ICB Administration Programme Learning Outcomes

Office Administration Programme



Refer to the ICB curriculum statements under the ICB Accounting Programme for the following subjects:

  • ICB Bookkeeping to Trial Balance
  • ICB Business Literacy
  • ICB Financial Statements
  • ICB Cost and Management Accounting


ICB Business and Office Administration 1

The role of the receptionist


  • Outline the duties and tasks of a receptionist;
  • create and maintain a clean, safe and presentable reception area according to organisational standards;
  • greet customers and identify their needs;
  • handle customers’ telephone, facsimile and electronic requests appropriately;
  • give appropriate responses to customers in a face-to-face situation and on the telephone;
  • receive and direct visitors in accordance with organisational policies and requirements; and
  • describe and apply security procedures in accordance with organisational policies and requirements.


Handling mail


  • Receive mail according to established procedures;


  • sort mail according to established procedures;
  • stamp mail correctly according to established requirements;
  • provide reasons for stamping incoming mail;
  • attach enclosures securely and report missing items in accordance with set procedures;
  • describe the importance of maintaining confidentiality and security of documentation in terms of receiving and sorting mail;
  • observe confidentiality in terms of a mailroom code of conduct;
  • distribute mail internally to relevant persons within an agreed time;
  • explain possible reasons for unavoidable or necessary delays in distribution, and describe the consequences of such delays;
  • address mail legibly and correctly for internal and external distribution;
  • describe procedures  for  dispatching  mail  externally  in  accordance  with  established procedures and post office requirements;
  • dispatch mail externally via the post office or a courier service within agreed deadlines; and
  • explain the legal implications of neglecting to comply with mailroom procedures in terms of own work performance and possible cost to company.


Record management systems

  • Provide reasons why companies record and keep information;
  • identify the structure, components, equipment and supplies required for electronic and paper filing systems;
  • use procedures appropriate to the workplace for opening, closing and retaining files;
  • select and use appropriate storage and retrieval methods for electronic and paper records;
  • handle records in a manner which complies with statutes and regulations governing the privacy of information and the retention of records;
  • develop a schedule for retention and disposal of records;
  • provide reasons for internal control; and
  • identify problems with inadequate internal controls and make suggestions for improvement.

The role and function of the secretary


  • Demonstrate an  understanding  of  the  role  and  the  function  of  a  secretary  in  an organisation;
  • indicate the traditional technical skills required by secretaries;
  • identify additional skills which are likely required;
  • advise a junior employee on performance;
  • appreciate the importance of good telephone etiquette;
  • demonstrate competence as a secretary in an organisation;
  • demonstrate competence in handling routine business correspondence;
  • draft memoranda, minutes and reports; and
  • demonstrate skills and ability to organise.

Introduction to Computing


  • Discuss the history of computers briefly;
  • learn what a PC is and how it basically works;


  • identify the main components of PC Hardware;
  • understand why upgrading a PC is important;
  • identify various PC Software applications;
  • differentiate between hardware and software;
  • understand the interaction between Hardware and Software using the IPOS cycle;
  • understand what networks are used for;
  • identify the basic components of networks; and
  • explain the advantages and disadvantages of using computers.

The Windows Operating System


  • Understand where the windows concept comes from;
  • learn how to use basic tools in Windows;
  • learn how to Log On to your PC;
  • identify the desktop and the taskbar;
  • identify objects in Windows;
  • use the recycle bin;
  • identify tooltips;
  • identify common Window components;
  • learn how to control multiple opened Windows;
  • learn how to start a programme;
  • use the help, support and search tools;
  • learn how to adjust PC hardware and PC software properties;
  • learn how to change basic mouse properties;
  • view the display properties;
  • understand user accounts;
  • add and remove programmes;
  • learn what drivers are;
  • use Windows Explorer to browse and create folders;
  • open and navigate through the Windows Explorer structure;
  • learn how to work with files and folders in Windows Explorer;
  • create and save a document in Windows; and
  • know how to launch a programme.

Working with Internet and Email

  • learn what e-mail is;
  • distinguish the difference between Internet e-mail and network e-mail;
  • identify the various Outlook components;
  • compose messages in Outlook;
  • learn how to format messages;
  • learn how to open a message;
  • learn how to add an attachment to e-mail;
  • understand why and how to create e-mail folders;
  • learn how to move messages to a folder;
  • understand how contacts work in Outlook;
  • learn how to add and delete contacts in the address book;


  • use the help function in Outlook;
  • working with electronic calendars;
  • schedule appointments and meetings in an electronic diary;
  • create and manage contact in an electronic diary;
  • understand Internet Basics;
  • distinguish between the Intranet and the extranet;
  • understand what viruses are;
  • identify a web browser;
  • understand what the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is;
  • identify the Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 Interface;
  • use web-base tools;
  • download programs and files from the web;
  • understand the workings of a search engine;
  • search the web and getting usable information.


The rules of typing

  • understand the  correct  postures  and  techniques  to  use  your  computer  safely  and effectively;
  • learn the basic typing rules and manuscript signs;
  • understand where to place your fingers on the keyboard;
  • understand the basic techniques of touch typing;
  • work out how fast you can type; and
  • be aware that typing software can increase your typing speed.

Creating business documents

  • produce an advanced business letter;
  • produce an advanced official letter/formal report;
  • produce display documents and documents used at meetings, suitable for publishing on A4 and A5 paper;
  • prepare a notice, agenda and minutes of a meeting;
  • prepare a table on A4 portrait and A4 landscape paper;
  • prepare a legal document and a company document;
  • produce a set of financial statements; and
  • prepare a curriculum vitae and a memorandum.

