Office Practices

Study office skills and administration studies in distance education courses, training online or correspondence, at home, with caeers advice, free handbook, course extracts, articles, free handbook for vocational work skills.

Course CodeVBS102
Fee CodeS1
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

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Courses can be started at any time from anywhere in the world!


Without either experience or a specific course of learning - getting work in an office can be difficult. This course can help you along the way to:
  • Improve your chances of getting an office job
  • Do the job you have better
  • Extend your capacity to communicate, solve problems and be more productive

Skilled office workers are always in demand. Make sure you have the edge! Develop the skills and knowledge necessary for the operation of an office.

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. The Modern Office
  2. Communication Systems
  3. Interpersonal Communications
  4. Phone Skills
  5. Writing Letters and Other Documents
  6. Computer Applications
  7. Office Organisation and Procedures
  8. Health and Safety in the Office

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Determine the price range of different items of equipment and materials.
  • Determine the upper and lower limit of what it might be likely to cost you to set up a new office.
  • Design a memorandum form.
  • Explain postal systems used in a business.
  • Create a MS Access Database.
  • Design a filing system.
  • Design a work schedule suitable for a specific workplace.
  • Design a security system that can be implemented in a work situation.
  • Design a layout for an office situation.

What You Will Do

  • Make a list of essential equipment, stationery and other materials.
  • Visit an office supply company.
  • Collect catalogues or price lists for different products available.
  • Compare the implications of having an office at home with leasing, buying or using a serviced office.
  • Explain applications to use and apply the following office equipment:
    • computers
    • mobile phones
    • printers
    • email
    • fax
    • scanners
  • Report on the range of systems covering:
    • couriers
    • postage
    • scanners
    • electronic banking
    • mobile phones
    • rail services
  • Write a letter applying for this job.
  • Write a letter from an organisation (real or imaginary) to another organisation.
  • Ask your local computer supplier about virus removal software and hardware.
  • Compile a table comparing features of different computer systems.
  • What roles can computers play in business?
  • Contact or visit various stationery supplies to find out about what materials are available.
  • Write a report about how to design a filing system suitable for your area of work.
  • Inspect various offices to see how they are utilising space and storage.
  • Contact various suppliers of office furniture to see what furniture is available.

How Well Do You Handle a Phone Call?

Good office staff will not only know what to do, but handling the phone professionally and efficiently should be intuitive to them.


    This course provides a little bit of everything you need to make yourself attractive and useful to an employer. For some people, this may be an ideal place to begin; but for others, it may be better for you to start with a different course.
    • Keep a notepad and pen handy to jot down information.
    • Answer calls promptly, usually, on the third ring. Be sure to have the phone in position before you speak. If you speak too soon, the first part of your greeting can be lost, and the caller hears “…..speaking.”
    • Greet the caller, introduce the business, then yourself, quickly and clearly. For example: “Good morning, ACS. Martin speaking”.
    • Ask for, and use the client’s name, but not so much that you sound like a robot.
    • Actively listen for the person to tell you what they want. Be prepared to ask questions to get to the main point. For example: (listening, then) “Would you like to enrol in the course now, or do you want to know how to enrol in the future?”
    • Try to really understand the caller’s intended meaning. Give them your full attention.
    • Sound alert and interested. The best way to do this is to be alert and interested. Another way is to vary your voice inflection, so that it doesn’t sound monotone. You might need to practice.
    • Sound friendly and courteous. Smile – you can hear a smile – and use polite language. A friendly happy voice on the phone is a very great asset in any business.
    • Speak clearly. Talk into the handset; pronounce words correctly; and don’t talk too fast.
    • Be cheerful and patient. Remember that if there is a problem the person is not annoyed at you, but at the problem, as they perceive it.
    • Be willing to help. If you can’t, tell the person that you will refer them to someone who can, and do it.
    • When referring them to another person, get their permission first, and give them the name and title of that person. Check to see that the call has gone through as planned. If there is a long delay, ask if the other person can phone them back.
    • Do not put a person on hold without their permission. The caller might be making a long-distance phone call, or calling from a mobile phone, or might not have time to wait. Ask, “May I put you on hold for a moment?” and wait for the answer.
    • If you can’t help the client right away, take their name and number and promise to phone them back. Give a time, rather than just saying, “I’ll call back later.”
    • Follow up. Do what you have promised, and do it promptly.
    • Repeat the main ideas of messages back to the person to ensure that you both have them correctly
    • At the end of the conversation, thank the customer for calling. If appropriate, end with a friendly close, such as "Hope to hear from you again soon", or “It was a pleasure to talk to you”. However, in more formal situations, a simple thank you is sufficient.
    • Keep the phone in position until you and they have finished speaking. If you try to hang up too soon, they might only get part of your exit, hearing something like, “Thanks f…….
    • Immediately make any notes to help you remember what you have agreed to do, or who else must get the message. Do not rely on memory.

    Why Study Here?

    • We know office work having run an office since 1979.
    • We nurture our students -while some schools are simply focused on providing you with information, we are more interested in improving your ability to use what you learn.
    • More access to tutors, better qualified tutors
    • Study where and when you want
    • Stop after this course; or continue (using it as a credit toward a higher qualification)



    ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.
    ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.

    ACS is recognised by the International Accreditation and Recognition Council
    ACS is recognised by the International Accreditation and Recognition Council

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    David Crothers

    Extensive international experience in business and finance. Chartered Accountant with 20 years experience in corporate and financial roles. David has a FCA, GAICD, B.Sc.Econ (Hons), Cert IV TAA.
    Kate Gibson

    Kate has 12 years experience as a marketing advisor and experience as a project manager. Kate has traveled and worked in a variety of locations including London, New Zealand and Australia. Kate has a B.Soc.Sc, Post-Grad. Dip. Org Behaviour (HR).
    Denise Hodges

    Promotions Manager for ABC retail, Fitness Programmer/Instructor, Small Business Owner, Marketing Coordinator (Laserpoint). Over 20 years varied experienced in business and marketing. More recently Denise studied naturopathy to share her passion for healt
    Sarah Edwards

    Over 15 years industry experience covering marketing, PR, administration, event management and training, both in private enterprise and government; in Australia and the UK.