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The Professional Office Manager Short Course

Unit Standard

110003 (8 credits) in the Business Administration Level 4 Qualification. Endorsed by: OPSA


2 days


Classroom or Online


To competently fulfil the office management role in your organisation you need to combine a diverse range of responsibilities and skills to ensure that office processes and activities are efficiently managed. This 2 day Professional Office Manager course will equip you with essential skills and techniques for getting the job done by focusing on a range of practical administration and people management skills that are needed in this role.

This highly practical 2-day course will assist you in various ways, empowering you to: make your office more organised, reduce costs, keep suppliers on track and on budget, and handle the everyday conflict issues that, if not dealt with, can lead to aggravation from the other employees


    • Securing the best value for money by learning how to source quality suppliers, negotiate fees and enter into Performance Contracts / Service Level Agreements
    • Contributing to the financial efficiency of your company by learning how to run a lean, costeffective office
    • Writing clear office policies and procedures so that co-workers avoid making time consuming and costly mistakes
    • Making a smooth transition from Administrator to Office Manager and excelling in your position by understanding what your company requires of you
    • Minimising misunderstandings and unproductive behaviour by learning how to communicate clearly with staff, colleagues and superiors
    • Developing a good relationship with your staff and coworkers, enabling you to influence and motivate them to achieve your objectives


An emerging trend in the Administrative field has seen Secretaries, PAs and Administrators assume more responsibilities that have traditionally been classified as ‘management’ tasks. This course is recommended for experienced and senior administrative professionals, who are expected to manage their office and manager/s daily.


Module 1: Making the Transition from Administrator to Office Manager

Identifying your Role as a Manager and what your Company Requires of you

  • The “Administrator / Process Manager” Role: Ensuring that Paperwork, Procedures and Systems run smoothly
  • The “People/ HR Manager” Role: Maintaining thorough employee records (including documentation relating to Leave, Sick Leave and Absenteeism) and managing tricky situations in line with current legislation
  • The “Project Manager” Role: Managing small scale projects within the office, or providing support for larger scale projects undertaken by your company

Assessing your Performance and Mastering SelfManagement Skills

  • Organisational Skills: Are you able to accomplish multiple tasks in a systematic, orderly way?
  • Time Management, Planning and Prioritising: Are you using your time wisely and completing important tasks by their due date?
  • Stress Responses: Do you manage stress and pressure without allowing it to have a negative effect on your work environment?
  • Image, Dress and Professionalism: Do you portray a respectable image to staff, colleagues and superiors?

Module 2: Key Areas of Competency for the Professional Office Manager

Understanding your Company’s Objectives to Better Manage Office Activities

  • Promoting awareness and efficiency among all employees by following a stepbystep guide for writing clear office policies that can be used as a reference
  • Ensuring that new employees are quickly ‘brought up to speed’ by briefing them on company policies and procedures
  • Identifying existing office systems and procedures that are outdated or ineffective and proactively suggesting improvements or alternatives

Office Related Procurement, Supplier Contracts and Service Level Agreements

  • Evaluating supplier offerings, sourcing competitive quotes and negotiating favourable rates
  • Clarifying your expectations of suppliers upfront and agreeing on acceptable levels of service in a Performance Contract
  • Monitoring supplier performance against agreed service levels to make sure your company gets what it’s paying for
  • Ensuring that service contracts make provision for maintenance and repair of office equipment in a way that will not interrupt the office workflow 
  • Understanding what your legal options are if a supplier doesn’t deliver according the established Performance Contract
  • Building strong business relationships with suppliers so that servicing your account is always a high priority for them

Module 3: The “People” Aspects of Office Management

Getting Things Done Through Other People

  • Using your knowledge of what motivates and drives your coworkers / staff to assist you in achieving your objectives
  • Tailoring your practical influencing skills to persuade people over whom you have no authority (e.g. other departments, suppliers or customers)
  • Extending the range of activities your staff can tackle by identifying relevant training opportunities that will expand their skills base
  • Recognising changes in productivity and dealing with underperforming employees through corrective counselling or Employee Assistance Programs
  • Maintaining a positive working environment and ensuring that staff perceive you as fair and thorough by following the correct procedure for dealing with grievances 

Practical Communication and Conflict Management Skills

  • Purposefully using body language, tone and word choices that deliver an unambiguous message
  • Ensuring people understand exactly what’s expected of them by delivering instructions that are clear and to the point
  • Keeping communication lines open by learning how to spot and deal with barriers to effective communication
  • Understanding how different cultures communicate and how gestures can be misinterpreted
  • Remaining objective and utilising a stepbystep approach for dealing with conflict
  • Creating a positive office environment by learning to deal with Office Politics, Cliques and Gossip

Module 4: Practical Tips for Dealing with the Challenges Facing Office Professionals

An Introduction to Problem Solving and Decision Making

  • Implementing a proven 3 step approach to Problem Solving
  • Defining and Analysing the problem
  • Proposing, evaluating and selecting an appropriate solution Implementing and monitoring the effectiveness of the solution
  • Overcoming common problems faced by Office Managers
  • Deciding when and how to go about referring a problem to your manager