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Advanced Certificate for the Executive Personal Assistant (ACEPA™) (5 days)

Course Overview



QualifiThe role of the Executive Personal Assistant/Secretary, is growing exponentially. From humble beginning the Executive Personal Assistant / Secretary is normally university qualified and required to perform demanding roles on behalf of their boss such as preparing executive reports, make presentations, attending and even making contributions during executive board meetings.

Executive Personal Assistants / Secretaries now have a highly visible and demanding role in blue chip corporations and government organisations.

This demanding role makes it imperative that the Executive Personal Assistant / Secretary has sufficient knowledge and understanding of the key fundamentals of Strategic Thinking, Project Management, Corporate Finance and Reporting, Leadership, HR, Procurement and Information Technology.

Being well trained Executive Assistant / Executive Personal Assistant / Secretary is therefore a source of security, prosperity and power!

On completion of this five day training course you will receive your certificate which has been fully accredited by Qualifi, an official UK Government recognised awarding body.

Course Contents

Aligning Operations to Strategy

  • Corporate Vision and Mission
  • How operations delivers the strategy
  • Cascading objectives

Fundamentals of Modern Corporate Behaviour

  • Exploring the characteristics of today's global business environment
  • Understanding the role of the executive assistant in a global economy
  • Why is the executive assistant more relevant than ever before?
  • Corporate Social responsibility
  • Business Ethics

Exploring Linkages Between Strategy, Projects and Operations

  • Strategy clarification
  • Identifying structures, governance, systems and people capabilities
  • Project alignment with strategy and organizational goals

Fundamentals of Project Management

  • What is a project?
  • Work Breakdown Structure
  • Planning tools, Project risks
  • Ways to compress a project’s schedule and budget

Project Governance

  • Implementing effective Project Governance
  • Controlling the project, including status meetings and issues management
  • Controlling changes and closing out a project
  • Managing effective meetings

Financial Statements

  • Understanding the 4 key Financial Statements

People Management & 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

Emotional Intelligence

  • Know your inter-personal style and how your behaviour impacts others
  • DISC personality profiling

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
  • Managing Quality

Balanced Scorecards

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

Presentation & Report Writing Skills

  • Oral versus written presentations
  • Planning Presentations
  • Overcoming Nervousness
  • Report Writing
  • Presentation Preparation
  • The Speaking Voice

Problem Solving & Multitasking

  • Differentiate and define various types of problems
  • Root Cause Analysis
  • Evaluate solutions and apply creative thinking techniques to problem solving
  • Determine the decision objective
  • Develop selection criteria & evaluate alternatives

Business Etiquette, Protocol & Diplomacy

  • Cultural Awareness
  • Understanding cross-cultural differences and awareness

Using technology in the 21st century

  • Telephone courtesies
  • Cell phone etiquette
  • Email protocols

ACEPA™ Examination *

1 Personality Profiling Test

* Only those who successfully complete the examination and participate effectively in the course case studies will receive the Advanced Certificate for the Executive Personal Assistant ACEPA™

Benefits of Attending

  • Gain an accredited Certificate approved by a UK regulated body –the Advanced Certificate – Executive Personal Assistant (ACEPA™)
  • Use ACEPA™ on your business card and on your resume
  • The ACEPA™ shows that you have completed International Certification and that you have the skills and experience to manage effectively on a national, regional and global level.
  • The ACEPA™ certificate will be received approximately one month following the close of the training course and will be issued jointly by Qualifi and BMTG.

Who should attend?

  • Executive Personal Assistants
  • Executive Secretaries
  • Executive Assistants
  • Personal Assistants
  • Personal Secretaries
  • Office Managers
  • Administration Managers
  • Management Secretaries
  • Senior Assistants
  • Executive Personal Secretaries

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


Meet your training course director: Richard Arnott BA FITOL

Richard ArnottRichard is an accomplished Programme Director and Big 4 Management Consultant with over 25 years global project and programme management experience within the Financial Services, Utilities, Logistics and Infrastructure sectors.

Richard is a Fellow of the Insitute of Training and Occupational Learning (ITOL) and specialises in project management, business transformation and change management and is co-Author and founder of many of the Business Management Training Group’s certified courses. Richard is responsible for the management and delivery of all BMTG non Project Management training.

Richard is the lead author of the ACEPA™ course which has received critical acclaim from all delegates.


Meet your training course director: Ian Shipley FITOL

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

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

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.


Meet your training course director: Jeff Lockhart MBA, DMS, FRSA, FCICM, FCMI, FITOL

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

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.

He 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.


Meet your training course director: 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 is the founding director & owner of Solution Focused, Learning and Development Consultancy. Solution Focused (UK) Ltd 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.

In addition to John’s 23 years’ in business John is also academically qualified, holding a Post Graduate qualification in ‘Solution Focused Thinking Leadership and Coaching’.

A very proud moment in John’s life was being part of the team that received the ‘Queens Award for Voluntary Service’ at Buckingham Palace for the work carried out by all the volunteers at Stafford Town Charted Standard Community Football Club.

Frequently Asked Questions

What differentiates ACEPA from other administrative professional courses?

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

Why was ACEPA 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 ACEPA is an advanced level course we look for a combination of skills and experience. Entry to ACEPA 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 ACEPA qualify for CPD credits?

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

Is the ACEPA certificate valid for life?


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

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


Again unlike most, if not all, similar Certified or Chartered courses ACEPA 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 ACEPA post nominal?


Is ACEPA recognised?

ACEPA has been attended by delegates from hundreds of companies across the globe who selected ACEPA 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, ACEPA 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 ACEPA have any testimonials?


ACEPA 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 ACEPA 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 ACEPA 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 ACEPA 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 ACEPA 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 “Diploma”, “Degree” 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 cannot gain Degree, A Diploma or Chartered Status in by doing a 5 days 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 ACEPA Available On-Line?


Are there any bursaries available for ACEPA?



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, United States of America
  • 11th June 2018, Berlin
  • 16th July 2018, Sydney
  • 23rd July 2018, Singapore
  • 27th August 2018, Johannesburg
  • 24th September 2018, London
  • 21st October 2018, Dubai
  • 29th October 2018, Bath
  • 12th November 2018, San Francisco
  • 19th November 2018, Barcelona

Also available In-House
Please Contact Us



Previous Course Photographs

International Recognition

Organisations that have attended the
Advanced Certificate for the Executive Personal 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