Personal Assistant / PA



OFO No: 334302





Other names for Personal Assistant (PA)

  • Administrative Secretary
  • Correspondence Assistant
  • Executive Assistant
  • Private Secretary

What is a Personal Assistant or PA?

Personal Assistants (PA’s) are usually called the “right-hand” of a person in a senior position, such as CEO’s, senior managers, high profile government officials and celebrities. 

The job of a Personal Assistant is to support the employer’s in their daily duties and ease their workload.

A Personal Assistant is the main point of contact and responds on behalf of the employer.

Personal Assistants are entrusted to handle highly confidential information and correspondence. If the employer is away, a Personal Assistant is able to competently handle projects, routine duties, and situations that may arise.

For some public figures, Personal Assistants may have to assist in managing both their employer’s professional and private lives.

What does a PA do?

  • checks and responds to employer’s e-mail
  • screens phone calls and takes messages
  • schedules appointments and manages employer’s diary
  • types reports and correspondences
  • makes travel and accommodation arrangements
  • attends meetings as the employer’s representative
  • supervises office staff
  • organises conferences, company meetings etc
  • organises team-building programmes
  • arranges catering for meetings
  • organises corporate gifting and incentatives etc

Are you . . . ?

  • a strong verbal and written communicator?
  • efficient?
  • extremely organized?
  • discrete?
  • a multi-tasker?
  • adaptable and flexible?
  • self-motivated?

How do I become a Personal Assistant or PA?

One can start off your career lower down in the company as a secretary, office manager or receptionist and then work your way up through experience and more training to becoming a Personal Assistant. 

Some companies may even pay for your training if you show enough initiative and dedication. 

If you want to apply for a position as a PA – a qualification is required or you must have loads of experience and skills.

Most TVET (FET) colleges and other training institutiions offer some sort of admin / secretarial courses. Look into studying Certificates or National Diplomas.


  • Diploma in Personal Assistance


  • Get work experience as a receptionist, office clerk or secretary
  • Go on training courses, if available
  • Get work experience and work yourself into a position of PA


  • CLICK HERE to check for a training institution near you to see what they offer.
  • Make sure you understand their entry requirements for each course.
  • To avoid scams, make sure your institution is registered with the Department of Higher Education. 
  • CLICK HERE to check accredited Private Higher Education Institutions. 


OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER:  Receptionist … or … Administration Officer … or … Secretary … or … Chartered Secretary

Is becoming a PA the right career choice for me?