SST623 - Contemporary Office Procedures

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-10-26 08:53:48.337
Last review date 2018-10-26 08:53:48.337

Subject Title
Contemporary Office Procedures

Subject Description
Through simulated office applications and classroom lectures, students are introduced to business ethics and human relations skills; changes in office organization and work environments; computer technology; professionalism in the office; time management skills; researching, summarizing and preparing written and oral presentations; telecommunications; records management; organizing and arranging business meetings and conferences; arranging business travel plans; ergonomics; and conducting a job campaign. This subject consists of 72 hours of instructional time plus homework assignments.

Credit Status
This is a credit subject applicable towards certificates through the Faculty of Continuing Education and Training.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1. Define the functions performed when working in an automated office.

2. Successfully apply interpersonal and personal management skills.

3. Demonstrate efficient time management skills.

4. Demonstrate effective business communication skills.

5. Critique various systems of records managements, both electronic and manual.

6. Facilitate the flow of business information.

7. Professionally and accountably coordinate office and telephone communications.

8. Prepare and perform a career seeking campaign.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.


  • Grammar is Important SST051, Office Language Skills OLS101 and Advanced Information Processing AIP203 (formerly AIP201).
  • It is your responsibility to ensure that program requirements and subject prerequisites as outlined are met. Prerequisites are included for your academic protection. Subject content and your professor's teaching assumes that students are academically prepared and instruction will proceed accordingly. Students lacking prerequisites not only jeopardize their own ability to succeed but present unnecessary interruption. If you lack appropriate prerequisites for advance standing for the prerequisite subject, you may be asked to withdraw or transfer to a more appropriate subject with the risk of academic/financial penalty.
  • It is your responsibility to save documents, articles and notes that the instructor has provided on BlackBoard or in class. Students will not be able to access BlackBoard as of the last day of the student's class. 

Topic Outline
The order of the topics is at the discretion of the professor.  The content of one module does not have to be completed before another module is started, nor do the modules have to be taught in the order listed.  Rather by the end of the subject all the topics will have been covered.

Explain working in an automated office

  • Discuss the impact of changing technology 
  • Describe levels of office automation and related functions, tasks, and procedures
  • Explain organizational structure
  • List critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • List personal management and development skills
  • List interpersonal skills and teamwork skills
  • Organize work and personal tasks effectively
Apply interpersonal and personal management skills
  • Demonstrate appropriate business, office, and dining etiquette
  • Understand "professional presence"
  • Discuss teamwork and effective working relationships
  • Demonstrate awareness and sensitivity relating to ethical issues
  • Comprehend issues of confidentiality and context sensitive information
  • Manage personal and workplace stress
  • Design an ergonomically correct workstation
Demonstrate time management skills
  • Read a flow chart
  • Analyse time and motion activities
  • Organize workflow to save time and money
  • Prioritize and set goals
  • Use time management tools effectively
  • Implement planning, scheduling, and follow-up techniques to meet deadlines
Demonstrate  Effective Business Communication Skills
Improve listening skills
  • Use correct business language in verbal communication
  • Examine non-verbal communication (body language, appearance, personal space)
  • Develop oral presentation strategies
  • Follow verbal and written instructions
  • Demonstrate the ability to listen, comprehend, and question appropriately
Understand and explain the importance of  records management
  • Demonstrate indexing, coding, filing, and retrieving in a manual information management  system
  • Compare alphabetic, geographic, subject, numeric, and chronological systems
  • Identify filing supplies and equipment for both manual and electronic records management 
  • Organize and manage electronic files through the creation of folders and sub-folders 
Understand and explain office banking functions
  • Develop mathematical computation skills
  • Recognize how standard forms are used for business office banking functions
  • Demonstrate an ability to handle office financial transactions confidentially
  • Demonstrate correct procedures pertaining to the management of a petty cash fund 
Understand and explain small business payroll procedures
  • Further develop mathematical computation skills
  • Recognize how standard forms are used for payroll procedures
  • Understand the importance of confidentiality when handling payroll information 
  • Understand the importance of accuracy in compiling payroll data 
Demonstrate  effective business communication skills relating to financial matters
  • Use correct financial terminology in verbal and written communication
  • Demonstrate the ability to listen, comprehend, and question appropriately
  • Follow verbal and written instructions
Manage business information
  • Compare methods for electronic and manual mail processing
  • Identify and demonstrate procedures for handling incoming and outgoing mail
  • Demonstrate appropriate techniques for using e-mail and understand e-mail protocol and etiquette
  • Handle fax transmissions, design, prepare, and complete fax cover sheets
  • Understand the importance of proof reading both electronic and manual mail before distribution
Co-ordinate office communications
  • Understand the proper steps to electronic and manual scheduling 
  • Explain the guidelines for cancelling an appointment
  • Describe the proper protocol and attitudes for exceptional front-line reception procedures as they apply to professional interaction with clients and co-workers 
  • Prepare daily appointment schedules and understand the importance of organization and accurate communication when performing such tasks 
  • Learn and demonstrate how to deal with challenging clients/customers/patients 
Co-ordinate telephone communications
  • Develop professional skills necessary for placing and receiving calls, including international calls
  • Learn and demonstrate good telephone protocol and procedures
  • Understand and utilize the guidelines for voice mail greetings, as well as leaving and returning voice mail messages
  • Describe the guidelines for dealing with abusive customers/clients/patients on the telephone
Prepare and perform  a career seeking campaign.

