By Royal Appointment

The curriculum

Butlers and house managers in today's residential market must understand the skill set of each staff member in the residence. Our students learn how to correctly execute each household job skill to facilitate superior management of their staff. We have painstakingly put together an excellent curriculum of which we are very proud. We cannot provide too detailed information on our web site, but we can show you a glimpse of what you may expect. You will be responsible for the rest of the staff, and possibly the yacht, the jet and other properties. You will be the estate or house manager, sometimes the chauffeur and at times even the housekeeper, handyman, accountant, gardener etc. Whatever your role, we will teach you to do it with style and grace.

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Broad, practical and skills focused training

The art of managing a 21st century household requires training and practice. Our training, and our curriculum are broad, practical and skills focused. We emphasize skills that are current and relevant to today’s households. Our curriculum is designed to provide students with comprehensive butler and house manager skills that can be put to use on day one of their first private service position. 

Our comprehensive eight-week, 648 curriculum hour, government licensed training program will introduce and test each student to all the expected duties of a butler, personal assistant, valet, house and estate manager. Although a large part of your responsibility as a butler could be such things as serving meals, setting tables and the like, and you will receive ample training in these areas, the overall training mainly focuses on how to professionally run and manage a large, multi-million dollar estate.

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The curriculum

The International Butler Academy teaches a personal service expertise and organizational structure that supports the management of complex homes and lifestyles. We train you in all the aspects of butling and house management. The core areas of study, and some examples of subjects covered in each include:

  • The life of a butler
    includes history and traditions, personal traits, technical skills, personal and professional standards, and service in detail. Click the link above (The Life of a Butler) and review an example of how detailed our approach to one single subject actually is.

  • The modern butler
    includes the usage of cutting-edge technology, the TIBA butler's online platform, and more.

  • Staff management
    includes interviewing skills, hiring and firing, agency staff, employee handbooks and house rules, human resources and personnel issues, staff communications, boundaries, time management.

  • House management
    includes setting of routines and schedules, household hierarchy, defining and setting standards, purchasing.

  • Table management
    includes setting tables and serving meals, serving skills, styles of service, table manners, wines and champagnes, cigars, creating menus, special celebrations.

  • Laundry management
    includes linens and fine fabric care, clothing maintenance, ironing & pressing, dry-cleaning, product knowledge.

  • Valeting skills
    examines the professional Gentleman's Gentleman, and includes dress codes, formal wear, purchasing and care of bespoke clothing and shoes, maintaining inventories, packing and unpacking suitcases.

  • Communication
    includes cultural differences, interpersonal skills, body language, remembering names and making conversation, telephone manners, presentation skills.

  • Pets
    includes responsible animal care, animal welfare, pets behavioral needs, dogs and cats grooming, etc.

  • Etiquette & protocol
    includes addressing persons of different cultures and titled persons, acquiring social confidence, social and business correspondence, common-sense good manners and consideration for others, personal norms and values.

  • Cooking
    includes balancing food and wine, menu planning and record keeping, hygiene, speed-cuisine, quality control, "the Chef's night off".

  • Miscellaneous
    includes traveling with your employer, flower arranging, relocating the household, chauffeuring techniques, security, character building and much, much more.

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Practical training

Every few days one student is appointed student head butler and one student is appointed assistant student head butler. Both are in charge of the group. As student head butler, a student is responsible for organizing all meals that day, organizing any field trip during that time, looking after guests, and managing the rest of the staff so that everyone knows what he or she needs to do. Role-playing is an important instrument we use in our training methods. It allows students an opportunity to know and understand what it is like to be in charge of a large staff and at the same time the staff will learn to work under a demanding supervisor. Every single day is a practical learning day. Events at school are real, with for instance real guests attending our Royal dinners (named that way because of the style of service). You will experience real events. Delivery people you have to deal with are real. Maintenance people are real. Problems you face as butler in a multi-million dollar private home are real. The demanding family you work for at the castle is real. On the evening of the graduation, and when you stand at the door receiving your friends and family, you will stand there with confidence, knowing that you have just finished a training program of unsurpassed quality.

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Course days

A typical course day runs from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Some days run longer. Students are normally free on Sundays. However, please note that students on previous training programs have had only five or six days off over a period of eight weeks. The instructors will coach you throughout the course. On a daily and on a weekly basis you will receive feedback on your progress toward becoming a superb butler. Various tests need to be fulfilled throughout the training program with final tests in the last week.

A lot of training takes place in eight weeks, so you have to come mentally prepared. The training program is intensive and will be strenuous, perhaps even exhausting. However, these eight weeks are also a lot of fun and you will undoubtedly return home with many new friends and many fond memories.

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Student skills and practice lab

Providing our students with the very best human resources, products, services and logistics is important to us, and of course to the students. One of the many things we have done for our students is to provide them with a single room in the castle that is their domain where they can privately practice their skills whenever they want. This very large room in the castle is completely setup for this purpose.

It is indeed a very large room: about 2.000 square feet! In fact, it is the largest room in the castle. Here the students have the opportunity to practice what they learn, privately and away from guests and instructors. For practice purposes the fully equipped room contains two fully operational bars. There is Laurstar ironing equipment, and to learn packing and unpacking suitcases there is clothing from the exclusive French brand Lanvin. There are various sizes tables and chairs, all kinds of china, crystal, cutlery, glassware, table linen etc. Obviously the room is large enough so that students can mock up any kind of table setting they wish. Students also use this room for homework.

Example curriculum here.

By Royal Appointment