Carmen MacDougall



Carmen MacDougall
Founder, The VA Training & Coaching Co.


Carmen MacDougall, who has recently been described as ‘The Godmother’ of the VA industry, is a true entrepreneur.

A leader and innovator in the VA field, Carmen has made the Virtual Assistant Coaching & Training Company the premier provider of VA training and mentoring and is seen as the original and market-leading VA coaching & training resource since its inception.

Carmen sold her first VA business in 2003 to concentrate on her coaching business and her new VA training consultancy,  the second she parted from in 2012 due to the ill health of her husband who suffered with a brain tumour and fatal complications.

Carmen has trained, and coached over 1800 VAs worldwide since 2003 which include some of the industry’s top VAs – with a few of whom voted, by an independent judging panel, to be the country’s Outstanding VAs of the Year 2007 to 2014 including several finalists at the National VA Conference and Awards.

What has Carmen been up to?
In 2002 Carmen qualified as a Life Coach and studied business coaching with the UK College of Life Coaching, which has since been bought by The Coaching Academy.

In 2004 Carmen co-founded the Women’s Independent Networking Group (WINGs) in Staffordshire, this was a successful networking group with 7 groups around the Midlands and Leicestershire area.  Part of Carmen’s role as Director was to train the members in effective networking which included creating strategic alliances, how to describe what you do, your one minute pitch and confidence in presenting.  Carmen sold her share when she relocated with her family.

In 2004 Carmen published her online book “What it Takes to Become a Remarkable VA”.

In 2005 Carmen qualified as a Neuro Linguistic Programming Practitioner and undertook her Master Practitioner in 2008.

In 2007 Carmen launched the first ever National VA Conference and Awards for  VAs in the UK, Ireland and Europe.  With an independent judging panel, Carmen is proud to say that the majority of the VAs who won awards or reached finalist positions, were those who attended her VA Mastery Course.  Carmen passed the conference ownership over to in 2013.

In April 2007, to coincide with the launch of the National VA Conference and Awards, Carmen co-launched the first online magazine for VAs in the UK ‘The VA Times Magazine’. This ran for 3 years.
In April 2011 Carmen was nominated as the winner of The Spirit of the VA Industry' due to her contribution to the industry.

In December 2012 Carmen co-Founded, The VA Magazine along with Lucy Brazier of Executive Secretary Magazine.

In March 2013 reached finalist position for‘Best Women’s Coach Award‘ and ‘Best Innovative Trainer Award’ for the Association of Professional Coaches, Trainers and Consultants Awards.

Carmen is an author of ‘What it Takes to Become a Remarkable VA‘ and ‘How to Get Out of Life’s Rut and Attract New Opportunities‘, a sought after motivational speaker, a Master Practitioner in Neuro Linguistic Programming specialising in helping female entrepreneurs to create a clear business message and the confidence to gain the visibility through the mediums of networking, strategic alliances and presenting.

Prior to The Office Show, Carmen was a regular seminar trainer for Times Creme in Manchester and London from 2003 to 2009 before it’s closure.Carmen has been a conference trainer and presenter for Executive PA Conference, EUMA, IIR Conferences, The London Speaker Bureau, Mackay-Hannah, IQPS, The Business Mums Summit, Mumpreneur UK Conference and a variety of women’s business networking organisations around the UK.

Above all else, Carmen is a true Ambassador and very passionate about the VA industry, hence her creation of the first ever National VA Conference and Awards in 2007.  She was keen for the VA industry to have a boost in the UK and the Conference has created a raise in the profile of VAs as well as the opportunity to award VAs who deserve to be recognised for their outstanding business efforts.

After 7 successful years with this event, Carmen has now passed on the event and is honoured that is now being hosted by, the leading online directory for VAs.

Carmen is more than a coach and trainer, she is a real part of what she delivers and is highly enthusiastic about the support she provides. She is considered as one of the industry’s leading authorities on what it takes to be a remarkable VA. By fully employing her coaching skills and her passion in supporting people to move beyond what they would ever have imagined possible, Carmen’s clients find her truly inspiring and motivating as they experience achieving their life-long dreams or breaking through their personal or business barriers.
"Penny Power OBE: “What a tremendous lady. Committed to the VA Industry and to VA’s in a way I have not experienced. So professional, so full of passion and a unique desire to help VA’s achieve their business goals and for their customers to be serviced professionally, thank you Carmen, great getting to know you.

The Corporate Past
Prior to establishing VACT, Carmen excelled as a PA and Office Manager as well as a Marketing Assistant for over 15 years within Fortune 100 investment banking and legal companies, based in the City of London. Within three months of redundancy, Carmen had taken the plunge and created her own business, as a Virtual Assistant and Marketing Consultant, building a thriving full-time business, working mainly with life coaches and those in the personal and professional development industries, she then developed a team of VAs to support her clients.

2014 Day One: Session 2:
Time is Money - Making Strategic Partnerships Count - more details


2014 Day Two: Session 6: How to Master the Art of Sales When You Hate Selling - more details
2014 Day Two: Session 9: The Business World for VAs - Today and Tomorrow