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Find out about becoming an approved Personal Assistant

Find out about becoming an approved Personal Assistant (also known as carers and/or support workers).

The current government has made clear their commitment to the personalisation of care and support services. In order to achieve a personalised care service the government has enabled local authorities to allow individuals to arrange and manage their own care and support services. One method for achieving this is by using a Self Managed Personal Budget from the local authority.

A Self Managed Personal Budget can be paid as a Direct Payment which is cash made available to the service user in order to make their own choices about how, when and by who they would like their care to be provided. Lots of Direct Payment users choose to use this money to employ their own Personal Assistants.

If you are employed by a service user through a Direct Payment or Self Managed Personal Budget then this means that you can work on a one to one basis with the person you care for, often in their own home and the community. Each role is different and range from offering full to part time work on different times and days of the week.

A Personal Assistant rate of pay is usually very competitive with other roles of a similar nature such as working in a residential home or for a care agency. However, the rate of pay may also vary for each vacancy.

Who can become a PA?

As each role is different and needs to suit the lifestyle and preference of each person requiring care. Applications are welcome from everyone* the more diverse the applicants the greater choice for potential employers.

* You will be subject to an enhanced DBS check as the post of PA is exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1975. The amendments to the Exceptions Order 1975 (2013) provide that certain spent convictions and cautions are ‘protected’ and are not subject to disclosure to employers, and cannot be taken into account. Guidance and criteria on the filtering of these cautions and convictions can be found at the Disclosure and Barring Service website.

If you have any convictions, cautions, reprimands or final warnings that are not ‘protected’ as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (Exceptions) Order 1975 (as amended in 2013) by SI 2013 1198 you will not be added to the PA finder record.

Who is a PA?

Anyone!

Some people become a PA part time around their existing job or family commitments.

Some people find that they enjoy working a few hours a week after retiring from their main employment.

Some people find evening, early morning and weekend work fits well around their studies.

Some people have previously cared for family members – children, parents, grandparents – and find that they have enjoyed the experience of helping and supporting others.

Some people choose to make support and care their main profession and may even work for several service users at once.

What does registering cost?

Nothing!

There is no charge to register your details with Stockton Personalisation Support Service – PA finder. You will gain access to all of the most recent vacancy information, be offered free of charge training and obtain an enhanced DBS check*

* You have the option to pay a £13 yearly fee direct to the DBS service to maintain your check for all future employers. More information on this is available at www.gov.uk/disclosure-barring-service-check/overview

How do I become an approved PA?

Firstly, you must read the information for Personal Assistants.  This is a guidline about what will be expected of you as a Personal Assistant.

Then:

  • Complete an online application form – this will then be sent to SPSS

When all sections are complete your details will be added to the register for potential employers to view – this will not include your Date of Birth, address or contact details which will remain confidential to the SPSS team until the point you are invited to interview. 

Should your details be selected by a potential employer then you will be contacted by a member of the SPSS team to arrange an interview with the service user.

Are my details safe?

Data Protection

The PA finder will be owned and maintained by Stockton on Tees Borough Council – Personalisation Support Service (SPSS), however you will not be employed by the Local Authority. If you are successful in employment following your entry on the Personal Assistant Register, your employer will be the service user (or agreed suitable person acting on the service users behalf) and not Stockton on Tees Borough Council.

In order to be registered on this scheme, all of the information requested must be provided and checks will be carried out to verify it. Only the following information will be made available to the general public; 

  • Your full name and your approval number.
  • Date of your DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check clearance.
  • All of your education and training and dates this was undertaken.
  • Your previous work experience
  • Availability of when you can work.
  • Your additional information regarding experience, skills and attributes.

The remaining information will be held securely, in an electronic format by Stockton on Tees Borough Council within the Personalisation Support Service. This information will be held for a period not exceeding five years from the date of initial approval onto the register. The information you provide will not be used for any other purpose without your express permission.

Further information about our data protection policy and procedure can be found at the following web address; www.stockton.gov.uk/stocktoncouncil/goodgovernance/dataprotectionandfoi/

The information supplied on the Recruitment Equality Monitoring form will be used only for the purposes stated and will be retained in an anonymous format.  The information you supply will only be retained as long as necessary for the purposes of recruitment and monitoring.

Training for Personal Assistants

Stockton on Tees Borough Council recognises the importance of training and development in enabling PA’s to provide the best standard of care and support possible.  It is vital that both PA’s and employers are kept up to date on legislative changes, personnel and professional developments.   With this in mind SPSS are offering free of charge training in the following basic modules to all potential personal assistants.

  • Safeguarding Adults
  • Safeguarding Children
  • Basic First Aid
  • Safer People Handling
  • Food Hygiene 

These are a minimum requirement in order for your details to appear on the approved register for PA’s.   Potential employers will not be able to view your profile until all of the above courses are completed. 

From time to time you will be contacted regarding further free training as it becomes available.  This website will also be updated with legislation changes, advice and things you may need to know.

DBS checks

The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) have merged to become the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). CRB checks are now called DBS checks.  The enhanced checks tell employers if you have any spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings plus any additional information held by local police that’s reasonably considered relevant to the workforce being applied for (adult or child workforce).

You can learn more about DBS checks by visiting the following site:

www.gov.uk/disclosure-barring-service-check/overview

More information

As adult social care transforms with effect from changes in the law, residents will have more choice and more control over the support they need. Stockton on Tees Borough Council are moving away from telling people what services they will receive, to a system where individuals can make a choice about the kind of support they have. All this fits in with Self Directed Support.

If you would like more information please contact Stockton Personalisation Support Service:

If you are looking for care and support for the first time you can contact the First Contact Team who provide a single point of contact for new and existing users of social care: 

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