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Exceptional Hospitality Training for Private Staff

Irving Scott x George Telford Hospitality Training

As London’s premier private staffing agency, Irving Scott understands the bespoke demands and unique traits of the families and individuals it caters to.

In an effort to continually enhance our services, and the standard of care within the domestic staffing industry generally, we have developed an in-house and on location Hospitality Training Program. This targets aspiring talent within the realm of private staffing, who wish to reach the upper echelons of households, and meet the highest possible standards of domestic care.

In coordination with celebrity butler, George Telford, Irving Scott has created a programme across two days that reflects not only the high calibre of training we demand from our recruits, but provides unique industry insights thanks to our partnership with Mr Telford. The training has been especially designed to ensure commitment with the highest standards set by corporate hospitality and private residences, with an excellent broad-base training for all entering the private staffing sphere.

The training which is modular to suit your needs, is an intensive, rewarding, and exciting opportunity for any looking for a way into this thriving industry – and we’re excited to share the results with you. Please read on for more information.

Background Information on George Telford

In the domain of corporate hospitality and private staffing, there are icons and leaders, as with any industry. George Telford is such a figure, cultivating one of the most exclusive and outstanding butler portfolios across Europe, pursuant to decades of work in the industry.

Few can match his legacy, just as few can rival the length of his tenure in the industry – George had wanted to be a butler since being a little boy. Like many, he grew up revering the longstanding British series ‘Upstairs Downstairs’, in particular, the role of Hudson as played by Scottish actor Gordon Jackson. The show, which tracked the lives of a wealthy politician and his house staff who ran his expansive London townhouse, brought the essentiality and professionalism of domestic staffing to the fore, and to the nation’s consciousness.

For George, this figure of Hudson the butler, was something aspirational. George has since built a career that emulates this figure of utter professionalism, and impeccable manners. Leaving his birthplace of Glasgow for South London, George has since worked in the homes of renowned families, celebrity households, as well as working in five-star resorts, and training potential candidates for households around the world.

Throughout his longstanding career, George has become a veteran, with profiles on him by the Telegraph and other international media. His services for the likes of Tom Hanks, Robbie Williams, Sir Paul McCartney, and Her Majesty the Queen, have launched him into the stratosphere of A-list domestic staff across the world. His client list reflects his impeccable standards and service.

Any domestic staffing expert counterbalances the highest standards of professionalism and service with a friendly, hospitable demeanour – George has lived and breathed by this very ethos for decades. It is this rare union of personality and professionalism, bolstered by his unique experience, that makes him qualified to train the next generation of butlers and household staff.

Details of the course

The training is intended both for beginners, and for those equipped with some experience as butlers, housekeepers, and house management, since the training is modular and so you can choose what you want to learn. George’s lessons are lessons in professionalism and comportment as much as method and practice.

All students are provided with a certificate of attendance (upon your final day) stating the modules you have learnt.

How Irving Scott stands out

When it comes to hiring domestic staff, families and individuals seek not only the highest standard of care, but a bespoke pairing that reflects the best match possible. To ensure we attain this, Irving Scott has a uniquely rigorous vetting process, with one-to-one attention to each client, and the highest calibre of sourcing and vetting.

We use all tools available to discover the best match for you including psychological assessments. At Irving Scott, we believe there is no such thing as the best domestic staff – just the best match for you.

A unique opportunity

The domains of private staffing and corporate hospitality are rigorously competitive. In order to attain an edge on similar candidates, further qualifications, training, and education are essential.

This training can be conducted in Knightsbridge, London, home to many of Irving Scott’s own clients. Its exclusive location reflects the realities of the many urban, exclusive clientele we cater to, as opposed to the countryside locales of many other courses.

Alternatively if you are client looking for in-house training then we can send our experts into your house to provide on-the-job training.

Upon successful completion of the training, candidates will be added to Irving Scott’s own database if they are currently not employed. While we cannot guarantee subsequent placement, this is an important first step in the advancement of your career in private service.

Irving Scott’s training will run the full gamut of tasks and roles the butler is expected to perform. George has curated the modular course specifically to meet the spectrum of day-to-day tasks expected by domestic staff. For this reason, we will also be drawing in other experts from relevant fields for your training, to ensure you are on the cutting-edge of all relevant services (e.g. established florists for flower arranging, or a laundress to teach wardrobe care).

