Types of Butler Qualifications You Can Take


Published on March 27, 2017

Being a butler is one of the most exciting jobs in the domestic service industry. Not many professional people can say they’re able to follow their passions, make progressions and grow in their roles. Because of this, it’s no surprise that many people are looking into becoming a butler. The road is long and challenging, but with professional butler qualifications (and the specific courses you can take) and a dedicated attitude, you can become a great butler.

Why Consider a Qualification?

The butler industry is one with high competition. To find your dream job, it is vital to stand out from the crowd.  Make sure you have a unique package that people will be interested in and remember.

If you are looking to get into the industry and you don’t have a lot of relevant experience on your CV, it can sometimes feel like a challenging task to make clients and new principals notice you. Having butler qualifications will make you stand out immediately.

Butler qualification show that you have reached a certain level of skill.  It also shows you have a good level of knowledge. Most importantly, it shows that you’re taking your career seriously and are willing to learn and invest in it.

Investing time and money in developing your skills shows that you’re someone to take seriously. You will show that you’re committed and dedicated to this career path, eager to learn and always looking to become a better version of yourself.  These are personality traits that recruiters and principals always look for.


What Kind of Butler Qualifications Are There?

Hospitality & Catering and Food & Beverage Training

You could consider food & beverage (F&B) training to be the stepping stone for anyone wanting to get into the service or hospitality industry. During F&B training you will learn skills in beverage service, food safety and hygiene when storing, holding and serving food. There are many different schools who offer NVQs and SVQs at different levels to get these qualifications.

To become a butler, having one of these qualifications alone would not be enough. Butlering consists of much more than serving food and drink and having a basic knowledge of customer service. However, it is a good initial qualification to have if you are looking at the wider hospitality sector, rather than just being a butler.

Silver Service Training

Silver service training is a step up from F&B training, as it focuses on specific butler service skills. In a silver service course, you will learn about all the different types of service a principal can request.  Including being in a private home, a high end hotel, restaurant or on a yacht. People trained in silver service would generally apply these skills in higher and commercial establishments, superyachts and private households of HNWI and VIP principals.

In a good silver service course, things like presentation, body language and service etiquette will be covered. The art of the butler is not found merely in the way one serves food or beverages, or how one sets a table, but about the overall combination of skills and presence in the room.  The ability to respond to situations and outstanding attention to detail.

Butler Training

Butler training is a longer course than silver service training. Whilst silver service training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 days, butler qualifications will be at least 3 to 5-day courses.

Silver service modules will be a part of butler training, but the course will look more into the history and art of the butler too. You will consider preparing for travel, packing and unpacking suitcases, travelling and chauffeur duties.  Also, the overall manner in which a butler presents themselves, including telephone manner, greeting guests and cultural etiquette.

Butler training can be taken on a daytime only basis, but some institutions will offer boarding options for the duration of the course. Both options have their values, it will depend on your situation and availability.

House and Estate Management Training

House management courses can be highly valuable butler qualifications for someone who is looking to climb the career ladder. Training like this focuses on being in charge, either of members of staff or a larger estate. As a house or estate manager, you may have butlers working under you, as well as housekeepers, nannies, chauffeurs and other members of staff.

Modules in a course like this typically include everything around staff management, including hiring and firing, day to day management, motivating teams and dealing with contractors. They can also go into safety and security, inventory and budgets.

Taking a course like this would be ideal for someone who already has other butler qualifications.  It will allow you to grow.

How Do I Know if it’s a Good Course?

Have a look at the layout of a course- is it mostly theory, or is there room for practical exercises too? Having lots of practical assessment time during training is essential to obtain an understanding of silver service, butlering or house management. The art of service and butlering can only be learnt lots of practice.

Taking a butler qualification course? Ask about group sizes! #butler Click To Tweet

Ask about group sizes if you are looking at a group course. It is highly unlikely you will get a full understanding of the finer art and skill of butlering and service when being taught in a large group. Attention to detail is key in the service industry. 


At Polo & Tweed we are proud to offer silver service courses, house and estate management training and butler training of the highest standard.  If you’d like to know more about our small open courses or our private courses, then please do have a look here, or drop us a line. Tell us what your needs are, and we will be delighted to advise you on the steps to get the right training and butler qualifications to get you to where you want to be.

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