Skip to Content
Skip to Navigation

Personal Assistants’ Programme Board

PA Employer in a workshop with his PA standing by machinery

Personal Assistants’ Programme Board

The first meeting of the Personal Assistants’ (PA) Programme Board took place in August 2021, and it continues to meet on a quarterly basis. The Board is formed of PAs, employers, Scottish Government, Independent Support Organisations and more, with the shared aim of ensuring the integration of PAs into the overall social care workforce.

Purpose of the Programme Board

The Programme Board plays a key role in offering tangible outcomes to support improvements to the situation for PAs in Scotland.

The purpose of the Programme Board is to offer advice to the Minister for Social Care, Mental Wellbeing and Sport on how to ensure PAs are fully recognised as members of the social care workforce. The group considers the issues that are preventing PAs being recognised.

The work of the group is transparent and informed by the wider Independent Living Movement. A Work Plan has been created out of initial outcome mapping workshops, and has been co-produced by the PA Programme Board members to set out solutions and actions to recognise and grow the PA workforce. The objectives of the Work Plan are to:

  • Provide support that maximises strong mutual relationships between PAs and their employers (known as PAE)
  • Support the development of the PA workforce (with recruitment, retention and training)
  • Enable PAs to value and support their employers to enable them to live a good independent supported life, and for Self-directed Support works as it is intended
  • Source robust data of current numbers of PAs in Scotland, and estimate future PA demand.



PA Employers and Personal Assistants sought to shape work on wellbeing
December 5, 2023

A new project aimed at improving the wellbeing of Personal Assistants in Scotland is seeking PAs and PA Employers to join expert groups to guide the work. The project also aims to support the mutual relationship between PA Employers and PAs. It is being run by IMPACT (Improving Adult Social Care Together), a UK-wide project that supports ...

Next steps for national PA training framework
November 20, 2023

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 ...

Recommendations made on inspection and regulation in social care
October 9, 2023

An independent review looking at the inspection and regulation of social care in Scotland has published a report into its findings. The Independent Review of Inspection, Scrutiny and Regulation (IRISR) was led by Dame Sue Bruce and has been conducted over the past year. Its aim was to look at current systems of regulation and inspection ...

PA newsletter - September 2023
September 14, 2023

The latest edition of imPAct – the newsletter for Personal Assistants across Scotland, has been published.   You can read the latest edition here:   Sign up to receive the newsletter direct to your inbox below: Sign up to imPAct – the newsletter for Personal Assistants in Scotland Name * Email * Subscribe .iIDDUy { background: rgb(255, 255, 255); border-radius: 0.3125rem; max-width: 35.25rem; ...

My PA Day: Louise
September 14, 2023

My name’s Louise and I’m a 19-year-old medical student. I’ve worked as a PA supporting Ben over the summer holidays for the last two years. It all started when saw an advert put up by Ben’s mum on social media a few months before I finished school. It looked like a good alternative to working in ...

Trial will test out new discount card for PAs
September 14, 2023

A pilot is to take place in Scotland to try out a new discount card for Personal Assistants. The Blue Sky Social Care Card was launched recently in England and is available to all social care workers across the UK. It is gaining in popularity, with 10,000 users so far, and offers discounts at a range ...

Employers and PAs invited to share views on PA training
September 4, 2023

SDSS is inviting people who employ Personal Assistants, and PAs themselves, to give their views on what training they feel would be beneficial to PAs. A short online survey has been created to ask about, among other things: what types of training would be most useful (eg. online, in person) what training topics would be most helpful how best ...

PA newsletter - June 2023
June 8, 2023

The latest edition of imPAct – the newsletter for Personal Assistants across Scotland, has been published.   The newsletter has the latest updates from the PA Programme Board plus other news relevant to PAs.   You can read the latest edition here:   Sign up to receive the newsletter direct to your inbox below: Sign up to imPAct – the newsletter ...

National Care Service - public forum events summer 2023
May 23, 2023

A series of events are being planned across Scotland this summer to give members of the public the chance to have their say about how the National Care Service should work. A programme of meetings will take place over the summer, from Dumfries & Galloway to Shetland. There will also be online meetings for anyone who ...

SDSS welcomes new PA training framework developers
May 4, 2023

  Self Directed Support Scotland has welcomed two new members of staff who will take on the development of a Personal Assistant Training Framework.  Emmanuelle Le Coz (left) and Johanne McBean (right) will work alongside PAs, Employers, and organisations who support them to developer a co-produced National PA Training resource that can be accessed by all PAs ...

Scottish Personal Assistant Workforce Survey 2023
April 4, 2023

Calling all Personal Assistants! We need your help to understand more about the Personal Assistant workforce in Scotland. The Scottish Personal Assistant Workforce Survey was carried out for the first time last year, and is being repeated in 2023 to see what has changed. If you completed the survey last year, it’s really important you do it again ...

New project to improve health and wellbeing of PAs in Scotland
March 28, 2023

A new project is set to launch which will work to improve the health and wellbeing of Personal Assistants in Scotland. The University of Birmingham’s IMPACT (IMProving Adult Care Together) centre hosts several projects – known as Demonstrators – each year, aimed at improving adult social care across the UK. This year, one of these projects will ...

