Adam Fidler Academy Annual Review 2017 - Reflections and Raising the Bar

The last year has certainly been an exciting time for Adam Fidler Academy.  We are delighted to share with you some of our highlights and achievements from 2017; which, in my view, has been perhaps one of the most interesting years for the EA and PA profession, both in the UK and internationally.

Through our doors at our contemporary premises in Manchester, UK, we’ve welcomed many Assistants, from the UK and abroad, on our most popular programmes, The Strategic Executive Assistant, and Get Ahead as an Executive PA, amongst others.  I’ve also taught courses in London, and around the UK, including Cambridge, Skipton, Newcastle, Liverpool, Bristol, Leeds, Reading, Greenwich, Harrogate, Macclesfield, Chester, Newport and Sheffield.  It’s always a huge pleasure to share our thorough knowledge, passion and understanding of what it takes to be an EA or PA in today’s commercial world with others – and to inspire Assistants to reach their full potential. 

It’s interesting to note that we’ve also welcomed to our Manchester Academy students from France, Germany, Luxemburg, Dubai and Switzerland – as well as students from the UK.  To have students travel so far to receive our teaching and learning is a wonderful testimony to the quality and relevance of our unrivalled course content.

My concepts of the ‘Strategic Executive Assistant’, analogies of the new role of the EA, and perspectives on how the role of the Assistant will change, have been shared by me at conferences and events all over the world.  In fact, being known as a guru in the PA/EA field has taken me to places such as Barcelona, New York, Vienna, Amsterdam, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Bloemfontein (South Africa), Sun City (South Africa), Dublin, Belgium, Milan, Paris, and Cork (Ireland) – to name but a few – where the Secretaries, PAs and EAs that I meet continue to inspire me to give them the best learning and experience possible, whether that be a session for one hour, or for several days. 

A key accolade this year was Adam Fidler Academy being appointed as the lead training provider to the Executive and Personal Assistants’ Association (EPAA). It’s a delight to work so closely with Victoria Darragh, EPAA’s Chief Executive, to raise the profile and status of the PA and EA role here in the UK.

In the background, as an international speaker and lecturer, I continue to raise the bar within the industry.  Many of my concepts, such as EAs being more ‘strategic’, needing to be more credible, and operating as an integral part of the management team, are now being used more widely in the industry (and by my competitors, I might add!).  But that was always the aim of mine – to re-define the role of the EA without defaulting to ‘secretarial’ language.  I’ve proven that when we define the role of the EA in more managerial terms, then employers, Executives and those who have an Assistant respect the role more, and see its true value to the commercial world.      

It’s surprising how many Assistants still say to me: ‘But there is nothing for me to learn about that would be the right level; I’m already a senior PA’ – and I smile and reply: ‘You’ve obviously never been to Adam Fidler Academy!’.  For the content and teaching that we specialise in is not standard secretarial/PA practice.  On the contrary, all our courses contain a strong element of business strategy, commercial acumen and management and leadership theory.  I said we’d raise the bar, and that’s what we’ll continue to do next year as well.   

And, talking of raising the bar, our Executive Assistant Manifesto™ really went down a storm this year – and it’s still doing the rounds, with over 65,000 views on social media to date. 

When I wrote the EA Manifesto, I never expected it to be quite so well received; but it just goes to show that EAs and PAs the world over and crying out for a better opportunity to reshape their future jobs, exceed expectations and be recognised in their roles. Employers who don't want this will continue to lose the best EAs, for today’s EAs expect more – and want more.  Gone are the days where the best Assistants are happy to become staid in their jobs.  In return, naturally, employers expect more too.  Reciprocity will become increasingly important as the role of EA/PA continues to grow. 

For 2018, our specialised Executive Assistant Diploma pathways will really be at the forefront of any progressive EA/PA, who wants to build their confidence and credibility – and be qualified in what they do.  I’ve made no secret about the need for Assistants to be ‘qualified’, if they are to ever get professional status. 

It would be very remiss of me not to say a huge thank you to all the students, delegates and clients who have worked with us during 2017.  You’ll never know how much you give back to me through your validation and belief in what we teach.  I have a huge pile of testimonials in front of me, far too many to mention here; but that’s the evidence that our drive for higher-standards in the industry, coupled with practical and high-quality content, makes a difference… personally, professionally and globally. 

We look forward to welcoming you to Adam Fidler Academy in 2018. 

Best wishes

Adam Fidler
Principal and Founder