What can the networks do for YOU?

In case you didn't know, there is a wide range of support organisations out there, offering everything from a chance to share your problems with a colleague who understands, to fully accredited professional qualifications. We asked nine major support organisations in the secretarial field, what they can do for you…

1: Association of Secretaries
Founded in 1979 the association brings together senior secretaries to discuss current matters of interest to its members and to promote goodwill. Branches cover Aberdeen, Ayrshire, Birmingham, Central Scotland, Glasgow, Leeds, Sheffield, Tayside, and Tyne & Wear. The association hopes to expand its network into the southern half of the country in the next few years. Membership is from £5-20 pa depending on the number of members and the amount of outside support a branch receives.
contact: Val Houlton
e-mail: vhoulton@brummie.com
web: www.uksecretaries.co.uk

2: Association of Medical Secretaries, Practice Managers, Administrators and Receptionists (AMSPAR)
AMSPAR celebrates its fortieth anniversary this year. Established with the aim of creating and promoting appropriate qualifications for those working in medical administration, the association is recognised as an awarding body by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority - Amspar's diploma courses are included in the national qualifications framework. Criteria for membership vary according to qualifications, length of service in healthcare, and student status. Current membership stands at about 4,500. Members receive access to a free legal helpline and professional guidelines, as well as work and non-work related discounts. Students receive a complimentary copy of the AMSPAR magazine, published quarterly.
tel: 020 7387 6005
e-mail: info@amspar.co.uk
web: www.amspar.org.uk

3: British Society of Medical Secretaries (BSMS)
BSMS is a nationwide network of medical secretaries which provides education courses, professional support and the opportunity to exchange views, both through local and national meetings and through the BSMS journal. The society acts as the professional body representing medical secretaries and as such advises members, offers continuing professional development and promotes recognition of the medical secretary as a professional member of the medical team. Full membership is £35 pa for medical secretaries; affiliate membership is available at £25 pa for administrators, etc.
contact: The Administrator
tel: 0161 371 7117
e-mail: bsmsoffice@yahoo.co.uk
web: www.bsms.org

4: European Management Assistants (EUMA)
An international network of management support professionals, EUMA was founded in 1974 and is represented in 26 countries. It is the only European association offering members access to a professional pan-European network. It encompasses a vast range of business cultures, languages and lifestyles, and has links with other international associations based in the US, Brazil and New Zealand. Its professional journal is published three times a year, while national groups produce their own magazines. With a membership of around 200 in the
UK, EUMA UK is divided into four regions which hold regular regional and national events.
contact: One of the Regional Chairmen (see website) or Gillian Richmond, National Chairman on tel: 07778 867119
e-mail: gillianrichmond@ntlworld.com
web: www.euma.org

5: Institute of Agricultural Secretaries and Administrators (IAgSA)
With a current membership of nearly 900, IAgSA is the only professional body to represent those involved in rural business administration. A network of 30 branches nationwide meet regularly for seminars and training sessions and members also have access to an internet forum. Monthly bulletins update members on current legislation and inform them about government department deadlines, subsidy changes and industry news, as well as carrying articles relevant to rural businesses. Members are also sent annually a professional journal and directory of members.
tel: 02476 696592
e-mail: iagsa@iagsa.co.uk
web: www.iagsa.co.uk

6: Institute of Legal Secretaries (ILS)
The Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs was founded in 1990 to promote the excellence and professional recognition of Legal Secretaries and PAs. We are a professional organisation with Students and Members throughout the UK and overseas.

The Institute provides nationally recognised qualifications and helps people with their legal secretarial careers by giving advice, support and career guidance.
tel: 0845 6434974
web: www.institutelegalsecretaries.com

7: Institute of Qualified Professional Secretaries (IQPS)
With a network of 14 regional branches and around 2,000 members, IQPS members have access to regional, national and international contacts. The institute has an extensive library of professional training material and holds regular conferences, meetings and seminars, both regionally and nationally. The quarterly magazine "Career Secretary" contains reports and articles of professional interest as well as news about products and services.
tel: 01628 625007
e-mail: office@iqps.org
web: www.iqps.org

8: National Association of Administrative Staff in Schools and Colleges (NAASSC)
NAASSC is affiliated to the Professional Association of Teachers (PAT) which also has branches for other school administration staff such as librarians, bursars, laboratory assistants and caretakers. PAT lobbies for its members locally and nationally, provides professional and legal support and advice and distributes a regular journal. Within the umbrella association, NAASSC has its own committee which organises an annual conference and regional meetings.
tel: 01332 372337 (PAT headquarters)
e-mail: naassc@pat.org.uk
web: www.pat.org.uk/index.cfm?param=content/PAtT.htm

9: Secretaries of Pharmaceutical Industry Executives (SOPHIE)
Established in 1995, SOPHIE is a forum for directors' secretaries. Three times a year, around 100 senior secretaries and PAs from 50 pharmaceutical companies meet to learn about industry issues. The forum is designed to keep secretaries informed about matters facing the pharmaceutical industry as well as aiming to increase understanding of the complexities of the industry. Members receive three newsletters a year plus a handy "Jargon Buster".
contact: Kathy King
tel: 020 8878 8566
e-mail: kathy@pharmatimes.com
web: www.pharmatimes.com/sophie/

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