Hospitality Training Modules

The following modules are available to suit your needs.

  1. Introduction

George will outline the core requirements and standards of the course, alongside the fundamental practical elements that clients will expect.

  1. Team Comfort Zone

A session on the necessity of occasionally stepping outside your comfort zone for clients.

  1. Importance uniform & personal hygiene

A full module on your personal wardrobe maintenance, client expectations of dress, style, and hygiene in the midst of long work hours.

  1. Role playing

An interactive role-play experience allowing attendees to gain insight into their employers’ mindsets.

  1. Timekeeping

George will instruct the attendees on clients’ expectations of time and schedules, alongside the skill of balancing tasks and timetables simultaneously.

  1. Principals & Guest expectations

Outlining the expectations and standards of treatment for principals and guests in the household.

  1. Pre-arrival preparation

Active assessment of the preparatory elements required in the hours in advance of your principals’ and guests arrival.

  1. International Culture & religion

A treatment on the demands of respect, sensitivity, and understanding of principals’ diverse cultures and religion. George is also fluently versed in teaching cultural awareness and practices of the Middle East, and this will be a key component of the module.

  1. Acknowledgement & title of guests

Quizzing and lessons on the various, appropriate titles to use when addressing different guests and clients.

  1. Communication & departmental continuity

A hand-guide to the day-to-day communication and departmental continuity that takes place within domestic staff. We will look at the diction and physical cues that go into excellent communication. Poor listening risks poor performance. We train you on how to absorb information more effectively, so you can perform your tasks more accurately.

  1. Daily update of guest arrival

Taking attendees through the basics of updating and diarizing the various arrivals and departures of guests.

  1. Obstruction in corridors

How to meet basic health and safety standards, as well as principals’ expectations, within the household.

  1. Fire health & safety

Maintenance of fire, health and safety standards across the house, as they apply in different areas.

  1. Preparation of itineraries for principals and their guests

How to prepare an industry-standard itineraries for principals and their guests.

  1. Importance of discretion security of principals and guests

A briefing on the importance of principals and guests’ security, how their different security procedures work, and how to liaise with security staff.

  1. Packing & unpacking wardrobe care

Lessons on packing and unpacking that meet impeccable standards.

  1. Principals and guests journeys from arrival

A full brief on the planning, execution and departure of principals and guests to the household.

  1. Guest check in/out

Full immersion into the details and elements of checking in and checking out scenarios.

  1. In-house dining and room service

Examples and lessons on dining, delivery, and ordering of in-house dining.

  1. Upselling

Lessons on the importance of upselling in the corporate hospitality industry.

  1. Butler’s pantry stock & care

Information on the cataloguing, sourcing and maintenance of pantries.

  1. Wine & champagne service

Basic sommelier skills and advisory services on the acquisition and selection of wine and champagne.

  1. Table service & setting

The various rigors of table service and settings.

  1. Turndown service

Walking attendees through the process and execution of turndown service of the bed.

  1. First Impression

You never get a second chance at a first impression. We provide a primer on the importance of comportment in your first meeting with your principals, and the necessary steps to take to make that excellent first impression.

  1. Attitude

An explanation of the prevailing attitudes of domestic household staff, and tools on maintaining a friendly and professional attitude in times of calm and crisis alike.

  1. Posture

An important but commonly overlooked habit, good posture is a reflection of attention and concentration – we provide tips on maintaining and forming good posture.

  1. Pacing and Rapport

Without rapport, your day-to-day tasks become chores. Establishing a prompt and pleasant repartee with your principals increases enjoyment and guarantees longevity.

  1. Non-verbal expressions

You convey as much through non-verbal behaviour as through direct speech. Shorthand non-verbal cues permit the fluid running of the household tasks.

  1. Verbal expressions

We teach the requisite verbal prompts and expressions that are shorthand within your respective trades, as well as native to the domestic staffing industry.

  1. Household management

A primer on the daily, monthly, yearly function and fulfilment of the household management role, assessing the interplay of all relevant staff, and the keys to successful management.

  1. Private staffing

A 101 introduction to the industry, its hierarchies, roles of interest, and the expectations of your principals.