ICB Marketing Management and Public Relations


Basic concepts in marketing management

  • Describe the concept of ‘marketing’;
  • explain the differences between consumer needs and consumer wants;
  • use a model of needs to identify marketing applications;
  • differentiate between ‘goods’ and ‘services’;


  • explain how marketing efforts relate to the success of a business;
  • identify the different types of utilities;
  • explain how marketing has developed and changed over the years;
  • describe the marketing concept in detail;
  • understand the relevance of micro and macro marketing with respect to the marketing effort;
  • differentiate between three types of economies;
  • understand the different functions that support the marketing function; and
  • provide examples of competitive advantages.

The internal marketing environment

  • Distinguish the components of a marketing environment;
  • describe the organisation as the micro environment;
  • describe the main purposes of three types of organisations;
  • explain the concept of a marketing function;
  • differentiate between four types of organisational structures;
  • describe the impact of these structures on customer service;
  • identify the relationships between marketing and the other functions;
  • discuss the interdependence of the different functions;
  • explain the role of employees in a marketing oriented organisation;
  • apply a systems model to a practical example;
  • differentiate between the levels of planning and management;
  • explain how sales and marketing fit into the organisation; and
  • explain why different functions need to be interdependent.

The external marketing environment

  • Explain the impact of the external environment on the organisation;
  • describe the categorisation of the three environments and the impact they have on an organisation;
  • assess the level of rivalry in an industry using a competitor analysis model;
  • understand the market environment and its components;
  • understand the macro environment and its components;
  • identify the components and functions of social responsibility;
  • understand the dynamics of ethical behaviour in marketing; and
  • describe key ethical issues relating to marketing in South Africa.

Formulating a marketing strategy

  • Explain the process of establishing strategic objectives;
  • understand the eight functions of marketing;
  • explain the key terms used in the process of strategic marketing planning;
  • describe the influences of the macro environment on an organisation;
  • conduct a competitor analysis following a prescribed process;
  • use a model to assess the level of competitiveness of an industry;
  • determine what gives an organisation its competitive advantage;


  • identify and describe the criteria for segmenting consumer markets;
  • apply the different market segmentation approaches to specific South African companies;
  • meet the prerequisites for setting effective marketing objectives;
  • identify internal and external stakeholders of an organisation;
  • explain the purpose of the marketing mix and its elements; and
  • understand the role of public relations in the marketing mix.

Understanding ‘Product’ in the marketing mix

  • Explain the role of product in the marketing mix;
  • describe why marketers have to differentiate between services and products;
  • provide practical examples of the core, actual and augmented components of a product;
  • understand the different product classes and understand the reasons why each class is marketed differently;
  • use strategic tools to categorise the viability of products and identify the most appropriate strategy to adopt;
  • describe how a marketing strategy will have to be adjusted during the product life cycle;
  • identify criteria for making product decisions regarding the design and development of a container or wrapper for a product;
  • identify key criteria for making product labelling decisions;
  • understand the market conditions that would necessitate a change in packaging strategy; and
  • explain the steps involved in new product development.

Understanding ‘Place’ in the marketing mix

  • Understand the role of place in the marketing mix;
  • describe the four distribution channels;
  • explain the key of intermediaries in distribution and marketing;
  • identify the key players in the marketing channel;
  • describe the nature of channel conflict;
  • define the factors which need to be considered in the selection of an appropriate channel;
  • categorise the different forms of businesses that fall under each middleman category;
  • identify strategic distribution channel alternatives;
  • describe the changes in distribution strategy required to suit the changing stages of the product in the product life cycle;
  • appreciate the importance of physical distribution in marketing; and
  • identify the most appropriate method of transport for specific products.

Understanding ‘Price’ in the marketing mix

  • Understand the concept of price in the context of the marketing mix;
  • discuss the importance of pricing decisions to the organisation;
  • identify a variety of marketing objectives and select appropriate pricing strategies;
  • differentiate between the four key pricing strategies and their applications;
  • understand the basic economic principles involved in the relationship between price and supply and demand;


  • identify and describe the most effective tactics needed to increase sales;
  • calculate final prices using four common pricing methods;
  • explain the concept of a break-even point in pricing;
  • describe how pricing decisions change as a product moves through different stages of the product life cycle; and
  • consider the impact of pricing strategies and their impact on the public relations arena.


Understanding ‘Promotion’ in the marketing mix

  • Explain how promotion fits in with the other components of the marketing mix;
  • apply a communications model to a practical marketing communications situation;
  • distinguish between the marketing mix and the promotional mix;
  • identify the key components of promotion;
  • identify the key media used in advertising;
  • identify the key activities involved in sales promotion;
  • explain the nature of personal selling;
  • contrast the functions of public relations and marketing;
  • explain the relationship between integrated marketing communications and promotions;
  • describe how promotional strategies change as the product moves through the product life- cycle;
  • categorise a variety of marketing activities under the relevant component of the marketing mix; and
  • explain five methods of designing a promotional budget.

The role of public relations and mass communication in business

  • Outline the background and history of the development of public relations as a profession;
  • create a link between public relations and communication;
  • define public relations;
  • explain the purpose of public relations;
  • illustrate diagrammatically the systematic nature of public relations;
  • illustrate the reasons for practising public relations;
  • link public relations to the concepts of responsibility and ethics;
  • describe how the public relations profession self-regulates;
  • outline the  different  techniques  used  by  public  relations  professionals  to  achieve organisational objectives;
  • explain the role the public relations professional fulfils in an organisation;
  • describe the technical tasks a public relations professional performs;
  • list the  skills,  qualifications  and  personal  characteristics  required  for  success  in  the profession;
  • identify and detail the different communication media/channels used in public relations;
  • understand the importance of mass communication to public relations and communication in general;
  • recognise the functional differences between the various public relations media; and
  • discuss the key issues facing the public relations professional in the future.

