Adult Social Care - Personal Assistants

Becoming a Personal Assistant

The role of a Personal Assistant (PA) is extremely varied and no two jobs will ever be the same; this is because the individual employing a PA can choose exactly how they are supported to ensure their needs are met. 

PAs can provide support for the things people need day to day; to maintain their health and wellbeing, things that they are aiming to do and things they want to learn to do again.

As a PA you may be supporting an employer:

  • At their place of work or education;
  • to maintain relationships with family and friends including supporting the person with childcare;
  • to meet new people and develop new friendships;
  • to get about in the community by providing transport driving their car or using public transport;
  • to maintain hobbies and interests like going to the cinema, gigs, swimming or going on holiday;
  • by providing personal care including support to dress, wash and bathe;
  • to communicate their wants and needs;
  • by carrying out household tasks like cooking, cleaning, meal preparation, shopping, organising paperwork, moving home and in some cases pet care;
  • by going with them to their hospital and other appointments;
  • to recover their mental health by helping to manage their anxiety about going out;
  • to become healthier after a physical illness for example through a better diet or more exercise;
  • to develop a new skill or get a job.


Some PAs may also carry out, with adequate training, certain health care related tasks.

Not all PAs will be employed to carry out all of these tasks; it may be that your employer wants support with just one of these. Quite often the role can be about companionship; and having a shared interest in things like music, politics or sport.

When employing a PA people look for someone who is a good personal fit; so it’s not always about previous experience, but ensuring the person they employ has the right values and skills to do the job.

Anyone can be a PA as long as they:

  • Enjoy helping people to live their life in the way that they choose;
  • would like to enable others to make a real change to their life;
  • are comfortable working on their own or with other PAs as part of a team;
  • have the ability to develop a strong, trusting relationship with their employer;
  • understand that they are an employee and not a friend;
  • understand that they do not direct the work, but that their employer does.


For more information, please take a look at the 'Becoming a self employed Personal Assistant' guide . (PDF, 243KB, 20 pages).

More detailed information can be found on the Skills for Care website.