PA Employer Handbook launched

Someone using an iPad

Self Directed Support Scotland (SDSS) is proud to launch an update of the Personal Assistant (PA) Employer Handbook, first published by the Scottish Government in 2014.

With thousands of PA employers across the country, and with tens of thousands of people accessing Self-directed Support (SDS), it’s important that both current and potential employers under Option 1 of SDS have access to consistent and good-quality information at all stages of their employer journey.

Being a PA employer allows someone using SDS to exercise the maximum amount of choice and control over the support they need. It enables them to choose the people that support them, at a time that is right and in a way that works well for them. Becoming a PA Employer also involves responsibility, sometimes requiring further information and support.

The PA Employer Handbook has been redesigned based on feedback from PA employers and social care professionals, reflecting a number of changes that have taken place over the years. Developed by SDSS, their membership and other key stakeholders, the handbook is a useful guide through a PA employer’s journey. Users will be guided through four stages of information and support:

  • Deciding to become an employer
  • Taking first steps
  • Current employer
  • Ending an employer role

Within these stages, PA employers, social work professionals and Independent Support Organisations can learn more about what makes a good employer and what a PA employer’s role and responsibilities are.

Although the handbook is a digital resource, the book can be downloaded and printed at any point.

SDSS Chief Executive, Donald Macleod, said: “The handbook is a welcome resource for people employing their own support staff through Option 1 of Self-directed Support.

“As the SSSC, Scottish Government, Social Work Scotland and other strategic partners all work to embed quality assurance, this will be a critical support tool to those engaging Personal Assistants.

“Becoming an employer can be a daunting prospect. Our aim with the PA Employer Handbook is to remove the pressure from this process, giving clarity for people navigating the complexities of arranging their own support, using a direct payment to employ staff who can meet their needs.”

The resource should be used by potential and current PA employers, and social care professionals, to ensure supported people are making informed decisions when it comes to how their support is managed and delivered.

Laura Hendry, Cornerstone SDS, contributed to the resource and said: “It has been great to be part of the development of this amazing resource which will benefit so many Direct Payment employers. It will provide much needed information for individuals navigating employing staff for the first time.”

You can access the PA Employer Handbook at

Self Directed Support Scotland

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