Correspondence Courses – Hospitality

Learning to Pack

Learning to Pack

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 (which do not train hospitality butlers), then a correspondence or long-distance learning course becomes a viable option.

These courses are for:

  • Anyone who would like to become a butler.
  • Anyone currently in any position in the hospitality industry, who would like to widen their skills base, improve their level of service, or move into the butler profession.
  • For butlers already in service, who may be long on experience but short on formal butler training and would like a credential.
  • Housekeepers in hotels and resorts.


Module One

  • Outside Hollywood, What is a Butler?
  • From Slave to Servant to Staff: Changing Perceptions and Attitudes
  • The Many Faces of the Modern Butler

Module Two

  • Essence of a Butler
  • A Good Butler’s Basic Attributes
  • Butler communication skills

Module Three

  • Butler Etiquette and How to Handle Various Tricky Situations with Aplomb
  • Predicting and Handling Others
  • How to Recognize and Avoid the Boss from Hell

Module Four

  • The Butler Department and How to Run It
  • Acceptance of a New Idea Does Not Just Happen
  • Finding Staff
  • Supervising Staff
  • Dismissing Staff
  • Disciplining Staff
  • The Organizing Chart for the Butler Department
  • Work Load
  • Communication within the Butler Department
  • Red Book
  • Pre-arrival Grid
  • Guest History/Profile
  • The White Board
  • “Driver’s License”
  • Radios
  • The Departmental cork board
  • Handing off Verbally
  • Food Orders
  • Coordinator Log
  • Laundry and Repair Log
  • Working with the Housekeeper:
  • Furniture Care
  • Floor Care
  • Ceramics Care
  • Metalwork Care
  • Gold Care
  • Books Care
  • Hair- and Clothes-Brush Care
  • Cleaning Cloths
  • Working with the Chef
  • The Efficient Kitchen
  • Dealing with Suppliers
  • Delivery
  • Safety in the House
  • Paperwork
  • Keeping Household Accounts
  • Making an Inventory
  • Handling:Silver-Cleaning, Storage and Purchase
  • Cigars
  • Flowers
  • The Bar and Cellar
  • Driving and Cars
  • Butler’s Etiquette, Comportment and Walk
  • Answering the Door
  • Answering the Telephone
  • Daily Duties/Graces
  • The Greening of Butlers
  • Some General Pointers Concerning Personal Etiquette and Professionalism

Module Five

  • Looking After Guests
  • Customizing
  • Day of Arrival
  • Welcoming the Guest
  • Typical Butler Services
  • Shopping
  • Showing Interest
  • Some More Pointers
  • Bowing
  • Tips
  • Visitors’ Book

Module Six

  • Valet – The Gentleman’s Gentleman
  • Packing a Suitcase
  • Preparing for the Following Day
  • In the Morning
  • Clothes
  • Care of Clothes After They Have Been Worn
  • Trousers (pants)
  • Jackets/Coats
  • Shirts
  • Ties
  • Shoes
  • Sweaters
  • Belts
  • Hats
  • Various (underwear, pajamas)
  • Cleaning Clothes
  • Know Before You Iron!
  • Purchasing Clothes

Module Seven

  • The Orchestration of Fine Eating Experiences
  • Meals to Remember
  • Breakfast
  • Luncheon
  • English Afternoon Tea
  • Dinner
  • Setting the Table
  • Late Afternoon and the Reception
  • Dealing with certain problems
  • Serving the Meal

Module Eight

  • Other Social Occasions, How to Manage

Module Nine

  • The Spa Butler
  • Types of Guests
  • Preparing for Arrival
  • Guest Arrival
  • Guest Arrival Tour
  • In-Suite Spa Services
  • General Guidelines for Drawing a Therapeutic Bath

Module Ten

  • Dealing with Security Issues

Module Eleven

  • Notes For the Beginning Butler
  • The Tools of the Trade for the Twenty-first Century Butler
  • Where to Start once You Arrive on Duty

