Publication - Advice and guidance

Personal Assistant Employer's Handbook

Published: 1 Apr 2014
Part of:
Health and social care

Basic information about what you need to know if you are considering using Option 1 - a Direct Payment becoming a Personal Assistant (PA) employer

Personal Assistant Employer's Handbook
Recruitment and employment paperwork

Recruitment and employment paperwork

The following pages contain checklists or sample forms to help you recruit personal assistants. They are examples to give you an idea of what should be included in a recruitment pack and what should be given to the successful applicant. They are not intended to replace the paperwork that you can get from skilled advisers in user led and other support organisations or local authority Direct Payment teams.

Where the text is blue you should put the information relevant to your staff and their role in supporting you.

You should also ask your insurer for advice and information about what to include in the paperwork you use to make sure you are covered by your liability and indemnity insurance.

For information about support organisations in your area please contact Self Directed Support Scotland (see full contact details).

If there are no organisations in your area, you can contact your social worker/care worker who can advise where to go for information and support.

Examples of forms and letters are included at the end of this handbook, these templates were adapted from basic templates available from the Skills for Care, an employer-led workforce development body for adult social care in England. Skills for Care have kindly given permission for the use and adaptation of their templates which are also available electronically from:

Example - job description and person specification

Example of job description and person specification
Example of job description and person specification

Example - application form

(please use block letters)

Example application form
Example application form
Example application form

Example - Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (1974) form

Decide whether you want your PA to be a member of the PVG Scheme

Please seek support and advice before using this document

This post is exempt under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act: all your convictions, if any, must be disclosed.

Please complete the following, circling the appropriate answer:

1.Do you have any criminal convictions either in the UK or abroad?


2.Have you ever been disciplined because of inappropriate behaviour towards a vulnerable adult?


3.Have you been subject to any police investigations that did not result in a conviction?


4.Have you ever been known to any Social Work department as an actual or potential risk to vulnerable adults?


If you answered yes to any of the above questions give details on a separate sheet of paper, which should be returned in a sealed envelope. Only the envelope from the successful applicant will be opened and all other applicant's forms will be destroyed.

Interview checklist and example interview questions

Please seek support and advice before using this document

Interview checklist

  • Arrange a venue, do not use your own home
  • Think about a trial run; interviewing is just as stressful as being interviewed
  • If required, arrange assistance with interviewing
  • List interview questions
  • Plan the length of interview
  • Think about how formal or informal you want to make it
  • Prepare information to conclude the interview

Example questions

An interview is an exchange of information, therefore, it is important to listen and give the person a chance to speak and ask clear questions.

Don't assume anything, whether that is giving or getting information.

Interview questions - choose a few from the following list and add your own:

  • Do you have any questions about the job?
  • I see that you don't have direct experience of this kind of work, but people often have other experience. For example, some people have members of their family, or friends, or maybe neighbours who are disabled in one way or another. What experience of working with disabled people do you have?
  • If you were out with me and someone persisted in ignoring me and spoke only to you, how would you react?
  • I will need to tell you how to do things in the way I want them done. How do you think you would cope with this?
  • How would you react if you have done something and I want it done again in another way?
  • What if I ask you to do something, and you think there is another way to do it that you would prefer - what would you do?
  • If we did have a difference of opinion, how do you think you would deal with this?
  • What qualities and experience do you have that you think would make you a good personal assistant?
  • Have you been on any relevant training courses? If so, what and when?
  • What are your hobbies/interests?
  • Do you have a car? Would you be prepared to use it for work?
  • Any questions you'd like to ask me?

If you have pets you might want to mention them. Some people have allergies and could not work with pets.

If relevant you should ask why they are leaving, or have left, their current or last job.

Concluding the interview

Ask if the candidate has any holidays planned or other commitments which might delay them being able to start work.

You should also explain the following:

  • Contract of employment and probation period
  • That some or all of their annual leave will have to be taken when you are taking up respite
  • When/how they will hear if they have been successful or not
  • That you will take up references for them before appointment one of the references should from their most recent employer
  • If you have decided that your PA(s) must be a member of the PVG Scheme, tell them that they will have to provide proof of their membership or become a member before they can start work.

Example - letter inviting people for an interview

Example letter inviting people for an interview

Example - letter asking for a reference

Example letter asking for a reference

Example - letter offering the job

Example letter offering the job

Example - contract of employment

Example contract of employment
Example contract of employment
Example contract of employment
Example contract of employment
Example contract of employment
Example contract of employment