict of interest. Check who is actually "certifying" and are they regulated in any way.

In addition our suggestion is to:

  • Look at course testimonials and only select those course with high scores
  • Establish which firms/organisations have sent delegates previously
  • Avoid diploma mills. Having a “qualification” from a diploma mill will damage your reputation and job prospects.
  • Ensure that anything that claims to be a “Degree”, “Diploma”, or “Chartered” is offered by a bona fide Educational Institution and that the course is of sufficient length to justify the award. For example, you simply cannot gain a Degree, a Diploma or Chartered Status by doing a 5 day course. It takes years of study
  • Use Google to look out for scams. Unfortunately there are many out there
  • Finally, ensure that the certificate is not simply being offered by the course provider with no independent accreditation body. Again, sadly, there are many training organisations that simply self-certify. Their credentials are worthless

Our advice is "Be Careful Out There"

Is ACEA™ Available On-Line?


Are there any bursaries available for ACEA™?



Accredited by:

Endorsed by:

Platinum Assistant Network South Africa

Upcoming Courses
  • 12th February 2018, Zanzibar
  • 26th February 2018, Gleneagles Hotel, Scotland
  • 19th March 2018, London
  • 25th March 2018, Dubai
  • 7th May 2018, Toronto
  • 14th May 2018, Austin, Texas
  • 16th July 2018, Sydney
  • 23rd July 2018, Singapore
  • 27th August 2018, Johannesburg

Also available In-House
Please Contact Us



International Recognition

Organisations that have attended the
Advanced Certificate for the Executive Assistant:

