Personal Assistants (PAs)
What is a Personal Assistant (PA)?
A personal assistant is someone who is usually employed directly by a person who needs support to live their life in a way they choose.
They can also be employed by a family member or representative, when the person they are supporting does not have the physical or mental capacity to be the employer.
However, a personal assistant always works directly with the individual they are supporting. It’s most likely that this should be through an employed arrangement, rather than being self-employed.
People employing personal assistants are often referred to as individual employers. As a personal assistant you are likely to be involved in many aspects of your employer’s life and may be asked to provide support in the home, at leisure or at work.
You don’t necessarily need any experience or training to become a Personal Assistant however what is important is having the right values because your employer will rely on you for support. There are some short courses you can take that will provide you with more information about jobs in the care sector:
Introduction to Working in Care: short course (2x half days)
This is intended to prepare people to apply for jobs in residential, domiciliary care or as a Personal Assistant. This course includes training on how to produce a CV, a personal statement and best places to search for jobs in the care sector. It will be
busy, practical and relevant with input from sector specialists and employees.
Working in Adult Social Care Level 1 Award
This course follows on from the Introduction to Working in Care course and is intended for people who would like to consider a career in adult social care.
Contact Adult Community Learning:
To find out more about what the PA job role is the skills for care website has information available about Working as a Personal Assistant and an information guide on here that details everything you need to know called ‘Being a Personal Assistant’.
You will be asked to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check when you are appointed to be a Personal Assistant, you can view more information about DBS checks on www.gov.uk
Recruiting a Personal Assistant (PA)
If you are looking to employ someone to help you with your daily living tasks, either by self funding or using a Direct Payment, there are some simple steps you can follow in order to recruit your PA.
The Skills for Care website offers an information hub for employers and PA's so that you can make sure you have thought of everything you will need to do, such as writing a job description and advert. They also offer suggestions on where to advertise your role. We have compiled a list of ideas of local places where you could advertise as follows:
- Use a noticeboard at your local supermarket. Quite often it is free to use and is simple to arrange. Ask at the customer service desk how to go about this.
- Contact the Community Participation team at Telford & Wrekin Council. They work to support local communities and will be able to help you to get the word out about your job role. They also manage some social media pages in which they can place your advertisement. You can email them firstname.lastname@example.org or give them a call on 01952 382245.
- Visit www.find-a-pa.co.uk
- Use your own social media account
- Use a social media noticeboard
- Ask at places of worship
- Ask at your Parish or Town Council
- Put an advert in your local community centre
You can view information on How to employ private carers on the Which? website.