Note: Students need to take notes during lectures. 

Mode of Instruction
Students learn through classroom lectures, office simulations, as well as homework assignments.

Blended models of delivery may also be available. 

Prescribed Texts
The Administrative Professional, Procedures and Skills, Third Canadian Edition, Patsy Fulton-Calkins & Diane Blaney, Nelson Publisher. ISBN: 9780176532062

Reference Material
The Gregg Reference Manual, Millar et al.,  McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited, Latest Edition.

Collins Gage Canadian Paperback Dictionary, Gage Publishers. Latest Edition.

Required Supplies
Two USB flashdrives; two file folders, a small stapler, and a notebook, index cards and pens.  

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation
Since this is a professional credit subject, marking standards reinforce professional practice by demanding legible, tidy work. Written materials should be well organized, correctly formatted and grammatically correct, with proper spelling and punctuation.

Please Note

  • Assignments, tests and the final examination are evaluated on subject knowledge as well as correct language usage, organization, and mastery of the subject. 
  • In recognition of the significance of proper language skills in the workplace, marks are deducted, in accordance with departmental policy, for language errors on all tests, assignments and exams. (i.e. spelling, grammar, word usage, sentence, and paragraph structure, etc.) 
  • Assignments
  • The student must retain a copy of all assignments.
  • If assignments are handed in late without sufficient medical or other reason, which must be documented and approved, two marks per day will be deducted for each day the assignment is late up to a maximum of 10 marks in total. 
  • Assignments will not be accepted after the return of graded assignments to the class and/or the provision to the class of the answers to the assignment.
  • Written assignments must be word processed. At the professor’s discretion, assignments that are not word processed, may be subject to mark deduction or not accepted. 
  • For particulars, please obtain standards, dates, etc. from your instructor

Absenteeism and Tests
  • Students should be aware that absenteeism will impact on their ability to achieve satisfactory grades.
  • If you miss a test, you must provide the reason in writing to the instructor within one week.  If your reason is accepted, the weighting of that test will be added to that of the final exam.  Otherwise, you will be given a zero for the test.  You must submit an original doctor’s certificate identifying the date, length of time of expected absence and the specific reason for your absence,  or other appropriate documentation.
  • Progress tests and quizzes may not be announced in advance and details of the assignment requirements may be explained in class.

Final Exam/ Final Assignment
  • Students must attain a grade of at least 50% to pass the course.
  • For further information on evaluation and academic standing, see a copy if the Academic Policy available at Seneca Registration offices.

Field Placement Requirements

Students who do not successfully complete all professional subjects may not be eligible for placement. 

Academic Honesty

Students at Seneca College are expected to be honest and forthright in their academic endeavours.  When students cheat on an examination, steal the words or ideas of another, or falsify their research results, it corrupts the learning process. A Seneca College degree, diploma or certificate signifies to society mastery of a set of defined learning outcomes in a designated field of study. If academic credit is obtained dishonestly, the value of every graduate's diploma in the field of study is diminished, as is the reputation of the college as a whole.

Penalties for Academic Dishonesty

The penalty for a first offence is a grade of '0' on the assignment or examination. The penalty for the second offence is expulsion for a time period determined by the Academic Honesty Committee, normally for a minimum of three semesters.

For further information refer to the policies section of the Seneca College student handbook, or to the following website:

Grading is based on the following marking scheme:  

Assignments 40%
Term Test 30%
Final Exam 30%

Materials permitted into tests and exams are at the discretion of the instructor.

Approved by: Sandra Noble