For full list click below

  • ■ ABB United Arab Emirates, UAE
  • ■ Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Abu Dhabi
  • ■ Abu Dhabi Gas Development Co. (Al Hosn Gas), UAE
  • ■ Abu Dhabi Health Services (SEHA), Abu Dhabi
  • ■ Abu Dhabi Retirement Pensions & Benefits Fund, UAE
  • ■ ADCED, Abu Dhabi-UAE
  • ■ African Barick Gold, Tanzania
  • ■ Aid / Diplomatic, Vietnam
  • ■ Airbus Ds Optronics (Pty) Ltd, South Africa
  • ■ Al hosn Gas, UAE
  • ■ Al-Khodari Sons Co, Saudi Arabia
  • ■ Al Mazaya Holding Company, Kuwait
  • ■ Al Mutlaq Holdings, Saudi Arabia
  • ■ Al Taif Technical Services, UAE
  • ■ APA Insurance, Kenya
  • ■ Argentil Capital Partners Ltd, Nigeria
  • ■ Arch Investment, Bermuda
  • ■ Arthur Energy Advisors, Ghana
  • ■ AstraZeneca PLC, UK
  • ■ Bank of Africa Uganda, Uganda
  • ■ Bank of Namibia, Namibia
  • ■ Barclays Bank Kenya, Kenya
  • ■ Bashayer, UAE
  • ■ Beazley Group, UK
  • ■ Befordshire Fire & Rescue Service, UK
  • ■ Bestbuy, USA
  • ■ B&Q, UK
  • ■ Blom Bank, Lebanon
  • ■ Booz Allen Hamilton, USA
  • ■ Botswana Bureau of Standards, Botswana
  • ■ Botswana Telecoms Corporation, Botswana
  • ■ British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Oman
  • ■ British Petroleum, Singapore
  • ■ Brookfield Asset Management, Canada
  • ■ Broron Oil & Gas Ltd, Nigeria
  • ■ Bumi Armada Berhad, Malaysia
  • ■ Burckhardt Compression, UAE
  • ■ Call 2 Recycle, Canada
  • ■ Capital Markets Authority, Kenya
  • ■ CDC Group plc, UK
  • ■ Cef (Pty) Ltd, South Africa
  • ■ CENORED, Namibia
  • ■ Central Bank, Sri Lanka
  • ■ Chase Bank, Kenya
  • ■ CIC Insurance Company, Kenya
  • City of Johannesburg, South Africa
  • ■ Coca Cola, South Africa
  • ■ Coca-Cola Kwanza, Tanzania
  • ■ Commercial Bank of Africa, Kenya
  • ■ DAFF, South Africa
  • ■ Dana Gas, Egypt
  • ■ Dawn Fresh Ltd, UK
  • ■ Deloittes, UK
  • ■ Dept of Health, South Africa
  • ■ Development Bank of Zambia, Zambia
  • ■ DNV GL - Oil & Gas, Dubai
  • ■ Dragon Oil, Dubai
  • ■ Dutch Foundation, UAE
  • ■ Ecobank, Ghana
  • ■ Ecobank Plc, Nigeria
  • ■ Electricty Control Board, Namibia
  • ■ Emdad, UAE
  • ■ Emirates Response Services, Abu Dhabi
  • ■ Enaya Insurance, Kuwait
  • ■ Erongo RED, Namibia
  • ■ Essex Fire & Rescue Service, UK
  • ■ Eskom, South Africa
  • ■ Etihad Airlines, UAE
  • ■ Executive Secretary Magazine, UK
  • ■ European Food Safety Authority, Italy
  • ■ Finmeccania S.p.A, Abu Dhabi-UAE
  • ■ Finn.no, Norway
  • ■ First Bank Plc, Nigeria
  • ■ FNB Namibia, Namibia
  • ■ Gas Aggregation Company of Nigeria Ltd., Nigeria
  • ■ General Electric, UK
  • ■ Grant Thornton UK LLP, UK
  • ■ Gulf Agency Company (Dubai) LLC, Dubai
  • ■ HALA Supply Chain Services, Saudi Arabia
  • ■ Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service, UK
  • ■ Hill International - North Africa, Egypt
  • ■ HRH His Majesty The Sultan’s Flight, Brunei
  • ■ IKK Group, Saudi Arabia
  • ■ Imperial College London Diabetes Centre, UAE
  • ■ Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria
  • ■ International Hotel Group IHG, UK
  • ■ Johnson & Johnson, USA
  • ■ JP Morgan, Nigeria
  • ■ Kagiso Tiso Holdings, South Africa
  • ■ Kangean Energy, Malaysia
  • KIA Motors, Saudi Arabia
  • ■ King Abdullah University, Saudi Arabia
  • ■ Kings College London, UK
  • ■ KommunInvest, Sweden
  • ■ Kuwait Financial Center, Kuwait
  • ■ Kuwaiti Manager Company, Kuwait
  • ■ Les Laboratoires Servier, Dubai
  • ■ Lowestoft Sixth Form College, UK
  • ■ Majid Al Futtaim Trust, Dubai
  • ■ Malaysia Thailand Joint Authority, Malaysia
  • ■ Mattex, UAE
  • ■ Medtronic, South Africa
  • ■ Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, UK
  • ■ Mhlatuze Water, South Africa
  • ■ Millicom Ghana Ltd (TIGO), Ghana
  • ■ MISYS, UAE
  • ■ Momentum, South Africa
  • ■ MTN Ghana, Ghana
  • ■ MTN Rwanda, Rwanda
  • ■ Mubadala Petroleum (Thailand) Ltd., Vietnam
  • ■ Murphy Oil Corp, Malaysia
  • ■ Murphy Sarawk Oil Co Ltd, Malaysia
  • ■ Namibia Qualifications Authority, Namibia
  • ■ Namibian Ports Authority, Namibia
  • ■ National Film and Video Foundation, South Africa
  • ■ National National Industries Group Holding, Kuwait
  • ■ Naseej Properties, Bahrain
  • ■ National Film & Video Foundation, South Africa
  • ■ National Food Technology Research Centre, Botswana
  • ■ National Health Service, UK
  • ■ Newfield Sarawak Malaysia Inc, Malaysia
  • ■ Nigerian Export Import Bank, Nigeria
  • ■ Nored Electricity (PTY) Ltd, Namibia
  • ■ Nutricia, Dubai
  • ■ Oman Electricity Transmission Company, Oman
  • ■ OSCE Office in Yerevan, Armenia
  • ■ Oshwal Academy Nairobi Nursery, South Africa
  • ■ Palm Atlantis, UAE
  • ■ Panbet Ltd, UK
  • ■ Parliament of SA, South Africa
  • ■ Pepfar US Government, Namibia
  • ■ Perbadanan Bekalan Air Pulau Pinang Sdn Bhd, Malaysia
  • ■ Petro SA, South Africa
  • ■ Petroleum Agency SA, South Africa
  • ■ Petroliam Nasional Berhad, Malaysia
  • ■ Prime Minister's Office Government Of Lesotho
  • ■ Prime Minister's Office, UAE
  • ■ Public Investment Corporation, South Africa
  • ■ PV Drilling, Singapore
  • ■ Qatar Telecom, Qatar
  • ■ QDVC, Qatar
  • ■ Quindell plc, UK
  • ■ Ramada Resort Hotel, Accra, Ghana
  • ■ Rand Water, South Africa
  • ■ Rashid Centre for Diabetes and Research, Dubai
  • ■ Regulator, Malaysia
  • ■ Repsol, UAE
  • ■ Samancor Chrome (Pty) Ltd, South Africa
  • ■ SAP, UAE
  • ■ Sapura Kencana Energy, Malaysia
  • ■ Sapura Kencana Petroleum, Malaysia
  • ■ SapuraAcergy Sdn Bhd, Malaysia
  • ■ Sarawak Energy Berhad, Malaysia
  • ■ Saudi Airlines Cargo, Saudi Arabia
  • ■ Savola Food Arabia, Saudi Arabia
  • ■ Seda Arcadia (Pty) Ltd, South Africa
  • ■ Sharjah Islamic Bank, UAE
  • ■ SKKMigas, Indonesia
  • ■ Smiths Group, UK
  • ■ SMMT Industry Forum, UK
  • ■ South African Airways, South Africa
  • ■ SPTS Technologies (Orbotech), UK
  • ■ South African Reserve Bank, South Africa
  • ■ State General Reserve Fund, Oman
  • ■ Terraseis, Dubai
  • ■ The South African National Space Agency, South Africa
  • ■ The University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg
  • ■ Transalloys (Pty) Ltd, South Africa
  • ■ Tullow Ghana Ltd, Ghana
  • ■ Turbine Services and Solutions, UAE
  • ■ Uganda Energy Credit Capitalisation Company, South Africa
  • ■ Ulster Bank (Royal Bank of Scotland), Republic of Ireland
  • ■ United Kingdom Hydrographic Office, UK
  • ■ United Nations, Ivory Coast
  • ■ United Nations Food Programme, Dubai
  • ■ University of Namibia, Namibia
  • ■ University of Kent, UK
  • ■ University of Stellenbosch Business School, South Africa
  • ■ USA Embassy, South Africa
  • ■ USAID, Democratic Republic of Congo
  • ■ USAID, Kenya
  • ■ Vharanani Properties, South Africa
  • ■ Volta River Authority, Ghana
  • ■ Whitequest, Malaysia