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Looking for a PA: Key information

Please see below guides, links and advice with the information that you need when hiring a PA.

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

What is a Personal Assistant?

A Personal Assistant (PA) can support you with social care, health needs and/or tasks to promote your wellbeing and enable you to continue to live as independently as possible in your home and in the community.

Having your own PA means you can be in control of the care and support you receive, and you can choose the PA and the work they do.

These are examples of the tasks a PA could support you with:

  • maintain relationships with family and friends including support with childcare.
  • meet new people and develop friendships.
  • get out and about and stay involved in your community.
  • support you 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 employ someone as a PA, where you will be the employer and responsible for your PA, or your PA will already be established as a self-employed PA, where they are responsible for themselves and direct the work they do.

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


Before your PA starts

An accredited PA is a PA who has gone through the registration process on the Noticeboard. The PAs initially register on the PA Noticeboard and are then accredited where any declared credentials are checked and agreement to code of conduct and DBS check is obtained. PAs will also complete some mandatory training and have access to more training opportunities if required.

However, as you will be directly hiring/employing a PA, you will need to ensure that you check their documentation and continue to check them in line with expiry dates.

Employing a PA

Being an employer means you’re in control of the care and support you receive. You choose the PA you hire and the work they do and you are responsible for your PA so you need to be aware of employment law and your employment responsibilities.

Click on links below for more information about employing a PA:

Hiring a self-employed PA (SEPA)

Your self-employed PA (SEPA) will direct the work they do, they are responsible for themselves, and you will pay an invoice for the work they do. Your PA will sort out their own tax and insurance and they don’t get employment benefits such as holiday and sick pay.


Write your job advert 

You can create an account to look for a PA and create an advert on the PA Noticeboard. When the person needing support does not have the physical or mental capacity to be the employ/hire a PA, a family member or representative can place an advert on behalf of the individual.

Communicating with your PA

It is important that good communication with your client is established and maintained throughout. When posting an advert on the PA Noticeboard it is important to be clear about the job role you are advertising for, your advert should include information such as;

  • Care and support needs required
  • Call days and times – and if these have any flexibility
  • PA rate of pay

If a PA applicant is unsuccessful to your job role, we advise you communicate this to the PA via the online PA Noticeboard platform or the contact details they have provided you.

If you employ a PA you should provide an employment contract and if you hire a self-employed PA, they should provide you with a working agreement.

The PA Noticeboard also advise that you should keep a communication diary in your home, the diary should outline when the PA visited and what support was provided.

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

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

Direct Payments

Some individuals referred to Adult Social Care may be given a personal budget to spend for help with social care and support needs. This is known as a Direct Payment. You can contact Adult Social Care if you would like to have a Direct Payment and you can have a financial assessment to determine if you can get all or some of the money funded for you.

Find out more about Direct Payments in this factsheet


Employer Information Hub

Useful templates

Webinars (

Adult Social Care – advice & guidance for employers – charity helping older people charity supporting the learning disability sector – independent charity helping to stop crime – campaigning for disability rights – essential information and advice for employer and employee – administers tax and benefits – provides guidance on working safely – information on tax and tax credits – information about pension schemes – oversees and leads adult safeguarding in Portsmouth. – charity supporting those affected by hate crime


If you wish to make a complaint, please visit the link below.

Complaints – Portsmouth City Council

Safeguarding Information

If you suspect someone is in immediate risk, harm or danger, telephone the Police on 999.

Should you have any concerns in relation to an individual registered on the PA Noticeboard you should report these using the contact details below:

Concerns for Adults:

Concerns for Children: