ICAP provides opportunities for growth through education and professional development. The institute aims to provide members the venue to learn, grow, and excel in their careers.
The Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) Program is available to those interested in advancing their professional development. The educational classes are available through distance, online, and lecture courses at universities and colleges across the country. The requirements for work experience and demonstrated core competencies would provide validation/mastery of skills related to the role of an advanced administrative professional.
Body of Knowledge
The CAP program body of knowledge focuses on these five skills for professional certification:
Setting up your organizational structure is one of the most important steps to take when building a company. An organizational structure helps you decide who does what, how they communicate with each other, and who reports to whom. The structure should reflect how your business operates; if it doesn’t, it can cause confusion and inefficiency among employees or make it difficult for them to succeed in their roles.
ICAP will help you learn and apply the best practices for setting up your organizational structure. We’ll help you decide what positions are necessary, how to delegate responsibilities, and who should report to whom.
This will cover the following:
- Understanding the purpose of a task and how its output relates to other tasks;
- Improving the efficiency of a process by simplifying the tasks at hand;
- Implementing and controlling activities to improve the effectiveness of a process or system; and
- Streamlining office systems to improve efficiency and productivity.
Administrative skills are a must for administrative professionals. You need to be able to multitask, prioritize projects and keep on top of your workload. You also need to have excellent communication skills so that you can effectively communicate with managers, clients, and other staff members.
You need to be able to think on your feet and quickly adapt to changing situations. You should also have good organizational skills in order to keep track of all the different projects you might be working on at any given time.
Administrative skills include the following:
- Implementing project management techniques to meet tight deadlines;
- Understanding planning methodologies and problem-solving techniques;
- Making various management decisions and making concise, detailed minutes from meetings; and
- Dealing with multiple managers and organizing the workload.
Effective communication skills are important for administrative professionals because they help you to effectively communicate with your managers, clients, and other staff members. You should be able to listen actively, ask questions and respond appropriately.
You should also be able to write clearly and concisely. You should be able to communicate with people from different backgrounds and cultures.
Communication skills cover a wide range of skills, such as the following:
- Understanding different styles of communication
- Learning to be more assertive without offending colleagues
- Avoiding communication mistakes by showing confidence
- Managing conflict resolution techniques
- Understanding body language and its role in communicating
- Adjusting communication techniques in accordance with gender
- Creating a healthy working relationship with senior managers
Any professional should be able to take advantage of the many professional development opportunities available. You should regularly attend training courses, seminars, and conferences that will help you to improve your skills. You should also keep up with current trends in the industry by reading trade magazines or other relevant publications.
Below are some of the skills that are commonly required in this field:
- Improving your leadership skills;
- Improving your listening skills in order to fully understand the vision and requirements of the task at hand;
- Creating networks within the organization; and
- Learning how to plan an effective presentation with power and confidence.
Self-management is the ability to manage your emotions, thoughts, and actions in order to achieve goals. You should be able to control your stress levels so that they don’t interfere with your work performance. You should also be able to set and meet realistic goals for yourself; this will help you measure how well you are doing at any given time.
Here are some ways to improve your self-management skills:
- Understanding the root causes of stress;
- Managing relaxation techniques for keeping the mind and body sharp;
- Building your self-confidence;
- Learning how to deal with difficult situations;
- Understanding the life cycle of stressful thinking;
- Understanding the underlying principles of emotional intelligence; and
- Integrating emotional intelligence into the workplace.