Starting a PA Forum

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This toolkit was launched at PAFSA's annual Inter-Committee-Convention held at Kievits Kroon in Gauteng.

This toolkit has been placed online so that it is available for all PAs/Admin and secretarial organisations worldwide.

In brief: Why start an in-house forum

Some of the benefits of a PA Forum include:

  • Enabling the necessary access to important operational information and tools, to ensure that updated information is available through electronic channels to the PA community.
  • Assisting setting standards across the organisation.
  • Ensuring consistent training, mentorship and skills development is available to all PAs.
  • Sharing of knowledge  and ensuring that PAs are well informed and understand their role in the organization.
  • Enabling the PAs to be champions for change by challenging old habits and ensuring that policies and procedures are optimised.
  • Creating a sense of team dynamic and an opportunity to network for all PAs.
  • To fullfil the company's core values.

The ultimate aim would be to establish a best of breed and a standard of excellence among the organisation PA community.


Profile of the PA who can start/lead and in-house PA Forum:

To manage the organisation PA's training, development and operational needs.

Key Outputs

  • Ability to understand the various PA roles within the organisation.
  • Provide one-on-one coaching and mentoring where applicable.
  • Manage and set up monthly PA Induction training sessions for new and current PAs.
  • Set up  operational training initiative as required by business owners.
  • Provide bespoke certified and SETA approved training courses.
  • Work with both organisation training department and secretarial vendors to ensure best outcome and value for company's PAs.
  • Ability to liaise with all company business units to ensure training and operational processes are adequately communicated to the PA community.
  • Initiate and maintain PA Resource folder.
  • Communicate all relevant business information and updates on a regular basis to the PA community.
  • Provide bespoke training sessions on soft skills.
  • Encourage LMS learning.
  • Provide monthly information sessions for the PA community.
  • Manage Secretaries Day, Boss's Day and all other events which affects and incentivize the PA community.
  • Plan and organise an annual PA conference.
  • Manage and prepare a budget for the PA forum cost centre.
  • Be available to co-interview and assess new PA forum cost centre.
  • Ensure an updated PA contact list is maintained.
  • Communicate ongoing business information to the PA community.
  • Prepare monthly and annual reports.


  • Ability to lead and inspire all PAs within the organisation.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Ability to work independently.
  • Ability to take accountability, responsibility and ownership.
  • Ability to take initiative and exercise sound judgement and decision-making.
  • Ability to work in a highly pressurized environment.
  • Ability to deal positively with change and uncertainty.
  • Strong business acumen.
  • Strong quality orientation.
  • Strong organizational skills.
  • Self motivated and hard working.
  • Proactive.
  • Able to identify, nurture and develop PA talent.
  • Customer oriented.
  • High degree of accuracy and attention to detail essential.
  • High groomed and professional, and sets an example for their PAs confidentiality.
  •  Sound work ethics.
  • Team player.

Above information courtesy of Cathy Harris

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