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Health and Wellbeing
A Health and Well-being Wales Partner

There are many benefits in recruiting your own personal assistant: you have complete control over who works for you, the hours worked and the tasks they do.

If you receive direct payments, you will be supported through the recruitment process and provided with the information needed to be a good employer. You will also receive help to deal with any problems which might arise.

Remember, you can still ask for support and advice from your local council even if you are paying for your own personal assistant.

What do you need in a PA?

Personal assistants will have wide-ranging skills and experience so it’s helpful to consider some of the following in advance:

  • your needs as outlined in your care and support plan
  • how many personal assistants you need
  • when you want them to work
  • what you want them to do
  • how much you can afford to pay them (it must be at least the minimum wage)
  • if it is important the person is a man or a woman
  • experience and qualifications, e.g. emergency first aid, moving and handling training
  • practical skills, e.g. driving licence, cooking
  • your cultural, language and religious needs
  • whether you intend to carry out a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check
  • if you intend to ask for references (it’s usual to request two)

Choosing carefully

You will be spending a lot of time with your personal assistant(s) so it’s important not to rush things and to take time to choose someone you’ll get along well with.

The very best personal assistants are:

  • reliable and punctual
  • willing to discuss any problems as they occur
  • respectful of your privacy
  • able to maintain confidences
  • professional in their approach
  • mindful of your right to dignity, respect and independence
  • respectful of your possessions and home

Advertising the job

You can advertise the position in many ways:

  • word of mouth – you may know someone who you trust who would be interested in becoming your personal assistant (if you use direct payments, this cannot usually be a family member)
  • your local Jobcentre Plus (free) or local newspaper
  • your direct payments support provider’s website (this may be your local council)
  • the jobs pages of free websites like Linkedin or
  • specialist websites like PA Pool.

The final decision on who you employ rests with you and/or your family.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks

Your personal assistant(s) will spend a lot of time in your home so you must be able to trust them. For this reason, it’s worth paying for a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

Using an agency

If you don’t want to interview and employ someone directly, you may prefer to engage your personal assistant(s) through a home care agency.

The agency will handle all the paperwork and payments including the DBS check, but will charge you a higher hourly fee than if you employed someone yourself.

Your direct payments support team a list of home care agencies who are registered with the Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW).

Alternatively, you can search for home care – or domiciliary care – services yourself using the CIW online directory.

More information

PA Pool has produced a guide called Recruiting a Personal Assistant.

Last updated: 13/04/2023