Integration – Formulating a strategic marketing plan


  • Understand what is meant by the term strategic marketing planning;
  • describe the purposes of marketing planning;
  • explain the key terms used in the process of strategic marketing planning;
  • construct a model representing the strategic marketing process;
  • analyse the components of a mission statement;
  • formulate effective marketing objectives;
  • conduct a situational analysis (SWOT);
  • conduct a competitor analysis following a prescribed format;
  • explain the importance of competitive advantage for an organisation;
  • describe the relevance and process of target market selection;
  • describe the positioning process;
  • explain the four components of the marketing mix;
  • describe the components of an implementation plan; and
  • compile a strategic marketing plan.


ICB Business Law and Administrative Practice

‘The law’

  • Discuss the sources of South African law;
  • understand the structure of South African law;
  • differentiate public from private law;
  • discuss the officers of the Magistrates and the High Courts and their functions;
  • discuss the doctrine of stare decisis and the jurisdictions of the various courts of law;
  • distinguish between ratio decidendi and obiter dictum as per court judgements; and
  • distinguish between appeal and review proceedings.

The law of contract

  • Define a contract;
  • define the concept of ‘obligation’;
  • list the essentials for a valid contract;
  • differentiate between the concepts of a valid, void and voidable contract with reference to practical examples;
  • define a ‘term’ and a ‘condition’ in a contract with examples of each;
  • differentiate between express and implied terms;
  • distinguish between  different  terms  in  contracts,  namely  essentialia,  naturalia  and

incidentalia using practical examples;

  • define the term ‘iusta causa’;
  • distinguish statements from true offers;
  • discuss the rules for valid offer and valid acceptance;
  • discuss the ways in which offers terminate;
  • discuss when and where contracts by post, telephone and electronic communication

are concluded with application of various recognised legal theories, i.e. the expedition, communication (information) and reception theories;

  • discuss the requirements for validity for special terms in contracts (ticket cases);
  • define a ‘condition’ in a contract;


  • differentiate between suspensive and resolutive conditions using practical examples to illustrate your answer;
  • conclude whether  a  contract  in  a  case  study  contains  a  resolutive  or  a  suspensive condition;
  • discuss the requirements which must be met and the effect of mistake, misrepresentation, undue influence and duress;
  • differentiate between innocent, negligent and fraudulent misrepresentation;
  • understand when misrepresentation will render a contract voidable;
  • distinguish between unilateral, common and mutual mistakes;
  • understand when mistake will render a contract void;
  • write short notes on the rectification of contracts;
  • distinguish between majority and minority;
  • differentiate between the contractual capacity of minors under the age of seven years, those over the age of seven years but under the age of 18 years and finally those over the age of 18 years;
  • evaluate the consequences of a contract entered into without the necessary assistance and where a minor has fraudulently misrepresented him/herself;
  • define the concepts of emancipation and ratification with reference to practical examples;
  • determine whether a contract is legally possible;
  • differentiate between contracts against the common law and contracts against statute and identify examples of such contracts that can be considered as unlawful;
  • define the concepts of ex turpi causa and par delictum;
  • discuss the  concept  restraint  of  trade  with  reference  to  examples  and whether  such provision in a contract would be lawful and constitutional under South African law;
  • differentiate between a contract that is void ab initio and supervening impossibility; and
  • discuss which  contracts  have  formalities  which  must  be  adhered  to  before  they  are considered valid.

Breach of contract


  • Discuss and identify the five forms of breach of contract and the requirements to be met for each form to occur, and gather from a case study which type of breach has occurred in the specific case;
  • define the legal term ‘mora’;
  • discuss and identify default by the debtor (mora debitoris) as a form of breach and the requirements that must be met to prove that such breach has occurred;
  • define the terms mora ex re and mora ex persona;
  • discuss and identify default by the creditor (mora creditoris) as a form of breach and the requirements that must be met to prove that such breach has occurred;
  •   discuss and identify repudiation (also known as anticipatory breach) as a form of breach and the requirements that must be met to prove that such breach has occurred;
  •   discuss and identify prevention of performance as a form of breach and the requirements that must be met to prove that such breach has occurred; and
  •     discuss and identify positive mal-performance (also known as defective mal-performance) as a form of breach and the requirements that must be met to prove that such breach has occurred.

Remedies for breach of contract


  • List and explain the remedies available to an innocent party to a contract when breach has occurred; and
  • identify and discuss which remedy is most appropriate when a breach of contract has occurred in a specific case study.



Termination of contracts

  • Differentiate between the terms ‘breach’ and ‘termination’ of contracts;
  • list and discuss the different manners in which a contract may be terminated;
  • define cession and discuss the consequences of cession;
  • discuss delegation and assignment;
  • define set-off and discuss the requirements to be proven for two debts to be set off against each other;
  • define prescription and list the various prescription periods relevant under South African law; and
  • differentiate between ‘interruption’ and ‘delay’ of prescription.

The law of delict

  • Define the term ‘delict’;
  • list and discuss the elements of a delict;
  • discuss the boni mores test;
  • discuss the ‘reasonable man’ test;
  • discuss the grounds for justification for wrongful acts with examples;
  • differentiate between  the  types  of  damages  that  can  be  claimed  with  reference  to examples;
  • discuss what remedies exist for claiming damages caused by delictual acts;
  • define defamation;
  • discuss the types of defamation with examples; and
  • discuss the various grounds of justification for defamation.

