New VA, do I need a refresher course after a break from admin


Good afternoon,

I joined SVA a couple of months ago but haven’t posted much because I have been reading through everything and researching training courses to help me in this new venture. We have also just moved house so that has taken up a huge amount of my time.

I have been a Driving Instructor since 2007 with my own business, so I have already had experience of being self employed and running my own business. I worked in various administrative roles prior to this for several years. But this was obviously a good few years ago now. So what I would like advice on, is which computer programmes etc I should look into learning. I just worry that things have changed a lot since my purely administrative roles and I reckon I could do with a refresh - any recommendations on specific courses to help me do this, or do I even need to do a course? Maybe it’s just a case of playing around with the various programmes… I have yet to buy a VA course but intend to purchase the VA Handbook course from Jo Monroe, once I have worked through the free sections of her website. There is so much to take in, but am very excited about it all and cannot wait to get going. Thanks in advance, Happy Bank Holiday !


Hello and welcome to SVA -

Jo is one of our SVA Approved Trainers, so you will be in good hands (although she freely admits loads of the stuff in the course is on her website for free!!!).

Generally it’s less the admin that’s the trouble and more the running the business… Microsoft Office is still the mainstay for most general admin but you’ll also find it handy to have a play with Wordpress, Canva, Google Digital Garage courses for SEO/social media - and these will help you in your business as well as being more familiar if a client asks about them…


Thank you Caroline,
I did have a look at your approved trainer list and that’s where I found Jo’s details so I knew it was a safe bet! I will have a play around with these systems over the next few days. Thanks again.



I can definitely recommend the VA Handbook as a resource, it was a huge help for me when I started out and I’ve heard other people rave about it.

I’ve only bought a few of Jo’s courses but the ones I bought are all fantastic. And as Caroline already mentioned, loads of free advice on her website as well!


As well as Jo’s site and free info, I would also recommend Amanda Johnson and her facebook group the VA Helpdesk from VACT. She also has a fab website with lots of free content


Thank you - there is so much to get through. At the moment I am a stay at home mum to 2 year old twin boys so am researching and setting things up once they are asleep but there is so much brilliant content to work through. Very exciting!


Thank you - I have looked at this site too and it is in my notes to return to it once I have worked through Jo’s site. Am very glad to have found SVA - so much helpful advice!


Thanks Elizabeth - appreciate the mention.


How are you getting on? Your twin boys must keep you very busy - bless them.


Hi Amanda,

I’m getting on ok thank you - the twins certainly keep me busy! One of them has been refusing naps and waking several times a night lately which has meant I have had less time to research and get set up! But there is no immediate rush thankfully!