What training is there for P.A.s?
Qualifications in the Health and Social Care Sector have changed from NVQ’s to the new QCF (Qualifications Credit Framework). This framework is as relevant to Personal Assistants as it is to other types of Social Care workers. In fact the new framework is much more flexible and allows learners to study, in bite sized chunks, the parts of the qualification that are relevant to their work role. The QCF is a new way of recognising skills and qualifications. It does this by awarding credit for units (small steps of learning) and enables learners to gain qualifications at their own pace along flexible routes.
There are a whole range of duties in areas of personal, social and domestic care that a Personal Assistant might undertake to meet their employers own individual needs. They may need to act as a confidential escort or companion to assist their employer in their social and day to day activities. They may be required to cook, clean, help with personal care, help with gardening, shopping, paying bills or medical assistance such as changing a catheter.
ARC has produced a Qualification in Health and Social Care mapping a credit accumulation route a Personal Assistant may decide to go to gain a Qualification. This is just an example and ARC would be happy to give advice on other routes to gaining QCF qualification or details of how to access the funding available through Skills for Care.
Skills for Care have produced a booklet, Training and Qualifications, as part of the PA Employers’ toolkit. They have also produced examples of QCF units a Personal Assistant may choose when undertaking the new QCF qualification. Again this is just an example and there are many more units to choose from. There is funding available through Skills for Care and although this entails some paperwork. we are happy to give advice on how to do this. Skills for care have produced a list of QCF units that are eligible for funding.
There may also be training available for P.A.s. via your local Council who may let you take part in existing training offered to their employees in the social care sector. Your local Council may offer training on some areas such as ‘Moving and Handling’ ‘Basic Food Hygiene’ or ‘First Aid’ or will be able to tell you where this training is available locally. Find your local Council.
Your employer will help you to decide what training you need to support them but you may also want to take additional training that you may feel will be helpful in future or is of particular interest to you.
Once a PA starts employment, it is recommended that the employer introduces them to the way that they need them to work. This is done most easily by an induction. ARC has developed a new distance learning pack ‘Getting Started Together’. It is a specialist induction designed for Personal Assistant Employers and Personal Assistants (PA) to work through together. It has information, exercises and practical examples and covers all 8 of the Common Induction Standards for Social Care. It was piloted and evaluated by PA Net members. Cost for PA Net members: £40 | Non-Member: £60. To order visit the ARC shop or call ARC sales on 01246 555043
ARC has also produced a companion Guidance Pack for the PA Employer ‘Getting Your Personal Assistant Started’. It was developed to support the PA Employer as they guide their new PA through the Induction process and was also piloted and evaluated by PA Net members. Cost for PA Net Member: £18 non-members £23. To order visit the ARC shop or call ARC sales on 01246 555043