Contract of sale

  • Define a contract of sale;
  • discuss the essentials of a valid contract of sale;
  • discuss the rights and duties of the buyer and seller;
  • define the term ‘risk’;
  • discuss when risk passes in a contract of sale;
  • discuss the exceptions to the ‘passing of risk’ rule;
  • discuss when ownership passes in the contract of sale;
  • differentiate between transfer of ownership of movables and immovables;
  • discuss whether risk and ownership has passed in a given case study;
  • identify a latent defect and what requirements must be met for one to exist;
  • discuss the remedies available to the buyer after delivery when a latent defect exists; and


  • discuss the buyer’s tacit warranty against eviction and tacit warranty against latent defects and the exceptions to these warranties and when these exceptions arise.

Credit agreements

  • List the major provisions of the National Credit Act (NCA);
  • discuss the main objectives of the National Credit Act;
  • discuss who the NCA applies to and who it does not apply to;
  • distinguish, with examples, between the different types of credit agreements;
  • name the three classifications of credit agreements;
  • list the unlawful provisions of the credit agreements;
  • list the unlawful credit agreements;
  • discuss the consequences of unlawful provisions in credit agreements and unlawful credit agreements;
  • discuss the various financial charges found in credit agreements;
  • discuss the general consumer rights;
  • define reckless lending and the consequences of reckless lending;
  • discuss debt review and debt rearrangement; and
  • discuss the role of the National Credit regulator, the National Consumer Tribunal, the Magistrate’s Courts, the Ombudsmans, and the Equality Court in the resolution of disputes regarding credit agreements.

Contract of lease

  • Define a contract of lease;
  • discuss the essentials of a valid contract of lease;
  • discuss the rights and duties of the landlord and tenant;
  • discuss the concept ‘Huur gaat voor koop’;
  • discuss the landlord’s tacit hypothec in detail;
  • differentiate the terms subletting, cession and assignment; and
  • mention the ways in which leases terminate.

Contract of agency

  • Discuss the ways in which agency is created;
  • discuss the rights and duties of the principal and agent;
  • define the terms estoppel, ratification and negotorium gestio;
  • determine from a given case study whether an agent had authority to act on a principal’s behalf;
  • discuss the circumstances in which an agent can be held personally liable;
  • discuss the doctrine of the undisclosed principal; and
  • mention the ways in which agency is terminated.

Contract of partnership

  • Define a partnership;
  • discuss the legal nature of a partnership;


  • discuss the rights and duties of partners;
  • discuss when a third party may hold a partnership liable; and
  • mention the ways in which a partnership may be terminated (dissolved).

Business entities


  • Discuss the nature and characteristics of a sole proprietorship;
  • discuss the  concept  ‘separate  legal  personality’  of  a  company  and  mention  the consequences of such separateness;
  • discuss the documents and their contents that need to be lodged with the Commission for a company to be registered;
  •    differentiate between the various types of profit and non-profit companies by contrasting the names, number of members, number of directors and accounting and financial reporting requirements of each;
  • discuss the validity of pre-incorporation contracts in companies;
  • discuss the appointment, removal and disqualification of directors;
  • discuss the common law and statutory duties of directors;
  • mention some of the circumstances in which directors can be personally liable to the company and other persons;
  • mention the  different  types  of  meetings  that  a  company  can hold  and  mention  their respective notice, quorum and voting requirements;
  • discuss the statutory protection for shareholders in terms of Sections 162, 163, 164 and 165 of the Act;
  • list some of the reporting and auditing requirements of public companies;
  • discuss the ways in which a solvent and an insolvent company can be wound up and the grounds and formalities of each way;
  • discuss the characteristics of a CC;
  • mention the constitutive documents that need to be lodged when registering a CC;
  • discuss which person may become members of a CC and which may not;
  • mention some of the internal management rules in a CC with regard to decision-making;
  • discuss the circumstances in which a member of a CC can be held personally liable for the debts of the CC;
  • discuss the ways in which a solvent as well as an insolvent CC can be wound up;
  • define a ‘trust’;
  • distinguish the different types of trusts;
  • list the requirements needed to establish a valid trust;
  • discuss the advantages of forming a trust;
  • mention the ways in which a trust will terminate;
  • define a ‘franchise agreement’;
  • discuss the obligations of the franchisor and the franchisee; and
  • mention the ways in which a franchise will terminate.

Contract of insurance

  • Discuss the essentials of a valid contract of insurance;
  • discuss the difference between indemnity and non-indemnity insurance;
  • define an insurable interest;
  • discuss the concept of risk and examples of risk;


  • discuss the  insured’s  duty  to  act  in  good  faith  as  it  pertains  to  non-disclosures and misrepresentations;
  • discuss the rights and duties of the insurer and the insured;
  • define the terms average clause, over and under-insurance; and
  • discuss the doctrine of subrogation.



Contract of suretyship

  • Define a contract of surety;
  • discuss the liability of a surety;
  • discuss the defences which are available to a surety;
  • discuss the surety’s right of recourse against the principal debtor; and
  • discuss the ways in which a surety contract can be terminated.

Negotiable instruments

  • Define a negotiable instrument;
  • define a cheque;
  • define a bill of exchange;
  • define a promissory note;
  • discuss the essential elements or characteristics of a negotiable instrument;
  • discuss the parties to a cheque;
  • differentiate between an order cheque and a bearer cheque;
  • differentiate between a holder and a holder in due course;
  • discuss the rights and duties of a holder;
  • define the terms ‘endorsement’ and ‘crossing’;
  • differentiate between a general crossing and a special crossing;
  • differentiate between a cheque marked not transferable and one marked not negotiable and the legal consequences of each;
  • discuss the effect of Section 22, 58, 79, 80 and 81 of the Bills of Exchange Act 34 of 1964.


