Author Self-directed Support Scotland (SDSS)
Date 31/03/2024
Resource Type Self-directed Support Library

The Personal Assistant Handbook

The guide for people who are or are thinking of becoming a Personal Assistant.

click here to access the Personal Assistant (PA) Handbook

Becoming a personal assistant (PA) means taking on a unique role where you assist someone to live the life that they choose. PAs describe what they do as amongst the most fulfilling work of their lives, working for an individual to meet their goals.

PAs are employed by a wide variety of people including older people, disabled people, people with mental health problems, people with learning disabilities and parents or carers of children. All will have been assessed as needing assistance to enable them to achieve life outcomes.

There are no formal training requirements for entry and employed PAs have the same rights, responsibilities and benefits of any other employee. The relationship between employer and employee is valued highly and often a PA brings their own experience to the role which can be valued by the employer. It is such a varied role, distinct to every employer, key skills tend to be around communication and flexibility- it is rarely a job of routines.

You will need to share a belief that everyone is entitled to lead their own independent life and that their voice and opinions must be heard to that end.