What’s in a Name

If you have worked in the field of administration as long as I have, (dare I say over four decades), you will have experienced the trend of renaming particular positions, specifically that of what used to be called a Secretary.  The Secretarial role has evolved and with it the title, as over time the title of Secretary was perceived to be ‘old hat’ and not in keeping with the role as seen in today’s business world.

That evolution has also affected the naming of what was originally known as the Institute of Professional Secretaries, now renamed the Australian Institute of Office Professionals, to encompass all staff that work within the field of administration. Unfortunately, the name ‘office professional’ can sometimes be misconstrued as staff who work in the upper echelons of a company ie the Executive Suite.   

I was recently advised that to bring the naming of the administrative profession into a more recognizable name within the recruitment industry, a more generic name that is more relatable across the administrative profession is that of ‘Business Support’ which of course is a more descriptive term as it covers a plethora of roles across any business, from the person who manages the Front Desk (Receptionist), through to the person who manages the CEO.

I feel that by using this terminology to describe administrative staff, conversations on promoting these positions will become more streamlined.

Now whilst I have your attention, AIOP are running a face-to-face workshop here in Adelaide on Thursday 29th February next year – ‘UNLOCK YOUR CAREER POTENTIAL aimed at Business Support Staff.  The event is in the process of being finalized, however you can see updates if you click on title of workshop.


  • the importance of critical thinking;
  • being flexible and open minded;
  • acumen, what is it and how to utilize;
  • The importance of self-promotion inspiring confidence.

I am delighted to advise that we have a prominent Recruitment company coming on board to partner with the Institute for this event, something that I am very excited about.  Full details to be released shortly.

Please stay tuned for developments on this event via the AIOP website and in the meantime enjoy your Christmas celebrations, and the downtime with family and friends.

Catherine Middleton, on behalf of AIOP Central Division.

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