National Secretaries Day

National Secretaries Day in South Africa is celebrated annually on the FIRST Wednesday of September. This date was established by the Executive Secretaries Club of South Africa (ECSA) and Kelly Girl 25 years ago . The head of ECSA and of Kelly Girl was Neville Mackay. ECSA became PSA in 1998 and was acquired by Siyanqoba Seminars in 2004/5 and the PSA was renamed and is now OPSA. Dictum Publishers Pty Ltd (organisers of the PA of the Year, and publishers of secretarial publications for over 18 years) and ICAP ( a certifying body)  are joint custodians of the DAY. 

§   Event History and Objectives

This annual event was originally organized in 1952 as "National Secretaries Week" by the National Secretaries Association (now known as the International Association of Administrative Professionals: IAAP) in conjunction with public relations executive Harry Klemfuss and a consortium of office product manufacturers. It was established as an effort to recognize secretaries for their contributions in the workplace, and to attract people to secretarial/administrative careers. In the year 2000, IAAP announced a name change for Professional Secretaries Week and Professional Secretaries Day. The names were changed to Administrative Professionals Week and Administrative Professionals Day to keep pace with changing job titles and expanding responsibilities of today’s administrative workforce. Over the years, Administrative Professionals Week has become one of the largest workplace observances. The event is celebrated worldwide, bringing together millions of people for community events, educational seminars, and individual corporate activities recognizing support staff with gifts of appreciation. IAAP suggests that employers observe Administrative Professionals Week by providing training for their administrative staff through seminars, continuing education or self-study materials. Another suggestion is to make a commitment toward delegating responsibilities that better utilize the skills of administrative professionals.

§   Who qualifies as an "Administrative Professional"?

In 2000, IAAP changed Professional Secretaries Week and Professional Secretaries Day to Administrative Professionals Week (APW) and Administrative Professionals Day® (APD) to keep pace with secretaries changing job titles and expanding responsibilities. Research shows that many workers around the world still hold the “secretary” job title; however, many alternative titles have become more popular, such as administrative assistant, office coordinator, administrative specialist, executive assistant, and office manager. While all secretaries are covered under the umbrella term “administrative professional,” not all admins hold the title of “secretary.” The name change to Administrative Professionals Week and Administrative Professionals Day expands the event to include other administrative job titles that also richly deserve recognition. In its association bylaws, IAAP defines administrative professionals as “individuals who are responsible for administrative tasks and coordination of information in support of an office-related environment and who are dedicated to furthering their personal and professional growth in their chosen profession.” Employers may use the above definition as a guide. IAAP also suggests that organizations be more inclusive than exclusive when deciding who deserves recognition during APW.



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