Personal assistant

Personal assistant image

This role is ideal for you if you if you have the the ability to work on your own initiative, good listening and communication skills, display flexibility and good time management as well as interpersonal skills.

Personal assistants usually support individuals in their own home or to go out in the community.

You’ll be employed directly by an individual. You can be employed directly by one employer or work for a number of different people.

Role overview

  • organising and supporting individuals with their social and physical activities
  • booking and going with individuals to appointments
  • helping individuals to get to work, college or university
  • helping with personal care such as showering and dressing (although not all PA roles involve personal care)
  • supporting with tasks around the house such as shopping, cleaning and cooking
  • monitoring their health for example measuring body temperatures or administering medication.
  • managing a team of PAs if you’re in a senior PA role. 

Download our 'Being a personal assistant' guide to find out more about the role, including who can be a PA, the recruitment process and starting work. 

Skills and experience

When you start in your role you should do an induction which includes training necessary for your role such as health and safety, first aid and moving and handling. You might also receive specific training depending on their individual care needs.What’s really important is that you have the right values and behaviours to work in social care.

Your employer might ask that you have qualifications showing good English and number skills such as GCSE in English and maths. It might also be helpful to have a social care qualification, but this can be completes once you're hired.

It might also be useful to have experience working in a similar role or with vulnerable adults. You could gain this experience through a work placement, from your personal life, through volunteering or as part of a traineeship or apprenticeship.


When in your role you could do a vocational qualification or a continuing professional development qualification such as dementia, end of life or autism care.

There may be opportunities to progress into senior personal assistant roles where you’re responsible for organising rotas, training or wages. You might also choose to go into other roles such as an advocacy worker, care worker or rehabilitation worker.

Your employer might pay for you to do these qualifications via individual employer funding, or you could apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to pay for them yourself.

Being a personal assistant can also be great experience to support your University application to become a social worker, nurse or occupational therapist. Read more on the Job roles in social care page.




Case studies

  • Kelly and Elem
    Kelly and Elem are PAs and support an elderly woman with dementia to live in her own home.
  • Rob and Caroline
    Robert and Caroline are PAs and support Claire, who has a learning disability, to live at home and go out in the community.
  • Sue Cash
    Sue is a PA and supports Marta, who has a physical disability called freidrichs ataxia, to live independently.
  • Mo Hussain
    Mo is a PA and supports Helen, a young woman with a learning disability, to live everyday life the way she wants.
  • Tuija and Charlotte
    Tuija and Charlotte are PAs and support Sheena who has advanced dementia, to live at home.

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