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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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 and how to manage your staff.

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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. For the duration of the entire 8-week training program, all students will have from us their own personal iPad Air with software installed on it. This personal iPad Air is one more tool that allows students to learn running a high-value estate, mega yacht, or Palace. Of course, the iPad Air is also used for learning techniques and information gathering at our Academy. It even allows students to communicate with the faculty and with each other, on and off duty. 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. Delivery people are real. Maintenance people are real. The demanding family is real. Problems you face as butler in this a multi-million-dollar private home are real. Know this; on the evening of your graduation, you will stand on stage with confidence, knowing that you have just completed a training program of unsurpassed quality.

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Training days

A typical day runs from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Many days run longer. On average there are six days off over a period of eight weeks. 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 taking place in the last week. The instructors will coach you throughout the training program. 

An enormous amount of training takes place in eight weeks. You have to come mentally prepared. The training program is intensive and 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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By Royal Appointment