A Personal Assistant (PA) is someone who is employed to provide everyday care and support. This may include personal and domestic care, support to get out and about, as well as other day-to-day activities.
A PA can offer the most control over services, as they are better able to support an individual's specific needs and promote independence.
Personal Assistant Directory
Working in Partnership with Nottinghamshire County Council and the NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups in Nottinghamshire and Nottingham City we have developed a shared PA Directory.
This Directory enables people to look for available PAs or to advertise for PAs and for potential PAs to register through the Support with Confidence Scheme.
Click on the sections below for more information about becoming a Personal Assistant:
A Personal Assistant or PA is someone who is employed to provide everyday care and support. This may include personal and domestic care, support to get out and about, as well as other day to day activities.
A PA can offer the most control over services as they are better able to support an individual's specific needs and promote independence. It is a role, which can be flexible and provide a much wider variety of support than traditional homecare type roles.
PAs work directly with one or more individuals to help them with various aspects of their daily life, to help them live as independently as possible. PAs usually support individuals in their own home or to go out in the community.
A PA role might include:
- organising and supporting individuals with their social and physical activities
- booking and going with individuals to appointments
- helping individuals to get to work, college or university
- helping with personal care such as showering and dressing (although not all PA roles involve personal care)
- supporting with tasks around the house such as shopping, cleaning and cooking
- monitoring their health for example measuring body temperatures or administering medication.
- managing a team of PAs if in a senior PA role.
A PA will be employed directly by an individual who is managing and paying for their own care through a social care direct payment or personal budget. PAs can be employed directly by just one employer or can work for a number of different people. They can also be self employed, see HMRC Website regarding self-employment https://www.gov.uk/working-for-yourself
In social care if a person has care and support needs they or their family or friends can make their own arrangements in meeting their needs and achieving their desired outcomes. These people are able to receive the necessary funding for this via a Direct Payment. They can then use this funding to employ a Personal Assistant.
Every role in social care will require a certain set of skills. Some of these will be specific to the job applied for. However, there are some core skills that all personal assistants need;
- English skills
- Number skills
- Digital skills
- Employability skills, including team work and problem solving.
There are also some specific skills needed to work in this role and these include:
- the ability to work on own initiative
- good listening and communication skills
- flexibility and time management
- good interpersonal skills to work with someone on a one to one basis.
It is not always necessary to have any qualifications to become a PA, but what’s really important is that the person has the right values and behaviours to work in social care. It might also be useful to have experience working in a similar role or with vulnerable adults.
- The employer might ask for qualifications showing good English and number skills such as GCSE A-C in English and maths.
- It might also be helpful to have a social care qualification such as a Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care.
Support with Confidence is a council-run scheme for people who want to work in Nottingham City or Nottinghamshire, or are currently working as a personal assistant. By joining the scheme you will be accredited, on our register and listed on the Nottinghamshire Help Yourself website either directly or via AskLiON.
The Support with Confidence scheme includes:
- training including e-learning courses (to be completed within two months)
- two references as part of your application
- an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check
- understanding how to meet our code of conduct.
This is free for personal assistants applying to join the scheme and you will have up to three months to complete your application.
Once you have successfully completed your application and been accredited, your details will be added to the register and directory of PAs on Nottinghamshire Help Yourself. Anyone looking to employ a Personal Assistant for support will then be able to contact you.
As part of the application process for the Support with Confidence Scheme you will be required to have an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check
This provides reassurance to prospective employers about your honesty and trustworthiness enhancing your prospects of employment.