User led organisation funding

Each year, we disburse funding to user led organisations to deliver training for individual employers and personal assistants (PAs).

Applications for the 2020/21 funding have now closed and we hope to announce the successful user led organisations soon.

If you’re a user led organisation that wants to apply for funding next yearsign up to our quarterly newsletter for updates and announcements.

To increase the number of individual employers and PAs who are able to access training, we offer grant opportunities to ULOs that:

  • identify the development requirements and training needs of individual employers and PAs, and
  • deliver, or organise, purchase and support training for individual employers and PAs that meets these needs.

Fund holding organisations must be a user led organisation (i.e. an organisation that’s run and controlled by people who use support services including disabled people, people with a learning disability, autistic people, older people, and their families and carers) and have a database of contact details for individual employers and PAs. Skills for Care will not fund any organisation that goes through a third party to contact individual employers and PAs.

This funding is not available for learning providers, local authorities or organisations that do not have direct contact with individual employers and PAs.

We will consider applications to fund, via a grant, the cost of learning that meets the needs of individual employers and PAs, including topics such as:

  • moving and assisting
  • first aid
  • food safety
  • disability equality training
  • understanding the role of an employer or employer responsibilities
  • managing staff
  • boundaries and expectations of the employer and employee relationship
  • training to support specific conditions (e.g. autism, dementia etc.)
  • knowledge elements of the Care Certificate standards and where appropriate assessment that leads to the award of the Care Certificate.
  • prospective PAs (pre-employment training) – this should be part of a structured programme which includes subjects such as awareness of the PA role, PA/IE working relationship and boundaries, disability and equality awareness, working in a person centred way, rights and entitlements, finding PA roles and preparing for recruitment, plus any other training.
  • people who are thinking about becoming an individual employer (pre-employer training) who have already been pre-approved for a personal budget by their local commissioner – this should be part of a structured ‘being a good employer’ programme which includes subjects such as awareness of their legal and other responsibilities of being an employer (e.g. employment law, contracts of employment, pay, tax, pensions etc.), using values based recruitment, PA/IE working relationship and boundaries, undertaking induction and supervision, developing their PA etc.

Applications can include the direct costs of training, travel and the cost of hiring replacement support whilst the employer’s usual PA is attending training during their normal working hours. 

We have developed frequently asked questions (FAQs) to help you with any application queries you may have.

 Please email or call 0113 241 1275.


What impact has the funding had? 

In 2018/19, we awarded funding to 14 user led organisations, and it supported:

Training for over 3100 individuals
Training for 1180 individual employers
Training for 1664 personal assistants

14 user led organisations
Over 200 training sessions
Over 4000 learning outcomes

These organisations reported positive outcomes of the training, including: 

  • individual employers improving their leadership and management skills
  • lower PA turnover
  • improved working relationships    
  • the ability to share experiences and knowledge through training.
  • delegates achieving a recognised qualification
  • PAs increasing their skills and knowledge

How previous organisations have used the funding

Organisations that have previously accessed the funding have used it to deliver a range of training courses and qualifications. You can use the case studies below to get ideas about the types of training individual employers and PAs find useful, and tips to help you arrange, advertise and deliver training.

  • Leeds Centre for Independent Living (CIL) 

Leeds CIL used funding from Skills for Care to work with Shulmans Solicitors to develop a ‘Getting the best from your PA’ workshop for individual employers. The workshop covered some of the key aspects of being an employer, including employment contracts, managing PAs and grievance and disciplinary processes.


Download      case study

  • Embrace Wigan and Leigh

Embrace Wigan and Leigh used funding from Skills for Care to develop three training sessions for PAs around supporting people with neurodevelopmental conditions who display, or are at risk of displaying, behaviours which challenge.                                      


Download case study

  • Surrey Independent Living Council  (ILC)

Surrey ILC used funding from Skills for Care to design and deliver ‘Good boss’ training for individual employers. The training covers some of the key aspects of being an employer, including recruiting and managing PAs.

They’ve delivered the training for eight years, and review and update it regularly to ensure it continues to meet the needs of individual employers. 


                     Download     case study