Contract of employment

  • Define a contract of employment;
  • discuss the essentials of a valid employment contract;
  • discuss the rights and duties of an employer and employee;
  • discuss the doctrine of vicarious liability;
  • discuss ways in which contracts of employment terminate;
  • differentiate between an employee and an independent contractor;
  • define a dismissal under the Labour Relations Act;
  • define an automatically unfair dismissal under the LRA;
  • discuss substantive and procedural fairness for dismissal based on misconduct, incapacity and operational requirements;
  • differentiate between conciliation and arbitration;
  • define a strike and a lock-out;
  • mention the validity and legality requirements of a protected strike;
  • differentiate between the consequences of a protected vs. an unprotected strike;


  • define the terms ‘collective bargaining’ and ‘freedom of association’;
  • briefly discuss the provisions of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act of 1997 as amended;
  • discuss the organisational rights of trade unions; and
  • define a workplace forum and discuss its functions.




Intellectual property and competition law

  • Define intellectual property;
  • discuss the Copyright Act of 1978 as amended with regard to its purpose and the nature of its protection;
  • define the term ‘copyright’;
  • discuss the requirements for the subsistence of a copyright;
  • mention the various items that copyright can be registered in respect of;
  • differentiate between direct and indirect copyright infringement;
  • mention some of the legal remedies available for copyright infringement;
  • discuss the duration of a copyright;
  • define the term ‘trademark’;
  • discuss the requirements for the subsistence of a trademark;
  • mention what things cannot be trade-marked;
  • discuss infringement of a trademark with reference to examples;
  • discuss the remedies for trademark infringement;
  • mention the duration of a trademark;
  • define the term ‘patent’;
  • cite examples of what is patentable;
  • discuss the requirements for registration of a patent and what steps will be followed to achieve such registration;
  • discuss what constitutes patent infringement;
  • discuss the remedies for patent infringement;
  • mention the duration of a patent;
  • define the term ‘industrial design’
  • discuss the  various  types  of  industrial  designs,  the  requirements  necessary  for  their registration and their duration;
  • define ‘competition law’;
  • distinguish between public and private competition law;
  • discuss the forms of direct and indirect unlawful competition under the common law with reference to examples;
  • discuss the aims of the Competition Act 1998; and
  • discuss the role and functions of the Competition Tribunal and the Advertising Authority.


Environmental law and revision

  • Discuss some of the national and international legislation which has been established to protect our natural environment;
  • discuss the protection of the right to environmental protection under the Constitution; and
  • discuss the role of the provincial and national government in environmental protection.




ICB Business and Office Administration 2

Office equipment and ergonomics

  • Outline the features of the different kinds of office equipment;
  • work with office equipment;
  • choose the correct office equipment to suit your needs;
  • gauge whether renting or buying is a better bet;
  • control the movement of different items of inventory;
  • implement preventative maintenance strategies;
  • implement predictive maintenance strategies; and
  • implement safety measures with respect to office equipment and machinery.

Filing systems and records management

  • Classify paper-based documentation according to established procedures;
  • store information in the correct location and sequence and explain the effect of misfiled documentation on an organisation;
  • store documents in a manner that ensures safety, security and accessibility;
  • classify and cross-reference information accurately;
  • describe methods of classification and cross-referencing;
  • archive and locate documents in accordance with organisational procedures;
  • discuss the implications for productivity when an item cannot be located;
  • create, label and file electronic documents in accordance with organisational requirements;
  • sort, classify and store materials in a safe and secure manner;
  • retrieve information from an existing storage system and distribute to the correct person or location; and
  • retrieve, transfer and dispose of files.

Reception duties

  • Acknowledged and greet visitors according to organisational requirements;
  • established rapport with visitors;
  • maintain a professional appearance and behaviour at all times;
  • consult visitors in a professional manner and establish the reason for their visit;
  • attend to requests for information promptly;
  • estimate the time or waiting period and convey this information to the client;
  • record the  receipt  and  dispatch  of  documents  and  deliveries  in  accordance  with organisational requirements;
  • notify relevant parties of visitors’ arrival;
  • give clear directions to visitors to relevant areas in the workplace;
  • explain and apply security procedures;.
  • list and explain housekeeping according to organisational requirements;
  • implement housekeeping standards within agreed timeframes;


  • ensure that  reception  services  are  not  disrupted  while  housekeeping  activities  are performed;
  • coordinate corporate image displays to create a presentable reception area;
  • keep the display area neat, tidy and clean at all times;
  • constantly maintain stocks of company brochures and magazines for distribution;
  • maintain a well-organised diary with appointments;
  • outline the most important rules of office etiquette; and
  • outline the steps to be taken during an armed robbery or another emergency situation.

Dealing with customer queries

  • Answer queries in a defined range of established contexts clearly, accurately, objectively and confidently;
  • supply requested information promptly or refuse requests politely with reasons given for declining requests;
  • request and record details of customers by following established and familiar procedures (limited to logbooks and/or computerised spreadsheets);
  • note the details of the enquiry and reflect back to the caller to check for accuracy;
  • conclude calls according to established and familiar procedures;
  • follow established procedures to explain delays or non-availability of assistance;
  • identify and describe enquiries of unpredictable nature that should be referred to experi- enced staff;
  • describe and apply procedures for dealing with unusual or unfamiliar problems, complaints and queries;
  • give an explanation of how to reach agreement with the customer on follow-up actions; and
  • obtain information and documentation required for customer contacts and forward them to the correct department or person concerned.

Travel and events management

  • Identify the principal features of making effective travel arrangements;
  • prepare an itinerary for a trip;
  • give advice on booking travel and hotel accommodation;
  • suggest a selection of useful travel reference sources which a secretary might consult;
  • list the sort of arrangements entailed in organising formal and informal meetings;
  • appreciate the factors which need to be taken into account in arranging a business lunch or event;
  • suggest the factors which would contribute to a successful social event;
  • identify the principal features in organising a business event;
  • explain the kind of checks which would be built into arrangements to ensure effectiveness; and
  • identify and source available external support.

