The Role and Responsibilities of a PA (for PA Employers)

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One of the main reasons people choose to employ their own staff is the flexibility it offers in terms of how and when their support is given, to best meet their outcomes.

The Personal Assistant (PA) role involves much more than personal care. There are many potential roles and responsibilities for a PA; supporting an employer at work, at college, or in social activities. Some PAs may be only asked to provide a low level of personal care. There may be a team of PAs with different roles based on their skills, with each team member having a different role. The tasks required of each role should be decided before the PA is recruited.

The tasks carried out by the PA will generally be set by their employer and should be set out in the job description.

PAs have the same responsibilities as other employees in relation to attendance and performance at work. As with other members of the social care workforce, PAs should meet the following requirements of the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) Code of Practice:

  • Protect the rights and promote the interests of supported individuals and carers
  • Work to establish and maintain the trust and confidence of supported individuals and carers
  • Promote the independence of supported individuals while protecting them as far as possible from danger or harm
  • Respect the rights of supported individuals while making sure that their behaviour does not harm themselves or other people.

Regular Conversations

Good communication between PA Employer and PA is essential. It is good practice to have regular meetings to discuss work issues and to give both parties the opportunity to raise any issues around work. Both parties should be confident that they are able to raise any issues and will be listened to by the other.

PA Training

It is a PA Employer’s responsibility to ensure that their PAs receive all mandatory training so that they can carry out their job safely. It is the PAs responsibility to work as trained. More information about training can be found in the resource section below.

Absence Procedure

PA Employers should let their PAs know what is expected of them if they are unwell and unable to come to work. This should include information around letting them know they are unwell and what documentation has to be produced during an extended absence period.

Care Plan or Work Notebook

It is good practice for a PA to note down anything significant that has occurred during their shift, especially if their employer has other PAs who should know what has been done before they start their shift. This helps with continuity of care and keeps everyone informed.

Emergency Plan

It is good practice for PA Employers to have a plan in place in the event of an emergency. It is important that their PA knows where this plan is and what is expected of them in an emergency.

Next steps

Independent support and guidance is available to PAs from the Personal Assistants Network Scotland who can be contacted via resource link below.

Part of
Last Updated
02 February 2024
First Published
28 March 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.