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Learn about Office Practices - this newly revised and expanded course will provide you with practical office skills and techniques that can be applied directly on the job.


A good foundation in office practices is a great starting point for any administrative, secretarial or reception job. Employers are looking for candidates with the most skills and knowledge for their organisations. Improve your chances and learn the office basics. Once you have a general idea of how offices work and what kind of tasks are completed in an office, you will be able to easily slip into a position and grow on your knowledge with your new employer's culture.

  • The newly revised course looks at traditional office practices and the options and impact of IT systems.​
  • Learn about office layouts, processes and equipment.
  • Study the different forms of communication used and how to use these effectively.
  • What types of equipment are most appropriate? The course provides clear and concise explanations in such areas as the operation of email and the internet, types of computer equipment and hardware.​
  • Know what types of equipment are suitable for different applications and why.

As ACS courses offer flexibility, you can study in your own time, start the course when you need to and study at your own pace.

  • If you are new or returning to study, don't worry, our highly qualified and experienced tutors are there to support you every step of the way.
  • Course duration: 100 hours of self paced study.

This course is comprised of 8 lessons:

1. The Modern Office

  • The Scope and Nature of Office Work
  • Where to Work
  • Office Equipment
  • Information Technology
  • Office Processes

2. Communication Systems

  • Common Office Communication Systems
  • Electronic Communications
  • Communication Networks
  • Electronic Mail

3. Interpersonal Communications

  • Kinds of Communication
  • Effective Communication
  • Becoming an Effective Communicator
  • The Communication Process
  • Email and Electronic Communication
  • Communicating with Clients
  • Giving and Receiving Instructions

4. Phone Skills

  • Telephone Techniques
  • Telephone Answering When You're Not There

5. Writing Letters and Other Documents

  • Office Stationery
  • Good Business Writing
  • Memoranda
  • Business Letters
  • Business Reports
  • Editing and Proofreading

6. Computer Applications

  • Computer Applications in the Office
  • Types of Computer
  • Software
  • Computer Specifications
  • Viruses
  • Optical Drives
  • Peripherals

7. Office Organisation and Procedures

  • Organising Data
  • Record Keeping
  • Organising Office Space
  • Organising Work

8. Health and Safety in the Office 

  • Power Leads and Outlets
  • Using VDU Equipment
  • Lifting and Manual Handling
  • Fatigue in the Workplace
  • Stress Management
  • Office Security and Legal Restraints
  • Legal Risks


  • 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. 


Here are just some of the things you will be doing:

  • 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
    • readers
    • email
    • fax
    • scanners
  • Report on the range of systems covering:
    • couriers
    • postage
    • scanners
    • electronic banking
    • mobile phones
    • rail services
  • Write a letter applying for a 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 of 10 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.


Course Excerpt
Lesson 7: Office Organisation and Procedures


When organising or re-organising office space, furniture, equipment, work schedules, car pools, etc., the following basic questions must be considered:

1. Who will be affected by the arrangement? Discuss it with those involved; explain and reassure.
2. What are the operations within the section being organised (e.g. typing, mailing sorting, administrative operations)?
3. What else will be occurring in this space? Consider the movement of people, equipment, processes, etc. How will these affect the flow of work? What problems might result, and how can they be avoided? What arrangement will allow the greatest efficiency and convenience?
4. How much time and effort will be needed to organise space in this way? How will the business cope with the disruptions, if any? 

After the arrangement is in place and organising completed, always do:

1. An inspection. Use a check list to make sure that parts of the new organisation are in place correctly. 
2. An analysis. Evaluate the organisation or re-organisation to see that it achieves what it is intended to and whether its results are identifiable (i.e. whether it will save time, money, effort).
When organising or re-organising space, you must have a good idea of how that space will be used, by whom, how often, and when. An excellent way to determine this is to represent the information on a physical flowchart. A physical flowchart shows the placement of objects, and the movement of people in an area. This enables us to evaluate our current use of space, and design the space to allow for better, more efficient and easier movement and access to important equipment.

Figure 6: The arrows here represent the physical movement of one person. 

These physical flow charts show that one person’s particular use of the filing cabinets and printer would be made more efficient by changing the position of their workstation. Also, there appears to be a lot of repetitive movement, with frequent movements to other sections, suggesting that the procedures might need to be monitored, and perhaps changed to increase efficiency.

A further consideration to the placing of workstations in an office is light.  Is there sufficient natural or artificial light to enable an employee to work at the proposed location?  Sometimes lighting may be inconsistent within an office, also locating employees near windows may cause issue with temperatures on sunny days (even when an office is equipped with air conditioning).  You would also need to consider whether or not the location causes reflections on their workstation equipment or glare from their desks.  These may appear to be less serious considerations, but all will affect an employees ability to carry out their work. 

Starting a Business - PDF ebook

So ... Why should I take this course? 
  • This course is for those wishing to gain work in an office or for those who need to find more confidence to perform to their potential.
  • You will develop essential knowledge and skills in the operation of an office, covering such things as the nature and scope of office work, office procedures, the home office vs commercial premises, communication systems, security and much more.
  • The course is suitable to new inductees in an office through to those looking to gain wider knowledge to progress their career path.
  • If starting a business, the course will give you pointers on critical areas such as file management, office layout, procedures and equipment requirements.





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Do you want to work in an office or improve your office skills - experienced office workers are always in demand.

Gain the skills and knowledge necessary for the operation of an office with this course from ACS.


  • Ideal for people new to office work or those who want to refine their skills and knowledge on office practices.
  • Develop knowledge and skills in office operations and procedures.
  • The revised course looks at business and systems from those traditionally adopted to the development and impact of IT systems today.​





Meet some of our academics

David CrothersChartered Accountant with 20 years experience in corporate and financial roles. David has a FCA, GAICD, B.Sc.Econ (Hons), Cert IV TAA. Extensive international experience in business and finance.
Sonia Andrews15 years experience in business, bookkeping and accounting.
Rosemary Davies Rosemary has over 30 years of working in jobs ranging from Writer, Consultant, Broadcaster and, Business owner, to Teacher and landscape designer. She has worked for ACS since 2008
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 health and wellness. Denise has an Adv.Dip.Bus., Dip. Clothing Design, Adv.Dip.Naturopathy (completing).

Check out our eBooks

Business OperationsA text book for business students, or a guide book for anyone operating a business. Six chapters: Daily Challenges of Running a Business, Managing People, The Law, Fiance, Product Management and Risk Management.
Professional Practice for ConsultantsExplore becoming a consultant. This ebook contains chapters on how to be a consultant, packaging your services, delivering the services, building your resources, finding the work and getting the job, planning and ethics.
ManagementManagement is the process of planning, organising, leading, and controlling an organisation’s human and other resources to achieve business goals. More importantly though, effective management needs to be a process of human interaction and compassion. Most bad managers don’t know they are bad. They may well admit that they are a bit erratic, or they are sometimes late to appointments, but it is rare that they will recognise that they are ineffective as managers. Never here. This book has something to offer even the best of managers.
Project ManagementThis ebook is designed to help improve your capacity to manage any type of project in any type of industry. It may be read as a stand- alone book; used as something to refer to during the process of managing projects, or used as a complementary reference to help enhance the overall learning experience when studying a project management course.