How to manage yourself in the workplace

  • Communicate effectively in the workplace;
  • show appropriate interpersonal skills;
  • show appropriate life management skills;


  • show appropriate decision-making skills;
  • show customer service skills;
  • explain the importance of time management;
  • identify and apply techniques for effective time management;
  • prioritise tasks;
  • design and implement a work plan;
  • plan team tasks and responsibilities;
  • negotiate and meet deadlines;
  • use manual and electronic calendar and reminder systems; and
  • coordinate appointments effectively and efficiently.

Banking, cash control and the business information manual

  • Discuss the necessity of banking and banking accounts with examples of consequences of not having them;
  • explain the skills necessary to interpret bank statements and operate banking accounts with examples;
  • relate financial concepts and principles to the business environment; and
  • prepare a business information manual (business plan).


ICB Human Resources Management and Labour Relations

An introduction to human resource management

  • Understand the term or concept of human resource management; and
  • provide an overview of the human resources function within the organisation.

Strategising, structuring and planning

  • Demonstrate a sound appreciation of organisational and functional relationships in an or- ganisation;
  • describe various organisational structures;
  • discuss their respective merits and demerits;
  • explain the human resource planning process; and
  • describe job analysis and job design processes and techniques.


Recruiting potential employees

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the meaning of recruitment;
  • differentiate between factors that influence recruitment;
  • explain the disadvantages and advantages of staffing job vacancies with employees from within the organisation;
  • weigh up external and internal sources of recruitment against each other;
  • identify the principal external recruitment sources and explain when these sources are likely to be utilised;
  • formulate a recruitment policy in practical terms;
  • explain in a practical manner how you would evaluate a recruitment programme;


  • explain why affirmative action and employment equity need to be integrated into HR practices;
  • demonstrate an understanding of succession planning and how it ensures organisational success; and
  • explain how a company values human capital through a retention strategy.

Selection and appointment of an employee

  • Explain the internal and external factors that influence the selection decisions;
  • sequentially describe the various steps in the selection process;
  • conduct a structured employment interview;
  • make decisions as to which types of employment tests should be used in specific selection situations;
  • discuss the responsibility for making the final selection decision; and
  • practically evaluate the selection process.


Placement and the induction or orientation process

  • Distinguish between the concepts of induction, socialisation and orientation;
  • explain what is meant by the ‘psychological contract’;
  • list some of the characteristics of an effective orientation program;
  • explain the objectives and benefits of induction;
  • demonstrate the various components of an induction program;
  • describe the stages of induction;
  • plan, design and evaluate an induction program; and
  • briefly describe the influence of quality assurance in induction and staffing decisions.

Managing performance of employees

  • Define performance management;
  • list the objectives of performance management;
  • motivate the usefulness of performance evaluation;
  • make decisions as to who should perform evaluation;
  • compare and apply relative and absolute performance evaluation techniques;
  • explain common rater errors;
  • conduct an effective feedback interview;
  • explain the importance of the feedback process in performance evaluation; and
  • consider the influence of legislation on performance management systems.

Compensation management

  • Discuss the objectives of a compensation system;
  • assess the factors that influence the provision of a compensation system;
  • discuss compensation policy;
  • outline the components of a compensation system;
  • differentiate between the various methods of job evaluation; and
  • distinguish between direct and indirect rewards.


Health and safety in an organisation


  • Describe what is meant by employee wellness;
  • give a brief overview of the statutory regulations governing occupational health and safety in South Africa;
  • explain the factors to incorporate in strategies, policies and action plans;
  • differentiate between the various forms of health;
  • discuss the issue of work-related stress;
  • explain ways to prevent accidents;
  • explain the challenges facing South African organisations as a result of the HIV/Aids threat; and
  • explain the functioning of the National Occupational Safety Association of South Africa (NOSA).


Career management

  • Explain the protean career concept;
  • explain the theories of Super, Holland and Jung;
  • discuss self-and work-related factors of the early, mid- and late life career;
  • define career anchors and describe the various types;
  • describe the different career patterns;
  • explain issues concerning working couples and suggest how they can find a balance be- tween work and family life;
  • describe career plateauing and ways to assist the plateaued worker;
  • explain career support by an organisation;
  • describe ethical principles regarding organisational career management support;
  • explain the changes in organisations with regard to structure and workforce;
  • explain the implications of the changing organisations for careers; and
  • explain the changing nature of careers and work arrangements.

Human resource development

  • Define and distinguish between the concepts of training, education, development and outcomes-based education and training;
  • list the reasons for human resource development management in organisations;
  • illustrate a training function using a diagram;
  • define human resource development;
  • explain the characteristics of an adult learner;
  • explain the rationale of the Skills Development Act and the Skills Development Levies Act;
  • indicate the implications of the provisions of the Skill Development Act and the Skills Development Levies Act for an organisation’s strategic human resource planning;
  • define the aim and scope of the National Qualifications Framework;
  • describe the National Training Strategy of South Africa;
  • understand outcomes-based training and assessment;
  • describe the  assessment  of  training  needs  through  organisational  task  and  person analysis;
  • indicate the importance of job analysis when determining training needs; and


  • explain the evaluation of training and development programmes.


