>  Help

This website includes...

How will the information in this interactive guide help me?

Regardless of your situation, this interactive guide is designed to answer questions about learning new skills, inform you about different aspects of employing a personal assistant and provide external information, which you may find useful now or in the future. It also includes learning topics that may be beneficial to your own development, as an employer.

In this interactive guide you will find…

What will this information tell me?
Why employ a personal assistant?

Why employ a personal assistant?

Employing your own staff comes with a lot of responsibility, but it also gives the individual being supported, more choice, control and independence. If you want to be in control of employing your own staff, deciding when they work and what their duties will be, but are apprehensive about taking on the responsibility of recruiting and managing personal assistants, there is support available to you.

Click here for more information on what is a personal assistant?

The concept of a personal assistant derives from disabled people feeling frustrated and being denied the right to an ‘independent life’. This doesn’t refer to a life where you are left on your own to do everything, but a life where you make all the decisions, with support if needed. Many disabled people and their supporters campaigned and strived to have their voices heard, leading to changes in the support system.

One of the principles of independent living (sometimes referred to as ‘pillars of independent living’) is adequate provision of personal assistance. This raises questions about what makes a good personal assistant. There is no one answer to that question, nor should there be. Each individual employer (the person who will directly employ a personal assistant) will require something different. You may have specific duties that need completing, particular ways you want your personal assistant to work or certain behaviours you want them to convey. It is important to recognise that you, or someone you choose, knows what’s best when it comes to identifying what you want from a personal assistant.

“I believe the route to successful PA management is through having the right set of values and behaviours. When I recruit, I spend a lot of time talking and explaining, not only the tasks they will do, but also the concepts of disability, independent living and the development of PA support.”

Disabled employer of personal assistants

For more information see Skills for Care’s employing personal assistants toolkit

Who is this interactive guide for?

This interactive guide will help you to support your personal assistant in gaining the skills they need. It could be beneficial to individuals in receipt of a direct payment (self-directed support), those funding their own care or thinking about employing a personal assistant, perhaps employing on behalf of someone who needs support and assistance or an organisation that provides advice and support with developing personal assistant networks.

If you would like to contact Skills for Care about this website guide, please click here. Please note, Skills for Care is not responsible for the content or accessibility features of external websites.

Who is the guide for?

How to use the interactive guide

This interactive guide is split into four sections: Introduction, Getting started, Developing me and my personal assistants and Further information. To determine which section has the relevant information you need, it is advised that you follow the three-step plan:

Step 1

Why do I need this information?

Click the links to see some of the common questions that you may have already thought about.

  • Why do I want to employ a personal assistant? - click here to explore the benefits of employing a personal assistant.
  • Why do I need to consider training for a personal assistant and how will this improve their skills? - click here to find out the benefits of providing training for your personal assistant.