You’re keen to sign up for The Essential PA Programme (incorporating an Ofqual regulated Qualification SFJ Awards Level 3 Award in Professional PA & Administration Skills). You now need to get “sign off” and support from your Executive and organisation.
So, how do you succesfully do this? Here are some considerations:
- When is your training budget released? Think about the timing of your request so it coincides with the beginning of the budget year (or better still when budgets are being decided so your request can be factored in).
- Think about how your Executive likes to communicate.
If they prefer short, succinct and bulleted information present your request in that way. If they prefer visuals, a PowerPoint presentation may be a winning request format. If they love “all the detail” you may want to supplement your training request with the link through to the Your Excellency two-part blog post detailing the benefits.
Remember, the most influential and successful proposals and requests are tailored to suit the style of the person you want to persuade.
- Consider your development goals identified in your last appraisal/PDP. How will this Programme and qualification help you achieve these goals? For example, if you’ve identified a goal to work on your communication skills does the qualification cover this aspect of learning?
- Concentrate on the benefit to your Executive as well as the benefit to you personally. Your Executive wants to know “what’s in it” for them.
Remember, you’re going to be taking time out of the office. Your Executive wants to know that this time is going to be beneficial in the long run. They are interested in ROI (Return on Investment).
Use the Blog Series “Top 20 benefits of accredited, professional training” as a resource. Choose the benefits that are going to be the most persuasive for your Executive. For example, if your Executive is a member of a professional body they are more likely to be persuaded if you mention that you also want to be part of a professional body too.
- Pre-empt the questions your Executive will ask when you put forward your request.
Have you got ALL the information you need to hand? What problems is your Executive likely to pose when you put forward your request? For example, your Executive is likely to be concerned that you won’t be in the office for a day. Make sure you emphasise that
a) they’ll be another PA covering for you
b) you’ll run through the diary and do a debrief with your Executive the day before you are due out of the office
- When your training request is granted, show your appreciation in the form of a “thank you” to prove you are truly dedicated and enthusiastic about your continuous professional development.
The below document is an email that an Essential PA Learner sent to her Executive which resulted in sign-off for training. This document gives guidance on format and content.
Example Request for Training
Subject: Accredited Training/Qualification Request
Per our discussions last week, I have researched training courses and would like to request sign-off for the following Programme and qualification delivered by Your Excellency Limited.
The Essential PA Programme (incorporating the Ofqual regulated Qualification SFJ Awards Level 3 Award in Professional PA & Administration Skills)
Details and Consideration:
I need to attend 5 X one day training courses online with dates scheduled as follows;
25th May 2022 The Role of the Personal Assistant
14th July 2022 Managing your Workload
7th September 2022 Principles of Persuasion & Influencing
10th November 2022 Introduction to Project Management
I suggest we meet the day before the training dates to run over your schedule and check everything is in order. I will also ensure there is cover from one of the other EAs/PAs during my absence.
I need to submit written assignments following each training attendance. This will not impact on my working day and I will commit to write these in my own time.
£1,995 (plus VAT). This equates to just £399 per day’s training.
Also when I’ve achieved my qualification, I will be invited to a one day Masterclass in Finance and can attend this at the preferential rate of £250 plus VAT (instead of £495 plus VAT).
The qualification is delivered under awarding organisation SFJ Awards who are Ofqual Regulated. This means the programme has met stringent quality standards and we can be assured of relevant, up to date learning and content delivered by qualified, professional trainers.
Your Excellency have been in business for 15 yeas and are highly regarded in the learning and development and PA communities. The co-Director Lindsay Taylor is a former PA/EA herself and understand first-hand the complexities of the profession.
There is a Learner Success Stories page here with video testimonials from learners and graduates.
I have also spoken to a Graduate of this Programme who has enthused about her sense of achievement in obtaining this qualification. She says she feels really valued by her employers, she has learned lots of great skills throughout her training and is motivated about putting her learning into practice.
Per our discussions I believe it is important to keep up to date with skills and learning so I can ensure I’m assisting you to the very best of my ability. My effectiveness and efficiency will have a direct impact on your effectiveness and efficiency and ultimately save you time and money.
We identified in my appraisal that I could step up to attending the monthly Strategy Meetings, initially with you and then in place of you. During the training there is a specific session on contributing during meetings and how to put forward your ideas, proposals and ideas to communicate with impact. We also cover business jargon and terminology that will help me with a more thorough understanding our business.
I believe a better understanding of the complexities of the PA role will help me to contribute more widely in the business. I will be able to work better with you and the management team if I understand their communication styles and motivations.
During my period of study I have student membership of The Institute of Administrative Management (IAM) who are one of the oldest professional bodies for business and admin managers in the UK. Upon successful completion of my qualification, I can update to full membership at a cost of £xxx for the first year and £xxx for subsequent years. I can then add post nominal letters to my name which demonstrates our organisation’s commitment to valuing the EA/PA profession and adds kudos for me and our company.
Being a member of a professional body reflects both my and our organisation’s commitment to upholding the standards of the EA profession.
I have added a meeting into your diary for 9am on xxxx to discuss this with you and to agree next steps and thank you for your support.
You’re keen to sign up for The Essential PA Programme and need to get “sign off” and support from your Executive.