Organisational behaviour (OB)

  • Define organisational behaviour (OB);
  • describe why managers require a knowledge of OB;
  • identify and explain the effect of key biographical characteristics on work behaviour;
  • explain the factors that determine an individual’s personality;
  • identify the key traits in the Big Five Personality Model;
  • explain how perceptions affects the decision-making process;
  • explain how two people can see the same thing and interpret it differently;
  • differentiate between formal and informal groups;
  • explain how role requirements change in different situations;
  • describe how norms exert influence on an individual’s behaviour;
  • list the strengths and weaknesses of group decision-making;
  • identify common barriers to effective communication;
  • describe the forces that act as stimulants for change;
  • contrast first-order and second-order change;
  • summarise sources of individual and organisational resistance to change; and
  • contrast the three ethical decision criteria.

Employment relations

  • Write an essay that outlines the essentials of labour relations;
  • describe the nature, functioning and role of trade unions in South Africa;
  • discuss the meaning and fundamental role that freedom of association and protection against victimisation play in our system of industrial relations;
  • list and explain the organisational rights granted to trade unions in terms of the LRA;
  • develop un understanding of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act;
  • explain who is covered by the Basic Conditions of Employment Act;
  • explain what issues the BCOEA covers;
  • determine amounts due in terms of the BCOEA;
  • demonstrate an  understanding  of  the  purpose  and  primary  objects,  application  and interpretation of the Labour Relations Act;
  • demonstrate and apply an understanding of the provisions of strikes and lock-outs;
  • describe the definitions of strikes, lock-outs and picketing; and
  • identify and solve problems related to the interpretation of related labour legislation and its impact on all stakeholders.

Structures created by the LRA for collective bargaining and dispute resolution

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the LRA;
  • describe the institutional framework of the LRA;
  • explain the purpose, powers and roles of these institutions with examples;
  • facilitate an understanding of the different structures which constitute the system and how these structures can be used in practice;
  • use the present legislation regulating the employment relationship in practice; and


  • identify the appropriate structures to be used for a particular business’s needs.




ICB Economics

An introduction to economics

  • Define economics;
  • distinguish between microeconomics and macroeconomics;
  • explain how  major  economic  events  such  as  a  hike  in  interest  rates,  inflation  and unemployment affects the ‘man on the street’;
  • explain the role of households, businesses, government, the foreign sector and financial institutions in the economy;
  • demonstrate the intricacies of demand and supply;
  • illustrate and explain the laws of demand and supply as well as resultant equilibrium;
  • explain how the theory of demand and supply can be used to determine what price to charge for a product;
  • explain the determinants of demand and supply, and demonstrate how such determinants can affect the equilibrium point;
  • explain the concept ‘price elasticity’;
  • discuss the premises of marginal utility;
  • explain what is meant by inflation, what causes inflation and what can be done to control it; and
  • explain why inflation is a problem.

Economic systems in perspective

  • Explain the importance of economic efficiency;
  • explain the significance of a production possibilities frontier;
  • explain the economic system and its components;
  • discuss efficiency and value with regard to the allocation of resources and the resulting goods and services produced from those resources;
  • explain the main economic systems: traditional, command, market and mixed; and
  • discuss the meaning of a free market economy and a mixed and socialistic economy.

Formulating an economic framework

  • Describe in a simple form the overall concept of measuring the economic activities;
  • describe the objectives of macroeconomics;
  • identify the instruments used to measure economic activities;
  • identify the limitations and inaccuracies in measuring GDP;
  • explain what CPI is and how it is measured; and
  • explain the role that gold plays in the South African economy as well as in the global economic system.

The money market and monetary economics


  • Explain the functions of money;
  • explain how banks came about;
  • calculate different levels of money supply in the economy;
  • explain the functions of the Central Bank;
  • outline the instruments used for monetary control;
  • describe how interest rates are determined in the money market;
  • list the factors that increase or decrease money supply;
  • explain the relationship between demand and supply in the money market;
  • define inflation and explain how it is measured;
  • differentiate between cost-push and demand-pull inflation; and
  • discuss the factors that influence exchange rates and the value of a local currency.

International trade and finance

  • Provide an overview of international economics;
  • explain the difference between comparative and absolute advantage;
  • outline the basic premises of exchange rates and explain how they are calculated;
  • explain arbitrage;
  • demonstrate demand and supply of currencies;
  • discuss the exchange rate policy implemented in South Africa;
  • demonstrate how free trade policy is exercised in South Africa and the rest of the world;
  • discuss the prevalence of trade finance in international trade; and
  • explain how letters of credit work and are used in international finance.

Labour economics

  • Define and measure the performance of the South African economy;
  • identify the macroeconomic objectives of the South African economy;
  • give the available definitions of labour;
  • describe the South African labour market;
  • identify the characteristics of a labour market;
  • define the supply of labour;
  • define the demand for labour;
  • discuss the factors that could influence the demand for labour;
  • define labour mobility;
  • define migrant labour;
  • describe the ‘brain drain’ from South Africa;
  • discuss the factors that influence wages;
  • discuss theoretical equilibrium in the labour market;
  • define market flexibility;
  • define active labour market policy;
  • distinguish between unemployment and underemployment;
  • define and describe human capital and human capital investment;
  • define the informal sector;
  • explain employment in the informal sector; and
  • discuss the importance of the informal sector.


Business and Office Administration 3

Office supplies

  • Monitor office supplies levels by:
  • Identifying and recording office supply levels
  • Ascertaining and comparing office supply levels to required levels
  • Checking records for compliance with organisational requirements
  • Taking remedial action to rectify office supply levels
  • Maintain office supplies processed and procedures by:
  • Monitoring and evaluating office supply processes and procedures
  • Identifying and highlighting out-of-line situations
  • Taking remedial action to bring office supply processes and procedures back in line
  • Identifying areas for improvement
  • Monitor and control the distribution of office supplies by:
  • Identifying, setting and communicating distribution procedures
  • Receiving and recording office supply requests
  • Distributing office supplies within agreed timeframes
  • Identifying and highlighting areas of non-conformance
  • Taking remedial action to rectify office supply distribution processes and procedures

Handling petty cash and the principles of insurance

  • Explain the purpose of and need for a proper petty cash system;
  • disburse money for petty cash transactions;
  • record petty cash transactions;
  • restore the imprest amount;
  • explain and implement petty cash control procedures; and
  • understand the basic principles of insurance.

