Training for PAs

There are many different training courses available to Personal Assistants (PAs), most of which will be specific to the job you do.

Some are mandatory training which means you must do them, for example to keep you and your employer safe. Some roles will not require any formal training at all whilst others might see a PA do several different training courses.

Responsibility for providing training

The PA employer is responsible for ensuring any mandatory PA training is done. They should agree with whoever is funding their support exactly what mandatory training must be done. They should also make sure that the cost of this training is included in their budget.

PAs should be paid to do this training and the employer should also make sure that they have funds to pay for replacement cover, if necessary, when their PA is attending mandatory training. The employer is also responsible for organising mandatory training and some employers are likely to need help to do this. You as their PA could assist them.

The most popular types of mandatory training are:

  • Moving and Assisting of People
  • Safe Administration of Medicines

This training will be mandatory for the personal safety of both the employer and the PA and because the employer’s indemnity insurers are likely insist upon it. If a PA is required to prepare or cook meals for the supported person then Food Hygiene Training is normally mandatory in these circumstances. Mandatory training should always be accredited and certificated as proof that it has been successfully completed.

Where possible all PA training should be accredited, certificated and delivered by a fully qualified competent professional training company. Training that might not be considered as mandatory but can often be very helpful and informative for a new PA can include:

  • First Aid at Work
  • Health & Safety
  • Person Centred Care
  • Confidentiality
  • Infection Control

There are many other training courses available and PAs should be encouraged to undertake any training that will enhance their skills and personal development. Information that is only specific to your particular job role, which might consist purely of the employer’s personal preferences, can be done ‘on the job’. This kind of training will not be certificated.

Moving and assisting of people

Moving and assisting of people training will be mandatory if the person you are supporting requires assistance with mobility, and you need to use specific equipment to help you to move them safely. The cost of such training should be built into their SDS budget. The training should be tailored to the equipment that you need to do your job safely.

This training is designed to show you how to move the supported person safely and to ensure your own safety whilst carrying out the tasks. You should not under any circumstances invent shortcuts, for example if the task has been assessed as requiring two people to do it then you should never attempt to do it on your own.

Safe administration of medicines

When your work involves the medication of the supported person there are three distinctly different ways that you as a PA can be involved in this – prompting, assisting and administration.

You can read more about this in this article: PAs’ role in helping to Administer Medication

Other training

A PA employer should regularly review how their PA is developing and should encourage them to continue to enhance their existing skills and personal development.

Personal Assistants can access free learning through the Open Badge scheme. Find out more in the resource below.

A national training framework for PA Employers to enable them to identify training for their PAs is currently being developed. This page will be updated as more information becomes available.

Next steps

Find out more about the free learning available through the Open Badge scheme below.

Part of
Last Updated
23 May 2024
First Published
01 April 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.