How can I offer additional training?
Some personal assistants will not have a qualification and may agree with their individual employer that this is not necessary. Other individual employers may want their personal assistant to undertake a qualification or other types of training. The important thing is that the employer feels that the personal assistant has the appropriate skills and knowledge to carry out their role safely and to their satisfaction.
“I tell my PAs about the ‘invisibility of a PA’. This, to me, refers to the ability to emerge when I require support, but disappear the moment I don’t. They don’t become the central focus and their assistance, which is vital to me, becomes a natural part of the environment I am in. They know I value their support, but equally they appreciate that I am in control and want to be recognised for my beliefs and values, not my access needs.”
Disabled employer of personal assistants
- Personalised training is designed specifically to meet the requirements of the individual employer. It can be delivered in different ways. Many individual employers train their personal assistants themselves on the support tasks they need assistance with. They may also ask a new personal assistant to watch another personal assistant or family carer who is experienced.
- Some employers design the training and have it delivered by a learning provider. A support organisation or network, group of individual employers and/or other supporters can work together with the employer and learning provider. This can help the employer to find high quality, cost-effective learning.
- Informal training - this helps you learn new skills but does not lead to a recognised qualification. It may be a short course with a certificate for learners who have successfully completed it.
- Formal training - this leads to a qualification, for example a Level 2 Diploma in Health and Social Care. The training will take place at college or with a training provider. These are called accredited qualifications. Formal training for personal assistants may take place in the employer’s home.
- Internet-based training - this is sometimes called e-learning and usually consists of exercises or instructions available via the internet. Sometimes CDs and DVDs are used with this type of training. You can do this when it suits you and can fit it around your day. Internet-based training needs to be assessed by the individual using it to make sure it meets any access needs. The best use of e-learning is together with other learning materials. Click here for further information on e-learning materials. Social Care Institute for Excellence also provides free Social Care TV videos on a range of subjects to help learning.
Also available is ‘Learn from Learning’, which is a free comparison website providing information about the range of learning available to you and your personal assistant. It includes an online evaluation tool to help you manage your learning and make sure you are getting the best value for money.