Internal control concepts


  • Outline, demonstrate and discuss the basic premises of internal control.


The key principles of customer service

  • Understand the concepts of customer service in an historical context;
  • define customer service;
  • recognise the differences between poor, mediocre and excellent service;
  • describe examples of poor service;
  • recognise and explain the possible consequences of offering poor service;
  • identify and describe different types of customers;
  • explain the importance of customers to a business;
  • explain the value of customers to the economy as a whole;
  • differentiate between internal customers and external customers;
  • recognise that customers have their own unique characteristics and needs;
  • discuss the different products and services organisations can offer; and


  • understand the  types  of  organisations  that  exist  and  their  different  structures  and processes.

Factors affecting customer service

  • Recognise the wide range of factors that influence the quality of customer service offered by organisations;
  • identify the need for organisations to take these factors into consideration when planning their products, services and customer service;
  • understand how customer service can provide a competitive advantage for organisations;
  • explain the role that external customers, competitors, government legislation, regulations and codes of practice play in offering quality service;
  • understand how  organisations  plan  their  customer  service  approach  through  the development of internal policies and procedures;
  • explain how organisations monitor and evaluate the quality of their customer service;
  • demonstrate that you understand the need for organisations to monitor and evaluate customer service; and
  • recommend how individuals and organisations can improve the quality of customer service they offer.

Human resource development and the Basic Conditions of Employment Act

  • Understand the importance of human resource development within an organisation;
  • demonstrate an understanding of a skills audit;
  • demonstrate an understanding of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act;
  • explain who is protected and covered by the Basic Conditions of Employment Act;
  • discuss the regulation of working time;
  • differentiate between the different types of leave; and
  • explain the process that should be followed on termination of employment.

Business organisations


  • Identify and describe the types of organisations that exist in South Africa.

Preparing yourself for the workplace


  • Prepare yourself for the world of work;
  • fill out a job application;
  • prepare a CV; and
  • prepare for an interview.


ICB Management

What is management?

  • Explain the nature and definition of management;
  • distinguish between the different levels of management;


  • demonstrate an understanding of the generic tasks of managers; and
  • outline the development of management theory through the years.

Management and the environment

  • Identify the scope of management in different types of organisations;
  • discuss the management of businesses according to their size;
  • explain the role of managers in modern organisations;
  • distinguish between the different management disciplines;
  • demonstrate an  understanding  of  the  influence  of  the  business  environment  on management practices;
  • describe the common misconceptions about management; and
  • recognise the role of the CEO in an organisation.


  • List the reasons for planning in an organisation;
  • identify different planning timeframes;
  • name the barriers to planning formulation;
  • outline the planning process;
  • analyse the different tools available for planning purposes;
  • set well-formulated goals for an organisation; and
  • distinguish between the different types of plans an organisation could implement.


  • Discuss the importance of decision-making in an organisation;
  • explain the difference between problem-defining and problem-solving;
  • outline the steps in the decision-making process;
  • identify the different types of managerial decisions;
  • distinguish between the different conditions under which decisions can be taken;
  • describe how decisions are taken in groups;
  • compare the formal decision techniques; and
  • contrast the decision-making tools at the disposal of a manager.

Information management

  • Define information management;
  • explain the need for information management;
  • name the characteristics of a useful information management system;
  • outline the steps in developing an information management system;
  • distinguish between the types of information systems;
  • identify the link between management levels and information systems;
  • analyse a basic information system model;
  • demonstrate an understanding of data integration;
  • name the key issues regarding information management and data integration; and
  • list the implications of information management and data integration.


Organisational development

  • Define organisation development;
  • discuss the reasons for change in an organisation;
  • analyse a basic change model;
  • identify the key challenges relating to change in an organisation;
  • demonstrate an understanding of corporate culture;
  • explain how to handle resistance to change;
  • understand the role of employee empowerment when managing change;
  • describe the development of teams;
  • recognise how to build efficient organisations; and
  • identify the future challenges organisations face.


  • Outline the communication process;
  • name the barriers to communication;
  • demonstrate an understanding of communication in an organisation;
  • examine the process of negotiation;
  • understand how to manage conflict in an organisation; and
  • identify the impact that technology has had on communication.


  • Compare the different organisational structures;
  • list the principles of organisation;
  • outline the delegation process;
  • distinguish between job design, job enrichment and job characteristics; and
  • demonstrate an understanding of the principle of ‘authority’ in an organisation.



  • Define the term ‘leadership’;
  • contrast the different leadership theories;
  • identify contemporary leadership perspectives;
  • explain the link between leadership and organisation-political behaviour;
  • demonstrate an understanding of the needs of the individual in an organisation; and
  • describe how to handle groups and teams.


  • Analyse the motivation process;
  • define the term ‘motivation’;
  • compare the different motivation theories;
  • recognise the relationship between money and motivation; and
  • discuss where motivation originates from.



  • Demonstrate an understanding of the nature and importance of control in an organisation;
  • outline the control process;
  • describe which areas in a business controls should focus;
  • distinguish between the different levels of control; and
  • list the characteristics of an effective control system.

Contemporary business management issues

  • Identify and discuss issues of significance which affect the majority of organisations in South Africa in the present and foreseeable future, including:
  • Ethics and corruption
  • Governance
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Globalisation
  • Changes in the workforce
  • Changing customer demands
  • Technology
  • Cultural diversity
  • Supply chain impacts