Using this handbook

A quick guide to this resource

An Introduction to Self-directed Support (for PA Employers)

This is a short introduction to Self Directed Support, including the 4 Options and where to go for further information and support.

Is being a PA Employer for me?

Things to consider when deciding whether to employ Personal Assistants.

Introduction to Employer Responsibilities

Becoming a PA employer involves considering a significant amount of information. This can feel overwhelming, especially if people have several other commitments. It may not be as onerous a task as first anticipated though.

The PA Employer Pathway

Explore the path to becoming a PA Employer. This is broken down into 7 easy steps.

The Role of Local Authorities (Councils)

Local Authorities (councils) have an important role in making sure that PA Employers have the information and support they need to meet their needs.

The Role of Information and Support Organisations

Local Independent Support Organisations provide free information and guidance at any stage of the SDS process, often from people who have experience of being a PA employer. Using a local organisation like this can help employers understand the process, prepare for their next steps and access services that make being a PA employer easier.

Employing Family Members

Hot topic
Find out whether you can employ a family member as a Personal Assistant, and what you need to consider.

Case Study: How an Independent Support Organisation Assisted Paul to Recruit 4 PAs

Paul has successfully employed PAs to fit his support better into family life

Case Study: Mary Takes on a PA for her Father with Dementia

The Social Model of Disability

This article explains the Social Model of Disability, and how disability is defined by the barriers created in society that exclude and discriminate against people, thus 'disabling' them.


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.