Butler Schools |  Domestic staff training and teaching resources from the Butler Bureau

The Butler Bureau - for domestic staff and their employers
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Butler schools and training for domestic staff is an area of interest for many wanting to enter the profession, is a school the way in?

Employers too need to know whether employing a staff member with a Butler School Diploma is the best option - can a 4 to 8 week course make such a difference? Do students ever fail these courses?

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Butler Schools information

Regulars of this web site will be aware that we at the Bureau used to not promote any Butler School and in fact found a few of them unnecessary & over-priced.

Our general credo has always been that: if you are a catering, service professional with common-sense and the ability to research stuff then you know much of what you need to know already but could be nicely ‘fine-tuned’ via a 2/4/6/8 week residential course. Experience is what counts and that’s the ‘Catch-22’.

The other side of the coin is that if you have NO experience an 8 week residential course is not going to do any more than point you in the right direction which in an ideal world would be a trainee position.

Our view is that, for semi-professionals needing to ‘fine-tune’ themselves for a domestic service future then, yes, schools can help but at quite a cost.

Not all schools are created equal ! Employers should not blindly accept a school ‘graduate’ as being fully ‘trained’. Research the school thoroughly whatever your position.

Look at our list of questions (on the right) to ask any school before you sign up.

The list of Butler schools below (with relevant information) is just that - a list - and the Butler Bureau is not affiliated with any school featured here with the exception, possibly, of the International Institute of Modern Butlers (butler correspondence courses) as we are looking at the possibilities of teaming up with the IIMB to host training initiatives in the future.

.You can draw your own conclusions if a school is noticeable by its absence. Some so-called ‘famous’ butler schools we actively make a point of not mentioning, no matter how well known they are.

The Australian Butler Training School Australia

Training location: The Doncaster (small luxury hotel) near Canberra, Australia

Instructors: Ms. Pamela Spruce, assisted by four professional trainers, various experts and guest speakers

Length of course: 4 weeks (6 days a week)

Number of courses per year: Three

Cost: AU$5,000 including accommodations, field trips, training manual and all course material

Magnums Butler School Australia

Training location: Coes Creek, Queensland, Australia

Instructor: Ms. Josephine Ive

Length of course: 4 weeks

Number of courses per year: 2 major courses

Cost: AUD$4,500 plus tax. Accommodation is not included but is available at different price levels. Students pay all their own travel expenses.

The Butler Training Academy

Training location: London, England, and Las Vegas, USA

Instructors: Mr. Robert Watson and guest lecturers.

Length of course: 4 weeks (6 days a week)

Number of courses per year: 2

Cost: Contact the Academy for details.

Butler school questions

Here are some questions to ask of any Butler School that you are considering applying to:

What are the entry criteria?

Is there any practical work experience and if so, where, what, and when?

What are the qualifications of the trainers?

How many trainers are working/have worked as butlers?

How many graduates are currently working as butlers?

What employment agencies recognize the graduate certificate?

To what extent does the school assist in placing graduates?

Is there a student handbook setting out rights and expectations?

Does the school have a complaints forum or refund policy?


The Butler Valet School

See the promotional video on YouTube..(see the video)

Mr. Richard Fink, a butler for 45 years, opened his Butler-Valet School in October of 2002.

The course focuses exclusively on the service required by today's top society, managing and running their private residences. Mr. Fink takes a practical approach with plenty of hands-on study as well as field trips. Students learn all the skills required to run a large household and be a professional butler-valet.

The school also offers short refresher courses.

Training location: A Georgian mansion located eight miles north of Oxford, England.

Instructors: Mr. Richard Fink; various guest speakers.

Length of course: 6 weeks

Number of courses per year: 2

Cost: £7,800 (US $15,000), which includes accommodations and food. The school also reimburses some travel fees.

Thomas School of British Butlers

Training location: Lavendon, Buckinghamshire, England

Instructors: Mr. John Thomas and his wife, Josephine Thomas.

Length of course: 5 weeks

Number of courses per year: 2-3

Cost: £3,500 (US $6,700), which includes coursework, books and visits but not food and accommodations.


International Butler Academy Germany

Training location: Hotel Petersberg in Königswinter (near Bonn) and the Chamber of Commerce in Bonn, Germany.

Instructors: Messrs. Killewald, Bloemertz and Brandenbusch (the school's principals) assisted by specialist teachers in specific subjects (such as two retired Chief Detective Superintendents who teach security and security-related subjects).

Length of course: The full course (all 9 modules) takes about 3 months.

Number of courses per year: The modules are delivered continuously and consecutively year-round so new students can enroll at any time.

Costs: Modules can be purchases individually and range in price from 1,230 Euros to 2,450 Euros. The full course, if purchased in advance, is discounted to 10,780 Euros. Accommodations are not included.

International Institute of Modern Butlers Global

If you cannot afford to break away from work for a couple of months, or afford the fees for training at a formal butler school, then a correspondence or long-distance learning course becomes a viable option.

The I.I.M.B. has three courses available - one for Butlers in private service, another for Hotel Butlers and a third for Housekeepers.

The two butler courses take about four months to do part time and cost $2,500. Students are expected to purchase their own course materials (books) via Amazon, which will cost approximately $300 depending on whether you purchase new or used books, and the post and packaging costs of said books ( which will vary depending on where in the world you live).

The Housekeeper course takes about two months to complete on an intense part time schedule and costs $750. Four books and two DVDs are purchased similarly for about $200.

The International Butler Academy Netherlands

Training location: Huis't Veldt, Zutphen, The Netherlands. Each course includes a number of field trips.

Instructors: 6 professionals from around the world, including the school's director, each teach specific segments of the course. There are also a number of guest speakers.

Length of course: 8 weeks

Number of courses offered per year: 2-3

Cost: US $16,000 (EU 12,500), which includes room, board and tailored butler uniforms. The school also reimburses airfares for some students.

The Charles MacPherson Academy Canada

Training location: 507 King Street East, Toronto

Instructors: A roster of experts with a minimum of 10 years experience in their repective fields.

Length of Course: 8 weeks,

Number of courses per year: 3 ( Winter, Spring and Autumn)

Cost: $7500 CDN or $250 per day.

Fees include tuition, textbook and any field trips. It does not include rooms and board or airfare to and from Toronto.

N.B. The Butler Bureau was pleased to read that the Charles MacPherson Academy used the ‘Ask Questions’ List at the top of this page when formulating their curriculum.

Professional Domestics Institute

Training location: In the home of its founder, located in Powell, Ohio, USA

Instructors: Ms. Scudere, assisted by more than 25 guest instructors from different professions ranging from wine connoisseurs and chefs to a horticulturists and attorney.

Length of Course: 3 - 8 weeks, depending on the course you’re taking.

Number of courses per year: 4 courses each for Certified Professional Household Manager, Estate Housekeeping and Certified Administrative Household Management and Personal Assistant.

Cost: Between $3,500 and $6,500 per course, depending on which program you take. Books, materials, uniforms and room & board are additional.

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