  1. The art of hospitality

Using experience of industry professionals and our personal insights on both sides of the fence, an insight into the art of hospitality, and the symmetry between staff and principal that leads to success.

  1. Setting up routines

Without structure, a household cannot flourish. This module on setting up routines teaches you to assess tasks in terms of routine, creating bespoke steps for tasks and being more efficient as a result

  1. Taking time for relaxation

The best module! We discuss why it’s appropriate to relax amid the constant action of the household, and how this can improve your work.

  1. Seating arrangements

Who, if anyone, sits at the head of the table? Where ought the youngest be seated? We delve into standard seating arrangements, and how you can keep all necessary parties happy.

  1. Candles and subtle lighting

A room can be thrown off by bad lighting – what’s worse, it can veil all your immaculate attention to detail. Here, we expand on the best ways to set candles and lighting up.

  1. Laundry management

A look into the basic laundry rules of the household, and how you should manage the changing, and maintenance, of your principals’ clothes.

  1. Professional garment care and stain removal

A professional-level primer on garment care and stain removal, and the most efficient tips and tricks on achieving both.

  1. Trouble free laundering

How to minimise the hassles of laundry amid your routine.

  1. Hand washing

Hygiene is one of the most sanctified aspects of a successful domestic staff member. We show you how to scrub up best.

  1. Washing woollens

This module looks at washing woollens the easy, efficient way.

  1. Care of pure silk

Looking at level of care required to maintain silk garments in impeccable condition.

  1. Washing and pressing linen

Your guide to linen, and keeping it up to principals’ expectations and standards.

  1. Leather care

Shoes, jackets, furniture, and more – a quick module on the materials you’ll need to maintain high-quality leather so that it endures.

  1. Dry cleaning

A basic session on the standards and process of dry cleaning expected by most principals with domestic staff.

  1. Valet duties

A look into the duties of a Valet – the utmost diligence needed when looking after principals.

  1. Wardrobe management

Sourcing, saving, sorting; we go into the key functions of wardrobe management, and how to operate a wardrobe of the highest standard for your principal.

  1. Housekeeping management

The structure of housekeeping staff, their functions, and their priorities. We assess the basic steps of housekeeping management.

  1. Staffing

Acquiring and leading staff amid the different tendrils of the household.

  1. Cleaning equipment

What’s expected in your cleaning repertoire? Where do you keep all your tools? Let’s talk about cleaning equipment and how it works.

  1. Cleaning tips and tricks

Our years in the industry have allowed us to gather tidy tricks that can circumvent some of the most common nuisances that domestic staff encounter – let us share them with you!

  1. Etiquette

Dependent on your principal’s origin, status, and age, there will be different expectations of etiquette. This primer allows us to teach you the tenets of etiquette as expected by your principal.

  1. Manners

Manners maketh the man. This module will make your grandparents proud, with quick rules and easy routes to understanding how to uphold the highest standard of manners and politeness.

  1. How to shake hands

Is it as simple as a firm grip and looking someone in the eye? We discuss what goes into a good handshake, and how to make the best impression with one.

  1. Bowing and curtsying

This may seem a practice of the past, but in many households, bowing and curtsying are daily activities. This lesson will teach you how it’s done best.

  1. Business cards

How a professional business card should look, and how to present it.

  1. Making introductions

X meet Y – let’s talk about how to introduce strangers, without a hitch.

  1. Order of introductions

The order in which you should introduce your present company.

  1. Helping guests with coats and jackets

When and how should you assist guests with their clothing? A simple but imperative task.

  1. Seating guests

The practice of seating guests; with the correct timing, placement, and manners.

  1. Entering a guest room or suite

A module on the practice of entering and exiting guest rooms and suites appropriately.

  1. Personal conduct

The expectations and rules of personal conduct as they apply universally in the domestic staffing industry.c

  1. Body language

What is your body language saying about you, both in the context in your role, and as a person. A primer on body language and its meanings.

  1. Cooking

At the forefront of many households is good cuisine. Many principals place a premium on your cooking skills – these modules allow you to meet Michelin star standards.

  1. Menu planning

The contents and continuity of menu planning in the household.

  1. Menu structure

How and why certain foods are ordered on the menu.

  1. Purchasing and buying food

The quality of produce, the pricing of food, and the importance of dietary requirements are all covered by this module.