PhD to explore role of PAs in social care in Scotland
March 28, 2023

  A funded PhD studentship opportunity has been created, that will explore the role of Personal Assistants in the social care landscape in Scotland. The collaborative PhD, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and hosted by the University of Glasgow, will give a researcher the chance to examine the impact of PA roles in ...

New newsletter for Personal Assistants in Scotland
March 21, 2023

A new newsletter aimed at Personal Assistants in Scotland has been launched. The imPAct newsletter, produced by Self Directed Support Scotland, aims to keep PAs informed of the work of the PA Programme Board, as well as other news and opportunities relevant to PAs. Personal Assistants who have signed up will receive the email newsletter straight to ...

Increase in the minimum hourly rate for PAs from April 2023
March 1, 2023

The Scottish Government has announced that the minimum rate of pay for Personal Assistants will increase to £10.90 an hour from April 2023. The increase is part of funding agreed as part of the Scottish Budget for 2023/24 and means that the minimum hourly rate for workers providing direct adult social care, including Personal Assistants, will ...

Personal Assistant Newsletter September 2022
September 23, 2022

Download this PA Programme Newsletter – September 2022 Editor’s welcome Donald Macleod, Chief Executive, SDSS This is the third newsletter specifically for Personal Assistants to let you know about the exciting work and progress that has been made by the PA Programme Board with the essential contribution from you, the PA workforce.   This edition brings you up to date ...

September 22, 2022

  PA Programme Board Workplan Interactive listing 

Report is out: First Annual Personal Assistant Workforce Survey
July 29, 2022

Thank you to everyone who responded to the first annual Personal Assistant (PA) survey. The online survey, responded to by 912 people across every Scottish local authority area which was an amazing outcome in itself, was created to help inform workforce recruitment campaigns and PA development approaches needed to support PAs in Scotland. This first ...

Make an Impact. Become a PA.
July 21, 2022

Personal Assistants are employed by people who need support, so that they can live their life, their way.   Working as a PA is about building a strong relationship, and supporting someone to reach their goals, whatever they may be. There’s plenty in it for you too – it’s flexible and varied, with lots of opportunity for growth ...

The National Care Service: the bill and how service design will progress
June 10, 2022

Yesterday’s meeting of the Scottish Government Personal Assistant Programme Board, provided further insight into the progression of the National Care Service Bill,  due to introduced to Parliament later this month.  It’s the first step in legislating a change of model and highlighted were its stages and timeline and the opportunities that people will have to ...

Personal Assistant Newsletter June 2022
June 8, 2022

Download this PA Programme Newsletter – June 2022 Editor’s welcome Donald Macleod, Chief Executive, SDSS This is the second of a series of newsletters to let you know about the exciting work that is going on in relation to your roles as Personal Assistants. This work is being led by a Scottish Government board, the PA Programme Board, ...

Annual PA Workforce Survey - Analysis Underway
June 3, 2022

Following meetings to update on the first Annual PA Workforce Survey and fairly imminent production of a preliminary report and analysis, below is an outline of existing thoughts on themes and a link to the SDS Forum for discussion on these and any ideas you have about the analysis and purpose of this data plus ...

Personal Assistant Newsletter March 2022
April 9, 2022

Download The Personal Assistant Newsletter March 2022 Editor’s welcome Donald Macleod, Chief Executive, SDSS This is the first of a series of newsletters to let you know about some exciting work that is going on in relation to your roles as Personal Assistants. This work is being led by a Scottish Government board, the PA Programme Board, and is ...

Annual PA Workforce Survey
April 4, 2022

A survey to influence the Personal Assistants (PA) Programme Board and provide tangible support to improve the situation for personal assistants in Scotland has been launched by SDSS. You may be aware of the work of the PA Programme Board: a channel for Scottish Government and a range of stakeholders, including independent organisations like ourselves, ...

Minister Letter: PA Programme Board Actions
March 29, 2022

A letter from the Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care Kevin Stewart MSP outlining PA Programme Board actions went out today to the 5,000 strong cohort of Personal Assistants who received a thank you payment for services during pandemic lockdown.   The Letter The letter which you can read here introduces the work of the PA Programme ...

Developing the Personal Assistant Handbook: looking for PA involvement
March 9, 2022

Looking for PAs to share their story and make a Video Case Study SDS Scotland are developing a Personal Assistant Handbook for all PAs across Scotland. This will be a sister publication of the online PA Employer Handbook that you can find here: The PA Employer Handbook As part of this development SDS Scotland have set up a ...

Personal Assistant pay uplift
January 6, 2022

On 5 October 2021, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care announced a package of measures to support winter and system pressures in health and social care. This included a commitment to provide up to £48 million of Scottish Government funding to support a pay uplift for Adult Social Care workers. This funding is being ...

Your views on self-employed PAs
December 17, 2021

Earlier this year, we asked our members and their networks to share their experiences as self-employed Personal Assistants (PAs) or those who contract them or work alongside them. The survey was completed by 39 respondents including PA employers, self-employed PAs, self-employed contractors, other support workers and other key stakeholders (independent support and local authority staff for ...

Thousands of Personal Assistants receive thank you payment
November 10, 2021

Self Directed Support Scotland (SDSS) are proud to have been a part of the Scottish Government’s ‘thank you’ payment process for Personal Assistants (PAs), which delivered nearly 5,000 payments of up to £500 to PAs. Following months of planning with stakeholders, including Scottish Government, SDSS and payroll providers, on 30 June 2021, an online and postal ...