Market Development

Professional Development for Personal Assistants

In 2008, on behalf of Skills For Care, a research report on the 'Employment Aspects and Workforce Implications of Direct Payments' was produced by IFF Research (access it here), identified that around one third of Personal Assistants feel that they need to develop certain skills in order to become fully proficient in their job role, especially in terms of administering medication, moving and handling and personal care.

A good employer will invest in their employees, however there is some responsibility on yourselves for ensuring that you have the necessary skills to do your job, and that you keep your skills refreshed. HICTI (The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Care Training Information) website provides a virtual one-stop shop for all of the training information required by employers and employees, including details of social care courses being run across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight as well as possible funding sources.

The details below may help you plan your professional career development either through yourself or through your employer.

Any new work role brings with it new things to learn. The Skills for Care Common Induction Standards set out the first things you need to know for your work in providing care or support to people, whatever their needs may be, and are the minimum training requirement for staff working in CQC registered care services. The Common Induction Standards are the first step along a professional development pathway that will continue all through your career as a personal assistant and in the social care sector.

Hampshire County Council - PaCT offer workbooks which contain information, questions and activities designed to support the Personal Assistant or care worker to obtain the standards, which are then signed off by your employer / manager. You may decide, with your employer, to choose the workbooks which are most applicable for supporting you to be competent in the role they wish you to fulfil.

There are 8 Common Induction Standards:

Standard 1 Role of the health and social care worker

Standard 2 Personal development

Standard 3 Communicate effectively

Standard 4 Equality and Inclusion

Standard 5 Principles for implementing duty of care

Standard 6 Principles of safeguarding in health and social care

Standard 7 Person-centred support

Standard 8 Health and safety in an adult social care setting.

Each standard contains a number of ‘main areas’ of knowledge that you need to know about as you start supporting your employer. Each ‘main area’ is made up of ‘outcomes’, which say what exactly you need to know about that area.

To obtain the 8 Common Induction Standards Workbooks – electronic (free), hard copy (£35) – email tanya.long@hants.gov.uk.

Qualification Credit Framework (QCF)

The introduction of the Qualification Credit Framework at the end of 2010 saw the introduction of new courses to replace NVQ's. A level 3 diploma for Personal Assistants has been created which may be offered by local colleges/training organisations. Details of availability may be found on the HICTI (The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Care Training Information) website

In order to support Personal Assistants to work towards a level 3 diploma Hampshire County Council suggest that completing the Common Induction Standards workbooks will give you a good grounding in the topic areas they will cover. Hampshire County Council are also working to ensure that all training courses we offer will be matched against QCF outcomes (and therefore will reduce the need to duplicate training).

linksLINKS that may help you find out more about professional development and training for Personal Assistants can be found here

Hampshire County Council is not responsible for the content of external sites or documents.

 

As part of your recruitment and selection process or during your work with your employer, you may be asked to take part in a skills audit. There are many ways that this can be done and no single format but it usually starts with your employer (or yourself if you are self assessing) developing a list of skills that are required for their Personal Assistant. You will then review your the skills that you currently have against the skills your employer would like you to have in order to support them fully. Doing this will highlight areas that need development. You should then work with your employer or personally develop the appropriate skills to fill these gaps.

As part of the Skills for Care Comon Induction Standards, Skills for Care have developed a Common Induction Standards progress log (that can be accessed here). Download Acrobat Reader to view this PDF 125kb This may be useful as a starting point for you to work with your employer, or own your own, to identify the areas where you feel you may need more training or support.

HICTI (The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Care Training Information) website has a Training Matrix Form, which has been developed and approved by the IWHSCTDG (the Isle of Wight Training Group), which may provide you with some useful pointers for developing your own skills audit tool either with your employer or for you own professional development.

Oxfordshire County Council have an accreditation scheme for Personal Assistants called 'support with confidence'. As part of the application process they have developed A Personal Assistants Training Record, designed to cover what skills a Personal Assistant is expected to have to become accredited.

linksLINKS that may help you find out more about professional development and training for Personal Assistants can be found here

Hampshire County Council is not responsible for the content of external sites or documents.

 

Hampshire County Council - PaCT

PaCT is a workforce development partnership between Adult Services and the private and voluntary adult social care providers of Hampshire offering a training programme of social care related courses and providing useful resources for managers and in-house trainers.

Courses that are available that you may be interested in as a Personal Assistant include:

  • Safe administration of Medicines (£25)

  • Level 2 healthy foods and special diets (£25)

  • Autism awareness (£25)

  • Makaton beginners workshop (£50)

  • Makaton Follow-up workshop (£50)

All these courses and others are available through the PaCT website

PaCT also subsidises the following courses that are available through partner agencies:

SITRA - Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults

This workshop will help you to:

  • Understand what constitutes abuse of a vulnerable adult

  • Understand the local adult protection policy and procedures

  • Find out what action needs to be taken to prevent abuse

  • Reporting procedures.

Raise Mental Health Limited - Mental health awareness

There is a whole range of mental health awareness related courses that are provided. For full details check their website but courses are offered under the following headings:

  • General awareness

  • Condition related

  • Recovery related

  • Age related

  • Dual diagnosis

Any 1 day course at £25 per course. Further details can be found here.

All Inclusive are a Community Interest Company based in Hampshire who offer a range of workshops and training, including Person centred practice through the eyes of a service user. The All Inclusive website can be accessed here.

Other training opportunities

SCIE (The Social Care Institute of Excellence) provide a whole range of e-learning courses, that you may find useful. These include:

The Mental Capacity Act

Personalisation,

Dementia

Law and Social Work

The mental health of older people

Further details can be found here

linksLINKS that may help you find out more about professional development and training for Personal Assistants can be found here

Hampshire County Council is not responsible for the content of external sites or documents.

 

Unfortunately there are not many established organisations providing support for Personal Assistants as resources have generally tended to be directed towards Personal Assistant Employers. However there are some resources that you may find useful

Support for Personal Assistants

PA Net is a network for Personal Assistants and membership is FREE. As a member of PA Net you will be invited to join the PA Net E-forums where you get the chance to discuss issues and problems with others in the same situation. You will be able to ask or give advice to others on how to handle a tricky issue or how to get through the ‘red tape’ and paperwork.

UNISON is Britain and Europe's biggest public sector union with members working in the public services, including as Personal Assitants.

ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) aims to improve organisations and working life through better employment relations. They supply up-to-date information and independent advice if you are in dispute that is free whether you're an employer or an employee.

linksLINKS that may help you find out more about professional development and training for Personal Assistants can be found here

Hampshire County Council is not responsible for the content of external sites or documents.