Working as a PA in adult social care

If you would like this information translated or in a different format, please contact the Micro market development team

Working as a PA is an important and rewarding role. PAs provide people with personal and domestic support, to help them live a full and independent life within their home and their community.

The job can be very flexible, offering a variety of full and part-time hours, including evenings and weekends. You can support one person, or several people.

Your clients may include people who are older, disabled, or living with a mental health condition or learning disability.

Often due to the nature of support that is needed for health & social care clients you will need to work on an employed basis, however self-employment arrangements do exist and are determined by completing an employment status check.

What does a PA do?

Duties vary depending on the client’s requirements and individual needs. This may include providing support with:

  • personal care, like washing and dressing
  • household tasks, such as cleaning, gardening and shopping
  • assisting with healthcare tasks (after training)
  • looking after children and pets
  • driving, attending appointments and leisure activities
  • organising paperwork
  • liaising with other professionals and family members who support the client

What makes a good PA?

  • You need to be kind, empathetic and compassionate towards the people you support.
  • You must treat the people you support as individuals, respecting their dignity, wishes and values.
  • You should ensure the people you support have full choice and control over how they like things done for them and what they would like to do. You should only consult with others when necessary.
  • You need to be able to build a strong and trusting relationship with the people you support.
  • You need to have a commitment to always delivering a good quality safe support service.
  • You need to be a good listener and communicator.
  • You must be reliable and honour agreed work commitments.
  • You need to be flexible, as people’s needs can often change.
  • You must always be respectful and considerate to a person’s home environment.
  • You need to work positively and productively with other professionals for the benefit of the people you are supporting.
  • You should be willing to listen to feedback and always look to resolve conflict promptly and professionally.

You also need to ensure you have the training needed to deliver a good quality service. For more information about training available to PAs: Training for PAs

For more information about the PA role: Personal assistant (

Alternative opportunities

If you are looking to set up as a micro provider, take a look at this webpage: Micro providers

If you are looking for a volunteering role, take a look at this webpage: Volunteering