Administrative Officer

Administration is a critical function that is responsible for the smooth running of any team in a council to provide an effective and efficient administrative service to the team and department as a whole.  Every local authority employs administrative officers in all departments.  They may also be known as administrative support officers.

Work Environment
Administrative officers are usually office-based but may be required or permitted to work anywhere within the Councils area.  They may also be required to attend meetings or visit other departments.  37 hours per week are the usual working hours for Administrative Officers.

Daily Activities
An administrative officer's main responsibility is to manage administrative systems and sometimes staff.  Exact tasks vary depending on the team in which they are based but usually they include:

  • assisting on a range of work in a project support capacity;
  • ensuring that the mail is opened and processed in good time;
  • checking that all the necessary typing is completed;
  • coordinating team activities;
  • arranging managers' meetings;
  • arranging agenda's in preparation formeetings;
  • attending meetings and taking minutes;
  • maintaining filing systems;
  • maintaining office supplies;
  • contact point forthe department;
  • dealing with telephone enquiries;
  • updating and maintaining accurate records and producing reports;
  • word processing a wide range of material such as reports, memos and contracts of employment;
  • organising staff rotas and holidays, and rearranging their schedules when someone is sick;
  • taking disciplinary issues to human resources, then working with them to sort the problem out;
  • interviewing staff on a regular basis, identifying training needs;
  • research and analysis;
  • filling in forother members of staff in their absence;
  • invoicing, processing payments, creating payroll forstaff.

Skills & Interests
Administrative officers need to:

  • enjoy working with people, both in a team and in a supervisory role;
  • pay attention to detail;
  • have good written and verbal communication skills;
  • have good IT skills;
  • ability to work to deadlines;
  • ability to maintain confidentiality.

Entry Requirements
There are not usually any specific academic qualifications, although a good general education is preferred.  Most councils ask for5 GCSEs/S grades including English and Mathematics.  GNVQs/GSVQs orNVQs/SVQs are acceptable alternatives.  Sometimes, relevant experience of office systems is more important.  You may be required to have experience in IT packages.  You may need previous experience of supervising staff.  You may be able/expected to work towards NVQs/SVQs.  To work in this role in certain teams or departments in Wales, you may be required to be bilingual.

Future Prospects & Opportunities
There is no set career route after the role of administrative officer.  You may, however, be able to specialise in a particular area of a department's work,or move into a different department.  It is also possible to move into general office management positions.

Further Information & Services
Association of Secretaries 
Council forAdministration 
European Computer Driving Licence 
Instituteof Administrative 
PA Assist

You may find further information about this area of work through Careers Wales ( in your local library, careers officeor school careers library.

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