Module Twelve

  • The Butler as a Toastmaster
  • Making Toasts
  • Keeping the Occasion on Track

Module Thirteen

  • New Ideas for an Old Profession

HOUSEKEEPER CORRESPONDENCE COURSE (adapted from the butler courses)


  • An affordable way to learn or train
  • Keep earning income while taking the course
  • Train from the comfort of your own home
  • Train on a schedule that suits you
  • Increase your skills and value to current and future employers
  • Gain the ability to bring greater satisfaction to those you service and thus to yourself
  • Increase the depth of butler knowledge / skills with formal training that you have missed

Both correspondence courses include checklists detailing the reading and practical assignments, as well as projects to be done. Progress for students in the Western Hemisphere is supervised by Mr. Steven Ferry personally. Students in the Eastern Hemisphere and Spanish-speaking countries countries are supervised by Mr. Amer Vargas. All students have an open line via e-mail to their instructors for questions, and to receive guidance on professional matters.

The butler course takes about six months part-time and costs US $2,500. Students must purchase their own course materials (books & DVDs) via (or other suitable providers), which will cost approximately US $200-$250 depending on whether you purchase new or used books, plus the shipping and handling costs of said books (which will vary depending on where in the world you live). As a note, from experience we’ve learned that shipping to foreign locations may cost as much as US $200 in addition to the costs of purchasing the books and DVDs.

A 10% discount is extended to existing IIMB members who pay in full before starting. If preferred, students may pay in three installments, however, when chosing this option one forfeits any discounts that may apply to payment in full.

The Housekeeper course takes about three months to complete on a part-time schedule and costs US $1,000, which must be paid in full before starting the course. Four books and two DVDs must be purchased for this course (similarly via for a total cost of about US $150 plus shipping.


The Institute offers discounted rates for hotel butler students living in regions with wage scales that might put paying for the course beyond their reach as individuals. Contact the Institute to find out if you qualify. You will be required to provide evidence that shows you qualify for a discount based on your income.

If you live in a country that is not serviced by PayPal or you are otherwise unable to use PayPal to make your payment, please contact the Institute to be guided through Bankwire or other money transfer procedures.

The Institute is  a Founding Member of the International Luxury Hotel Association.

All graduates receive Certificates of Completion from the Institute upon successful completion of the course.


“I just completed my training as a Hotel Butler via the International Institute of Modern Butlers’ correspondence course. I want to thank the Institute for the excellent training they provided. I am very proud to now be one more Butler with a certificate from this reputed training center, able to offer my services in hospitality venues and on private estates. I will continue to work, as I have done during my training, in the Spanish Embassy to the Holy See and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta in Rome, Italy. I plan to promote our profession more and more and keep the Institute’s name at the high level it deserves.

Today, the International Institute of Modern Butlers is one of the most renowned Butler training centers for one simple reason: the service they offer is on a par with the respect they have gained in both the hospitality and the private service markets.

The Institute facilitated payment for the course and made it easy for me, providing me with a choice that helped me reach my objective, which was to obtain certification with them.

I want to give a special thanks to Mr. Frank Mitchell, who, as my trainer, was a great support to me for several months, and helped me overcome the challenges I faced during the training period. Mr. Mitchell is a real emissary and example of a Modern Butler. He made me write many lines about integrity in this profession. Reading his comments on my essays, I was able to observe that all of the components that make up our professional Code of Ethics form an essential part of his own daily life. As such, he provides one more steel pillar for our profession and so helps Mr. and Mrs. Ferry, and all of his colleagues in the Institute, to further enhance the reputation of The International Institute of Modern Butlers.” HJL

“I have been a head butler for many years at a world-class resort and tried for a long time to find the right butler school to improve my knowledge. I finally found it in IIMB. I believe the Institute will become the best butler school in the world and am very proud to be one of its graduates.” BP