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Monday 18th - Friday 29th March 2019

Over the two week course the participants will cover the following topics. An exact timetable will be issued upon registration.

Traits sought in private service

  1. Discretion, honesty, knowledge of protocol and etiquette

  2. Punctuality and timekeeping

  3. Tact, trust. truthfulness and versatility

  4. The grasshopper mind

A day in the life of...

  1. What is the role of a houseman/butler/valet/house manager/personal assistant?

  2. Professional standards

  3. Appearance and personal hygiene

  4. Etiquette for principals and guests

  5. Answering the door and telephone and playing the gatekeeper

  6. Uniform, grooming and appearance

Dealing with employers, colleagues and staff

  1. Working with other house staff

  2. How to behave with employers

  3. Discretion, loyalty, integrity

  4. Flexibility with working hours

The kitchen

  1. Dealing with the cook/chef

  2. Chef’s night off and last minute meals – prepare a meal in 20 minutes

  3. Food hygiene and safety

Service - how to set and serve

  1. Breakfast

  2. Elevenses

  3. Lunch

  4. Tea

  5. Cocktails/setting up a bar

  6. Dinner

  7. Cheese boards

  8. After dinner coffee

  9. Champagne

  10. Trays and trollies

  11. Simple table decorations

Clothing and valeting

  1. Ironing

  2. Pressing

  3. Polishing

  4. Minor repairs

  5. Packing a suitcase

  6. Unpacking for guests and employers

Dealing with guests

  1. Greetings and warm welcomes

  2. Serving refreshments

  3. Dealing with unwanted guests

  4. Receiving tips and gifts

  5. Dealing with prying guests

Chauffeur skills and driving

  1. Vehicle valeting

  2. Vehicle preparations for driving

  3. Understanding technology

  4. Route planning

  5. Understanding and interacting with VIP passengers and guests

  6. Collections and dropping off

  7. Private airport etiquette and drop off procedures

  8. Security awareness

  9. Accident and emergency procedures

  10. Incident and collision reports

  11. Getting lost, and breakdown procedures

Entertaining rituals

  1. Addressing people with or without titles

  2. Passing the port

  3. Visitors' books

  4. Table boards and place cards

  5. Place and change an ashtray

  6. Dealing with special diets

  7. The silent service code

The pantry

  1. Cleaning silver

  2. Washing dishes

  3. Operating dishwashers, when and when not

  4. Handling silver, crystal, fine china

Employment, recruitment and retention

  1. Writing your CV to get an interview

  2. Mentoring, interviews and career development