Working as a Personal Assistant 

A personal assistant (PA) is someone employed by an individual with care needs to support them in their day-to-day activities.

Why become a Personal Assistant?  

It can be a very rewarding role, supporting individuals to live in a way they choose and to remain as independent as possible. 

The amount and type of support will vary depending on individual circumstances.  Some people may want help to get out and about and take part in hobbies/interests while others will need support with all aspects of daily living, including personal care. 

Here are some examples of the type of support needed: 

  • Accompanying them to medical appointments
  • Going on trips out and supporting with their social activities/hobbies 
  • Household tasks such as preparing meals, laundry, and cleaning
  • Personal care, such as showering and dressing (although not all PA roles involve personal care) 
  • Help with taking medication; reminding them to take it
  • Supporting them with their emotional health and companionship
  • Shopping and helping them to get around
  • Helping them keep in touch with family and friends
  • Supporting family carers when they need respite or a break

 A PA can be involved in many aspects of a person’s life; at home, at work or leisure.  They can focus on the needs of that person and develop a good relationship with them. The role is often varied and flexible.

Skills you need

It’s not always necessary to have qualifications, formal training or previous experience. Your values and personality are important so an employer can match you with their needs and interests.  The following values and skills are important:

  • Caring, able to show sensitivity, respect and understanding 
  • Being reliable 
  • Kindness, patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations 
  • Ability to listen, willingness to learn 
  • Respecting people’s right to make their own choices and decisions about how they want to be supported 
  • The ability to work well with others 
  • To be thorough and pay attention to detail 
  • An understanding that you are an employee not a friend and it’s your employer who directs the work 
  • Good verbal communication skills 

What are the benefits of being a PA?  

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As a PA, you can work flexibly around your other commitments.This means you can specify the hours/days that you're available. You can also work for more than one person if you wish.

There are opportunities to do a range of work for different people with different needs and requirements, and even to work with someone who has some of the same interests as you.

There are opportunities for training and development. Working as a PA can also give you valuable work experience if you are looking at a career in nursing or social work. Some people combine this role with their studies.

Not all people are looking for PA’s with formal experience in similar roles. If you have supported someone in your own life, this alone provides experience which others can benefit from. Some people only need support for a few hours a week, so this could benefit you and ease you back into work.

Some training may be mandatory but there are opportunities to achieve this prior to starting or whilst learning your role.

As an employed PA, as a minimum you will earn the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates. This is paid by your employer, who may get something called a direct payment. This is money Cheshire East Council provides to the person with care and support needs to enable them to choose their own support. They have the same responsibilities as any other employer. They will also be responsible to carry out payroll duties to ensure your PAYE is accurate and complies with HMRC.

Being employed by the person you support provides a much more personalised approach. It gives them consistency of care and familiarity which helps to build a trusting relationship with your employer.

Training and development

Disability Positive provides free, independent and personalised learning and development and training to help you get the most from your role as a personal assistant.

Disability Positive have made a short film about the training on offer.  

For further details of the training available and details of how to book, please contact Disability Positive.

Contact details:  

Tel. 01606 331853


Registering your interest in being a Personal Assistant

Personal Assistant Register (PeoplePlus)

If you are a Personal Assistant or looking for work, please contact PeoplePlus by telephone or email.

Contact details:

PeoplePlus Direct Payments team: 0330 123 2815


Cheshire East Council

If you are interested in this role and want to find out more, you can also contact the Council.  Please email our Direct Payments team and provide your full name, contact number and reason for getting in touch. Once we receive your email, we’ll be in touch and advise you of the next steps. 

Page last reviewed: 05 March 2024

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