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Third Sector PA Conference

EPAA’s Third Sector PA Conference is delighted to be back for a second year.

This day will deliver inspiring and informative talks from thought leaders, which allow us to explore challenges facing this sectors EA/PA professionals. organisations in this constantly changing, increasingly complex economic times. How will this impact us as a profession and what can we do to prepare and upskill for the future.

The agenda includes high level and informative content, interactive debates and opportunities for networking with your EA/PA professional peers. Don’t miss your opportunity to join us by registering today!

This conference is for EAs, PAs and Office Managers who work within Third Sector organisations – charity, not-for- profit and social enterprise. If you are an EA/PA professional who has not yet worked in the sector but have an interest in doing so, please do sign up and come along!

Why attend:

  • Develop a strong professional identity
  • Grow self-awareness and confidence
  • Educational/CPD opportunities
  • Meet experts/influencers
  • Network with EA/PA professionals


09:30 – 09:40 | Networking Registration

09:30 – 09:40 | Welcomes – Victoria Darragh

09:40 – 10:40 | Assertiveness for Assistants; Victoria Darragh, Founder of EPAA

One of the unique challenges in the modern working world for many office professionals, is the ability to be assertive. Especially in the highly emotive (at times) third sector. What drives the emotion is the simple case of cause and not profit, which is the foundation of what you work towards each day.

EA and PA professionals often struggle to be assertive and it is fair to say a soft skill that is lacking across the entire profession.

By being assertive, this means you have the ability and skills to express yourself confidently, constructively and with effectiveness. It is about expressing your thoughts and feelings in an honest and appropriate manner, whilst preserving the rights of others. Not easy to do in today’s fast paced and at times stressful environments.

This one short, sharp workshop will enable delegates to have greater confidence in this subject area, with well-defined tools and techniques, in order to ensure a sound understanding of what it means to be assertive and when to use this skill appropriately.

Behaving assertively brings a number of benefits to your professional career including; earning respect from others, creating more honest and sustainable working relationships and providing you as an EA/PA with more job satisfaction.

10:40 – 11:00 | Break

11:00 – 12:15 | Workplace Bullying – What it is and what you can do; Jo Brown, MD of Dignity Works

Bullying and burnout is affecting many PA’s in the charity sector. Last year, EPAA ran a survey and they found that just under 60% of PA’s have experienced bullying and more than half of those who responded had been bullied more than 3 times during their career.

This session will look at what bullying is, how to spot it if it’s happening to you or in your organisation and the various ways you can deal with it informally and formally. We’ll also discuss what options are available if you feel it’s not safe to speak out or your company ignore it if you do.

There will be a Q&A session to finish and Jo will be available afterwards for any questions you don’t wish to ask publicly.

12:15 – 13:15 | Lunch

13:15 – 14:15 | The Third-Sector PA: Challenges and Considerations; Adam Fidler

In this inspirational and thought-provoking session, Adam Fidler highlights and discusses the challenges and considerations of the PA role, with particular emphasis on how the ‘true’ EA role adds value by having an appreciation of, and working within, the sphere of authentic leadership, governance and ethics. He elevates the EA role to capture the essence of outstanding Assistants, and how they can support the drive for stronger leadership in challenging times.

  • Re-defining the role of the PA to meet the challenges of a 21st century Third Sector organisation.
  • Black box versus red box activities and how Executives can get more value from their PAs by allowing them to transition into meatier and more involved roles.
  • Traditional and new models of support for Third-Sector leaders: the ‘triumvirate of the Chairman, Chief Executive and PA’, and the role today’s PAs need to play.
  • A case in point – the changing need of one Third Sector CEO – and the impact on the role of ‘support’ generally.
  • Key messages for Third Sector PAs if they want to develop their role, earn more money and realise their full potential.
  • Ethical leadership and doing the right thing under challenging circumstances.
  • The three As: Authenticity, Accountability and Altro-centric leadership are key to your success.
  • The ‘Governance’ aspect – where is it? Who’s responsible and why is it important?
  • Why the EA’s ‘Managerial Mindset’ is the starting point.

14:15 – 15:05 | EA/PA Panel Session

  • Emma Powell – Chester Zoo
  • Craig Harris – Shelter

Hear from our panel of top assistants from across various organisations within the third sector. Learn from their career stories and top tips on thriving in this sector. We will seek to openly debate and take a practical look at the forthcoming changes and framework of the assistant role – how do we prepare and support our leaders through challenging times and what does this mean for the profession.

15:05 – 15:25 | Break

15:25 – 16:55 | Building and Celebrating Career Success in the Third Sector

You’ve chosen to work in the Third Sector, which is a statement in itself. You’re also paying attention to professional development, and to how you can be a strong, strategic contributor to your organisation’s success. When you do so, you’re not only increasing your value to your NFP, charity or social enterprise; you’re also enhancing your own career satisfaction and elevating perceptions of the admin. career as a whole.

Shelagh Donnelly, publisher of Exceptional EA, speaks from extensive experience; she held her first C-Suite appointment in her early twenties. Currently a direct report to both the Board Chair and the President and CEO of a large organisation, she understands the significance of aligning your professional development with your organisation’s strategic plan and goals.

When you’re working in the Third Sector, you and your executives have the additional pressure of ensuring your communications and work consistently support your organisation’s brand and reputation. In this session, we will focus on the qualities of high performing EAs and PAs and how you can distinguish yourself as an admin, professional.

  • Characteristics of a high performing EA or PA – what distinguishes your contributions to your organisation’s success?
  • Effective communications
  • Networking to your employer’s advantage
  • Emerging issues you need to understand
  • Taking control of your career

16:55 – 17:00 | Conference Close


For assistance with the booking process please contact Georgina Farley – generalenquiries@eppa.org.uk

Chester Zoo

Cedar House

Caughall Road





Location to transport & city centre:

Chester Zoo is located 10mins by car from the city centre / Chester railway station. You can also take the bus from the station to the main entrance of Chester Zoo (X8).

By car:

  • 35 minutes from Liverpool
  • 50 minutes from Manchester
  • 50 minutes from Crewe
  • 1hr 40 from Birmingham
  • 2hr from Nottingham

Hotel Accomodation

If you are looking for accommodation the night before or after the conference we have a recommended list of options. Please contact Georgina to enquire further.

EPAA CPD Programme

Our EPAA CPD Members only scheme is launching in July 2017. Therefore, members in attendance of this course will receive CPD credits, along with a certificate of attendance.


Not yet a member? Sign up for membership today and receive 10% off your membership grade and in addition to this your free place at the conference.

Please email Georgina Farley for further information.

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