User led organisation funding

User led organisations (ULOs) can apply for a grant to deliver and/or commission training for people who employ their own care and support (individual employers), and their personal assistants (PAs).

Applications are now open and will close on Thursday 12 March 2020 at 16.00.

To apply for funding, you need to read the information below, including the guidance document, complete the application form and full cost breakdown spreadsheet, and send it to us by the deadline.

The information below explains more about the funding and how to complete the application form – please read it carefully to ensure that you’re eligible to apply for the grant.

You will be informed of the outcome of your application at the end of April 2020.

Please note, this tendering process is being undertaken subject to confirmation of funding from the Department of Health and Social Care.

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.

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. 


If you have any questions about completing the application please read the frequently asked questions (FAQs) in the first instance.

If you cannot find an answer to your question, email or call 0113 241 1275.


Organisations that have previously accessed the funding have used it to deliver a range of training courses and qualifications. Here are some examples from 2018/19 funding recipients. You can use these case studies 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 their case study here.

  • 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 their case study here.

  • Surrey Independent Living Council (SILC)

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 their case study here.



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 lots of positive outcomes of the training, including: 

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