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Becoming a PA

Please see below guides, links and advice with the information that you need when becoming a Personal Assistant on the Portsmouth PA Noticeboard.

Contact details for the PA Noticeboard are here if you have any further questions

What is a Personal Assistant in care?

Personal Assistants (PAs) are employed to support people who have needs in areas such as social care or health to promote their wellbeing and enable them to continue to live as independently as possible in their home and the community.

A Personal Assistant supports in tasks, such as:

  • maintain relationships with family and friends, including support with childcare.
  • meet new people and develop friendships.
  • get out and about and stay involved in the community.
  • support in the workplace.
  • maintain hobbies and interests.
  • provide personal care and support, for example, to dress and bathe.
  • carry out household jobs like cooking, cleaning, meal preparation, and shopping.
  • support with personal appointments, such as going to the doctor, and more.

You will either be employed as a PA, where the individual in need will be your employer and they will be responsible for you or you will already be established as a self-employed PA, where you are responsible for yourself and you direct the work you do.

Find out more about the differences between an employed and self-employed PA


Becoming a PA on the Portsmouth PA noticeboard

All PAs must complete the accreditation process before being able to apply for adverts on the Noticeboard.

Register as a PA on the PA Noticeboard.

When registering as a PA, remember to include as much information about yourself as possible, include paid or unpaid health and social care experience – for example the time you looked after a family member, friend, or someone you may have helped in the local community.

It’s also important to include why you enjoy supporting people and add some personal interests i.e., what you enjoy doing in your spare time such as hobbies or previous volunteering roles.

PA Accreditation process

Once you have created your account on the PA Noticeboard you will receive a welcome email requesting agreement to the PA code of conduct and DBS check. You will also be required to complete some basic online training.

Find out more about the accreditation process.

Mandatory Online Training

You will be given access to the Grey Matter Learning website with over 100 free, social care eLearning courses, all in one place.

All PAs are required to complete the following online training courses before accreditation to the website:

  1. PPE (Covid 19) Essentials
  2. First Aid Skills
  3. Health & Safety

Communicating with your client

When applying for adverts on the PA Noticeboard, please leave your contact details so the client can contact you directly. You are expected to be responsive when contacted, if your circumstances have changed and you’re no longer available for the job, please let the client know. Please exchange contact details with the client before arranging to meet the client so you can contact to reschedule if anything should arise.

It is important that good communication with your client is established and maintained throughout. The PA Noticeboard advise that all PAs should also keep a communication diary in the client’s home, the diary should outline when the PA visited and what support was provided.

If you are employed you will be given an employment contract and if you are self-employed, you should provide a working agreement for your client.

You should speak to your client regarding a holiday and sickness contingency plan. A self-employed PA should be sourcing their own holiday and sickness cover. However, it is best that you have a conversation with your client around this and a plan in place should holiday or sickness ever arise. For example, are there any family members that could support your client when you are on holiday or sick? Do you know any other PAs that could cover you in these times?

When you or your client terminates the service, it is important to reflect on the working agreement or employment contract that was signed when you started supporting your client. The termination or end of service period should be outlined in the agreement/contract and followed.

Please contact us if you require support with writing your PA profile, or you have questions about the next steps.


Safeguarding Information for PAs

If you or anyone you know is in immediate danger, call 999 now for emergency help.

What is safeguarding?

Adult Safeguarding is for adults at risk with care and support needs. It is also for adults at risk of being abused or neglected who are unable to protect themselves against abuse or neglect because of their needs.

The Care Act 2014 ensures enquiries are made to find out what action, if any, may be needed when an adult with care and support needs may be at risk of abuse or neglect. This applies whether or not care and support services are provided to the adult at risk. You or someone you care for may need support with risk of abuse or harm. And you may require other support services too, including a care assessment or a review of your care and support plan.

Find out more information on safeguarding

Record keeping

It is good practice for PAs to keep a record book in every clients home they support. A record of care and support given should be listed each time you visit the client.

Examples of what to include in daily record keeping:

  • Accidents and incidents that occurred whilst supporting the individual and what action the PA took.
  • Behaviour of the individual
  • Any other Health professionals or services that attended the home whilst the PA was supporting the individual.
  • Activities relating to accessing the community.
  • Nutrition, hydration and elimination
  • Attendance of appointments
  • Medications
  • Personal care (hygiene, bedtime, etc.)

Managing your account on the Portsmouth PA Noticeboard

It is vital that PAs keep their accounts, including contact details, up to date.

Self-employed PAs MUST inform the PA Noticeboard of the new policy/certificate number when renewing Insurance or DBS.

Information for Self-employed PAs – Tax and Expenses

Tax returns can be completed online or on paper, but paper forms must be completed earlier than online. Deadline dates for tax submissions can be found on the government website. You can contact an accountant to do the tax returns on your behalf.

Tax returns are an essential part of being self-employed and it is important that PAs complete this process, this is the self-employed PAs responsibility. If PAs do not complete their tax returns, or if they are submitted after the deadline, the PA may have to pay interest or a penalty charge.

PAs are able to deduct some expenses from their taxable profit, this can include;

  • Clothing expenses, including PPE and uniform
  • Training courses that are relevant to their work
  • Public Liability Insurance
  • Phone expenses, stationary expenses
  • Travel costs to get to and from work and around during work

PAs can check if an expense is allowed to be taken off of their taxable profit by calling the HMRC self-assessment helpline or talk to an accountant.

Regular expenses, such as travel/mileage, can be incorporated into the working agreement with your client. One-off expenses are best handled directly between you and your client.

Clients do not have to pay for PA’s mileage or activity-based expenses; however, this is a topic that is best negotiated between yourself and your client upon commencing support. This should also be evidenced on the working agreement signed by yourself and your client at the beginning of support.

Please note – these expenses are not generally included in a personal budget.

PA Information Hub

PA Code of Conduct  – All PAs on the Noticeboard are expected to sign a code of conduct before they are able to apply for work through the PA Noticeboard.

Direct Payments factsheet– A Direct Payment is funding that an individual may receive from Adult Social Care to pay towards their PA support.

Self-employed registration – HMRC – If you are not currently self-employed but wish to be, please visit here to register and obtain a Unique Tax Reference (UTR) number.

Skills For Care have a whole host of resources to help support your role as a Personal Assistant in Care including the Guide To Being A Personal Assistant which explains the role of the PA, what skills and values are required, as well as practical information.

Telephone: 0113 245 1716 Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

Citizens Advice Portsmouth gives independent, confidential and free advice to Portsmouth residents.

Mental Health and Wellbeing for PAs

NHS Bereavement Service The Bereavement Service offers helpful advice and support with the practical administrative process following the death of a relative or loved one.

Mental health support Portsmouth information about services that offer mental health support for adults in Portsmouth in person, online or over the phone.

Help with food Portsmouth If you are struggling with the cost of food, or would like a hot meal, there are services in Portsmouth that are here to help.

Help for Household campaign The government is offering help for households. See what cost of living support you could be eligible for.