It is important that Personal Assitants receive the relevant training to be able to carry out their jobs safely and confidently, as well as being given opportunities to develop within their role. This ensures the safety of both the employer and the PA.
There a range of topics that a PA may need training on, depending on the needs of the employer and the experience of the PA.
It is strongly recommended that all PA’s complete Gloucestershire County Councils's Level 1 E-learning Safeguarding training, which covers working with both adults and children. This is free training, accessible to anyone within Gloucestershire. More information can be found on the GSAB website.
If a PA is new to working with individuals with disabilities, it may be worth them attending ‘Introduction to Inclusion’ training run by Active Impact. Whilst designed principally for people working in community groups and activity providers, it includes discussion of issues around disability and inclusion which assistants will find useful. Please see the Active Impact website for further information.
Managing Challenging Behaviour
If the person being supported by a PA demonstrates behaviours that are hard to manage, including if their behaviour might put them, the PA or other people in any kind of danger, it is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that the PA knows how to manage this.
In some situations, such as if the individual may need physically stopping from doing something, the PA may require training from a specialist individual/ organisation.
Clinically Delegated Tasks
Please see the 'Clinically Delegated Tasks' section of this website for further information.
Who to ask for help with training
A variety of professionals may be able to help the employer and the assistant to be well prepared. It is best to start with a professional who already knows the employer/ individual requiring support, for example:
- The District Nurse
- The employer's Doctor
- The Community Learning Disability Team for adults (01452 321000 – referrals must be made by your doctor)
- Positive Behaviour Support Service for adults
- Early Intervention – Positive Behavioural Support Service team for those under 25
- Social Worker
- Other care/ activity providers
- The Advisory Teacher Service
- National Autistic Society
- Gloucestershire Deaf Association
Funding for Training
Employers can apply for funding from Skills for Care to pay for training for you and your assistant. Click here for more information on the types of training you could do and how to apply for funding.
Free Gloucestershire County Council Training
Multi agency on-line training on a wide variety of relevant topics is available free of charge through www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/multiagencytraining. We recommend the one on ‘PA Induction’ and, for PAs who will be supporting individuals with limited ability to make decisions for themselves, the Mental Capacity training. There are also face-to-face courses covering a range of topics, which may be relevant depending on the support needs of the employer.
If you are an assistant click here for a practical guide on learning and development to help you support your employer and grow in your role.
The relationship between a disabled person and their personal assistant is unique. This free course can help you to better understand and manage this working relationship so you can work together more effectively.