Close Window   :   Print Page

City of Torrance
Class Code: 1135
Class Designation: Civil Service
October 2009
Representation Unit: Torrance Professional & Supervisory Association

Supervising Administrative Assistant


Under direction, plans, directs and supervises office operations, office support staff and the department's administrative support functions including the processing of payroll, records management and the purchasing and maintenance of office supplies inventory and related records; establishes operating policies and procedures for office operations and areas of functional responsibility; provides administrative and highly complex secretarial support to the department head, managers and staff; serves as point of contact for the department coordinating communication, information, schedules and activities, tracking activities to ensure appropriate and timely response; serves as resource to management and staff on departmental policies, procedures and systems; and performs special projects as assigned and other related work as required.

Distinguishing Characteristics

The Supervising Administrative Assistant is distinguished from the Senior Administrative Assistant by the level of supervisory responsibility, size of staff, complexity and specialization of work assignments, scope of responsibility and authority exercised and a potential for greater impact of erroneous decisions on departmental operating costs and schedules. 

Supervision Exercised/Received

Receives direction from a department head within a framework of broad policies and general objectives; exercises direct supervision over a centralized unit of office support staff. 

Examples of Essential Duties

The following duties represent the principal job duties; however, they are not all-inclusive.
  • Supervises staff; supervisory duties include instructing, assigning, planning and reviewing work, evaluating work performance and completing performance evaluations, coordinating activities, maintaining standards, allocating personnel, acting on employee problems, selecting new employees and implementing employee discipline.  Providing training, advice and assistance as needed.
  • Directs, coordinates and reviews the work plan for the department; meets with staff to identify and resolve problems; assigns work activities and projects; monitors work flow; reviews and evaluates work products, methods and procedures.
  • Continuously monitors and evaluates the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery methods and procedures; assesses and monitors work load, administrative and support systems, and internal reporting relationships; identifies opportunities for improvement and reviews with the department head, implements improvements.
  • Coordinates, designs, revises and maintains overall office systems for records and documents related to departmental operations.
  • Establishes and maintains a variety of confidential files, materials and information.
  • Schedules and coordinates appointments, conferences, meetings and maintains appointment calendar for department head; tracks a variety of matters and actions requested by the City Council to ensure that deadlines are met.
  • Receives, screens, and responds to requests, queries and complaints, received by phone, mail, email or in person from visitors, other City departments and the public relative to departmental and City policies, procedures, programs and regulations.
  • Purchases and maintains office supply inventory; receives cash receipts and administers related budgets and reports.
  • Ensures the effective maintenance of various personnel records and databases, including employee time and leave balances and required DOT, Workers Compensation and OSHA files; oversees and/or maintains training databases and training history files and tracks license, insurance and certification requirements and notifies employees when re-certification is due.
  • Performs routine but specialized administrative duties related to departmental operations including data research, report writing, coordination of special events, and development and maintenance of tracking systems for budget expenditures.
  • Researches and completes a variety of documents regarding personnel matters and departmental operations, coordinating activities with other departments as appropriate, and ensuring timely submittal to appropriate department for processing.
  • Composes correspondence and prepares special studies, statistical analyses and various reports.
  • Edits, proofreads and corrects written materials to ensure correct format, spelling, punctuation, syntax and grammar.
  • Oversees and/or types correspondence, such as letters, memos, reports, Commission and Council items and other materials on a variety of general and technical topics from rough draft and other sources.
  • Examples of Other Duties

    The following duties represent duties that are generally performed by this position, but are not considered to be principal job duties:
  • Attends division and department meetings as required.
  • Serves on various committees as appropriate.
  • Performs special projects as assigned and related work as required.
  • Minimum Qualification Guidelines

    Knowledge of:
  • Principles, practices, and procedures of effective office operations.
  • Principles and practices of effective supervision, employee development and performance management.
  • Departmental policies, procedures, systems, programs and functions.
  • English usage, spelling, grammar, syntax and punctuation and business math.
  • Purchasing and inventory maintenance methods.
  • Modern office equipment and software applications used by the department.
  • Advanced principles and methods of business correspondence and report preparation.
  • Advanced record keeping methods recordkeeping methods applicable to the maintenance of a variety of administrative, personnel, payroll, statistical and financial records.
  • Telephone etiquette and principles of effective public relations.
  • City ordinances and administrative rules and regulations affecting departmental operations and personnel matters.
  • General City operations.
  • Ability to:
  • Work independently, exercise good judgment in making decisions and in performing assigned duties.
  • Plan, organize, and manage departmental office operations and assigned functions.
  • Recommend and implement goals, objectives and practices for effective and efficient operations.
  • Effectively delegate authority and responsibility.
  • Select, supervise, train, motivate assign and evaluate the work performance of subordinate personnel.
  • Provide administrative and professional leadership and direction for functional areas of responsibility.
  • Analyze problems, identify alternative solutions and potential consequences and implement recommendations to support goals and objectives. 
  • Establish and accurately maintain a variety of filing systems, including maintenance of specialized payroll and fiscal records.
  • Interpret, explain and enforce departmental and City policies and procedures.
  • Perform multiple and concurrent detailed tasks often under time constraints and/or in an environment of frequent interruptions.
  • Proofread and detect errors in typing, spelling, syntax and punctuation and make accurate mathematical computations.
  • Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing.
  • Type a variety of materials to, include letters, memos, reports, legal documents, Commission and Council items from rough drafts and other sources.
  • Effectively operate a computer and peripheral office equipment.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work including City employees, City and other government officials, and the general public.
  • Learn and utilize new skills and information to improve job performance and efficiency.
  • Licenses/Certification Required

    Possession of a valid California class C driver license and safe driving record may be required for assignment to some positions in the classification.

    Education and Experience

    Any combination of education and experience that would provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying.  A typical way of obtaining the knowledge and abilities would be:
    Graduation from high school or equivalent and four years of highly responsible executive secretarial and/or administrative work and complex office administration duties within a public agency, which includes at least one year of experience in a lead or supervisory position; courses in office administration and secretarial practices are desirable.
    Special Requirements

    Physical Requirements: Due to the nature of work assignments, incumbents must be able to perform detailed work on multiple, concurrent tasks, with frequent interruptions and often under time constraint. On a daily basis, the essential duties of this classification may require the ability to stoop; to reach; to stand, to walk and sit for extended periods of time; to push and/or pull objects weighing up to 50 pounds; to lift and carry objects weighing up to 10 pounds; to use finger dexterity to operate a computer and other office equipment and hand strength to grasp files and other objects; to perceive the attributes of objects by touch; to hear and verbally exchange ideas and information with the public, staff and others on the phone and in the office; to see clearly from less than one foot to twenty feet with a good field of vision and to distinguish basic colors and shades of color.  On a frequent basis, essential duties of the position may require the ability to climb stairs, and to kneel and/or crouch to retrieve files and other items. 

    Work Environment: Essential duties of this classification are primarily performed in a dynamic office environment that may include frequent interruptions and/or a high level of public contact.

    Career Ladder Information

    Experience gained in the classification in addition to related work experience, training and course work may serve to meet minimum qualifications for promotion to an administrative manager or supervisor classification.