Next steps for national PA training framework
The development of a National Training Framework for Personal Assistants and their Employers has taken a step forward, with a survey now complete and its results informing the development of the next phase of the project.
The national survey was carried out in September, to find out Employers and Personal Assistants’ views around training. More than 200 people responded to the survey, giving an insight into the current provision of training for PAs, and the needs and wants of Employers and their Personal Assistants in the future.
The survey showed that:
- Employers’ needs are very varied, with some Employers employing more than 10 PAs, and others a smaller number. There was also a wide variety in the number of hours worked on average by a PA. This indicated that Employers will have different needs according to the size of their team and the time available they have for training, so any national training framework needs to be suitable for all circumstances.
- There was most interest in training that could be done online (self-directed learning), or by a PA and Employer together
- There was most interest from Employers and PAs in training topics covering:
- support for the employer to create and manage the PA role
- training on the context of Self-directed Support
- relationship skills
- medical tasks.
- Employers need budget to cover the costs of their PAs’ training and replacement cover while they are completing the training – 73% of Employers who answered the survey said they had no or insufficient budget to cover PAs’ training needs at the moment.
The results of the survey also highlighted the common need for specific medical and health and safety training – in many cases this training is already available, but Employers indicated they needed support to find appropriate training and a way of finding out if it is good quality and appropriate to their PAs’ needs.
The survey also indicated there is a need for a toolkit for Employers to support them in their role and with managing staff, including help with managing relationships. The project team have suggested that Disabled People’s Organisations could be involved in developing bespoke training on things like relationship skills.
Overall the project team concluded that any national training framework needs to take into account the variety of Employers’ needs and be accessible on an optional basis.
You can read more about the survey results here by downloading the documents below.