Personal Outcomes and PA Employers

The term ‘outcome’ is now in common usage in health and social care, reflecting a commitment to ensure systems support people using services and unpaid carers in ways that are person centred and effective. Despite the prevalence of the term, confusion exists about what is meant by an outcome and in particular by ‘personal outcomes’.

What is an Outcome?

Simply put, an outcome is something that matters to you, that you want your support to help you achieve.

Personal Outcomes for PA Employers

PA Employers are likely to identify their Personal Outcomes in their Personal Outcomes Plan (or Support Plan). These will focus on what’s important to the Employer and what they would like to achieve. You can see some examples in the picture below:

You can find further definitions of Personal Outcomes at the end of this article.


What PA Employers might want to do

PA Employers may want to help their PAs to understand the Personal Outcomes they are trying to achieve. This will help PAs understand how the support they provide makes a difference to their Employer’s quality of life.

PA Employers can do this by:

  • Looking for training opportunities to learn more about Personal Outcomes for themselves
  • Including information on their Personal Outcomes in their PA’s Job Description
  • Asking prospective PAs about Personal Outcomes at the interview stage
  • Providing further information to their PAs on Personal Outcomes, including the sharing of their Personal Outcomes Plan
  • Provide opportunities for their PAs to undertake further training or development on Personal Outcomes
  • Where Employers contract with self-employed PAs, to ask that information on meeting their Personal Outcomes is included in that contract

Other definitions of Personal Outcomes

Talking Points (Joint Improvement Team)

A Personal Outcomes Approach is an evidence based organisational approach that puts people using services and unpaid carers at the centre of the support they receive:

  • Outcomes are defined as what matter to people using services, as well as the end result or impact of activities, and can be used to both determine and evaluate activity
  • Personal outcomes are identified through good conversations with people using services during assessment and support planning
  • It is critical that the outcomes are reviewed, to ensure the continued relevance of support and services, and to support service planning, commissioning and improvement

Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)

‘Users should be supported to identify what matters to them and what they want to achieve with this support – also known as their personal outcomes.’


‘Personal outcomes data refers to information gathered from people supported by health and social services and their unpaid carers about what’s important to them in their lives and the ways in which they would like to be supported.’

The Social Policy Research Unit

The Social Policy Research Unit identified three main categories of outcome, which their research found to be important to people using social care services:

  • Quality of Life outcomes (or maintenance outcomes) are the aspects of a person’s whole life that they are working to achieve or maintain
  • Process outcomes relate to the experience that individuals have seeking, obtaining and using services and supports
  • Change outcomes relate to the improvements in physical, mental or emotional functioning that individuals are seeking from any particular service intervention or support (Qureshi et al 2001)

Next Steps

If you’re looking for further information or resources, you can find these at the bottom of this Article below.

Part of
Last Updated
10 May 2023
First Published
06 October 2022
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Please note that the information contained in this Handbook is provided for guidance purposes only. Every reasonable effort is made to make the information accurate and up to date, but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by Self Directed Support Scotland or any other contributing party.

The information does not, and is not intended to, amount to legal advice. You are strongly advised to obtain specific, personal and professional advice from a lawyer about employment law matters, or an accountant/ tax specialist about taxation matters, and from HMRC and your insurers. You should not rely solely on the information in this Handbook. Support organisations listed in this Handbook can help you find appropriate sources of advice.