Personal Assistants

A Personal Assistant (PA) is someone who supports vulnerable adults to live their lives more independently. They may offer support in everyday activities such as shopping, leisure activities, washing and personal care.

Support with confidence

Supoport with confidence logo copyright Oxfordshire County CouncilSupport with Confidence is a council initiative, a partnership between our Adult Social Care and Trading Standards services. The scheme provides a register of approved personal assistants. To become approved the Personal Assistant has had an enhanced DBS (previously CRB) check, two reference checks, successfully completed ten training modules and sign the code of conduct.

Finding an approved Personal Assistant

Check the approved register of Personal Assistants (570KB PDF) which includes a brief profile of all candidates. If you want to employ an approved Personal Assistant from the register please contact them directly.

If you are looking for care and support for the first time you can contact the Access Point Team who provide a single point of contact for new and existing users of social care.

Employer responsibilities

If you employ a PA please be aware of the responsibilities this entails. The PA will be your employee and will depend on you for a proportion of their regular income, they will be entitled to sick pay, holidays and a notice period for example.

For tax and insurance purposes it is very important that you are properly informed  and follow correct procedures with regards to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (the tax office).

Find out more about the support and advice available to people employing personal assistants.

Becoming an approved Personal Assistant

Opportunities for Personal Assistants

There is a growing need for Personal Assistants as the government has made it clear that people should have choice about how they improve their lives if they are in need of care and/or support. Most people want to stay in their own homes and also want to employ someone who becomes familiar with their lifestyle to support them or the person they are employing a Personal Assistant for.

A Personal Assistant is usually paid a higher rate than a worker in a care home or a home care worker in an agency as it is one-to-one arrangement. The job can be very flexible, offering part-time and full-time work on different days and at different times. Some people become a Personal Assistant part-time while also working in an entirely different job. It is also suitable for someone who is retired and may only want a few hours a week, or someone in college who may only want to work evenings or weekends.

Support with Confidence offers free training, carries out enhanced disclosure & barring (previously criminal records) checks and approves  Personal Assistants who successfully complete the criteria of the scheme. Successful applicants are added to the register and are issued with a numbered certificate as proof of their approved status.

Looking at the role of a PA

Brighton & Hove City Council have sponsored a free e-learning course "Introduction to being a PA". This online course gives you an opportunity to learn more about the role and responsibilities of a PA, listen to case studies and test your knowledge.

For a username and password to access the e-learning, please email your details to

How do I become an approved Personal Assistant?

Once your application is complete please send it to Support with Confidence. Once Trading Standards have completed their checks your application will be referred to our training partners.(More information about training is below).

Support with Confidence
Trading Standards
2nd Floor, Bartholomew House
Bartholomew Square

Training for personal assistants

Training is delivered by two partners in Support with Confidence.

The first training session 'Being a Great Personal Assistant' is delivered by the Fed Centre for Independent Living. The Fed have extensive experience of working with PAs and service users who employ PAs. This training module has been specially developed to reflect this experience. This initial training module will take approximately 1-2 hours to complete and may be delivered on a 1:1 or group basis.

The Fed will also be providing mentoring for PAs from now on. Mentoring will be offered on a group basis, once a quarter, to all approved PAs who remain on the approved register.

Hallifax Care deliver the remaining training modules which are based on the Common Induction Standards that all care workers undertake before they start working. Hallifax Care are an experienced local home care agency who have been delivering training to care workers for a number of years. Hallifax Care will also carry out a DBS check and check job references. The training Hallifax Care provide can take up to 10 hours. Training can be provided in a variety of ways including 1:1, group sessions, online and via DVD.

Once a PA has completed all the required training and accreditation checks they will be added to the approved register. To remain on the register PAs must respond to monitoring requests which are sent out twice a year.

Please note that CRB checks are valid for 3 years (dates on PA profile). DBS checks do not have an expiry date. PA's can pay £13 per year to update their DBS online if they move to a new employer.

Training modules for Personal Assistants

  • Being a Great Personal Assistant
  • Understanding the role of the health and social care worker
  • Understanding and maintaining personal development
  • Communicating effectively
  • Understanding equality and diversity
  • Recognising principle for implementing duty of care
  • Knowing and understanding the principles of safeguarding in health and social care
  • Understanding person centred support
  • Maintaining health and safety in an adult social care setting
  • Free choice of module for Personal Assistant

Some training needs to be updated on a regular basis. Where applicable recommended updates will be marked on the PA profile.

Personal Assistants for children and young people with disabilities

Extratime logoThere is a growing demand for Personal Assistants for children and young people with disabilities across Brighton & Hove.

Extratime are delighted to be working in partnership with Brighton and Hove Council to train Personal Assistants to work with children and young people with disabilities.

Personal Assistants trained by Extratime will have had an enhanced DBS check (previously CRB), two reference checks and will have successfully completed five modules of training. A significant part of the training provided is on placement with Extratime in their after school clubs.

Once they have successfully completed the training Personal Assistants will be issued with a numbered certificate confirming their status as an approved Personal Assistant, and they will be added to the register of approved Personal Assistants with the Extratime logo next to their name.

Parents and carers can recruit Personal Assistants from the Approved Register to work with their children and young people safe in the knowledge that they have been checked and trained by Extratime, who have over 10 years experience working with children and young people with disabilities.

Training modules for Extratime trained Personal Assistants

  • Understanding your role as a Personal Assistant
  • Communication
  • Equality and diversity
  • Safeguarding and child protection
  • Health and safety

More information

As adult social care changes residents will have more choice and more control over the support they need. We are moving away from telling people what services they can receive, to a system where individuals can make a choice about the kind of support they have. All this fits in with Self Directed Support.

If you would like more information please contact us:

Complaints and safeguarding procedure

If you are not entirely satisfied with the scheme and would like to make a complaint then please read the Support with Confidence Complaints Policy (PDF 69KB) and the Support with Confidence Safeguarding Policy (PDF 44KB).

Useful links

For both becoming and employing a PA

Becoming a PA

Employing a PA

PA noticeboard logoThe Personal Assistant (PA) Noticeboard is run by the Brighton and Hove Federation of Disabled People.  It provides a list of PAs who are looking for work and vacancies offered by employers for PAs.  Go to to find out more about this scheme.