  1. Speed cuisine

The suitability and succinctness of speed cuisine; with lessons on what constitutes it.

  1. Using knives

Use your array of knives like a Michelin chef with this module.

  1. Family Style Cooking

Adhering to and improving upon the most basic recipes for more informal family style dining.

  1. Food pairing

Like a good sommelier, domestic staff operating in the kitchen ought to be able to pair foods together at their principal’s behest. This module will teach you how.

  1. Event management

The prioritising, and pressures, of event management – and how you can manage the scale of different events. Organising and dealing with caterers and event agencies.

  1. Event order

How to decide the importance of your principal’s event schedule.

  1. Security outside of household

Liaising with and hiring security outside of the household, and inducting them into the way of the house.

  1. Pre dinner drinks

Creating cocktails and catering to the array of guests in the household.

  1. Creating the right atmosphere

Tips and tricks on how to set the scene for your party.

  1. Choice of menu

Pairing food with the occasion and the expectations of your principal.

  1. Table settings

A lesson in cutlery like you’ve never received – how to present table settings with a flawless finish, in line with convention.

  1. Different functions and different occasions

The requirements and guidelines on the broad array of different functions your principal may wish to host.

  1. Banquet organisations

Catering, management, and expectations for banquets.

  1. Canapés and party snacks

A primer on the most crowd-friendly, high-quality, and delicious snacks to offer.

  1. Garnishing

A guide on the amount and varieties of garnishes to offer.

  1. Buffet table setting

Arranging buffets appropriately.

  1. Formal dinner party management

Guest lists, menus, dietary requirements, and wine lists – the core tenets of arranging a successful formal dinner party.

  1. Organising Christmas

Looking into your role as a Santa Claus of sorts for your household when it comes to facilitating a beautiful Christmas for them.

  1. Order of work

Timing and prioritising your tasks in line with your daily functions.

  1. Guest service

The expectations of your guests, and how you can meet, and exceed, them.

  1. Service of hot and cold towels

A module on preparing hot and cold towels.

  1. The technique of serving towels

Teaching you the correct technique of serving towels.

  1. Providing guest amenities to suites and rooms

How to subtly serve your guests with the necessary amenities for their stay.

  1. Laying and lighting a fire

This is a simple task, but one that can provide much pleasure – we teach you how to swiftly and easily light fires.

  1. Offering beverages and food

The correct timing and phrasing of offers for further food and drink.

  1. Serving a wake-up beverage

Bring out your inner barista, we will show you how to prepare coffee like a pro. An introduction to juices and teas will also be given.

  1. Fixing a hangover

A sure-fire way to get into your employer’s good graces! We may hold the ultimate hangover cures – this module allows you to tap into them, and help your boss freshen up and get on with their day.

  1. Setting up and delivering in room dining

Room service is a natural component of domestic staffing. The delivery and setting up of the meal is as important as the cuisine itself, and this module shows you how it’s done.

  1. Setting trays

How to best set and stack trays.

  1. Flower arranging and floristry

Floristry with a flourish – we teach you how to whip an exotic vase up from your ingredients, and the secrets of flower arrangement that have been passed down to us from previous staff.

  1. Purchasing and wrapping gifts

Gift-store level wizardry will make you an asset to your employer whenever birthdays and Christmas roll round – this module explores the best gift-wrapping techniques and the staples you will require.

  1. Travel and transportation arrangements

How to reserve quality transport arrangements for your employer, no matter the occasion.

  1. Beverages

An introduction on how to make high-quality teas, coffees, and other standard beverages.

  1. Alcoholic drinks

A primer on alcohols across the spectrum, to allow you to translate your employer’s orders, offer recommendations, and discuss with them.

  1. Bottle handling

A module on the correct techniques necessary when opening, decanting and serving various alcohols. We also look at the cellar and storage of wines.

  1. White wine varieties

A guide to the diversity, names, and tastes of different white wines.

  1. Red wine varieties

The complexity, names, and tastes of different red white

  1. Other modules upon request

How to book

To book training for yourself or your employee please contact us.

If you have any further queries on the course, its contents, or on domestic staffing as a whole, Irving Scott would love to answer them. Please get in touch via our contact form or call us on +44 (0) 203 181 0022.