Support with Confidence – Personal Assistants


What are Personal Assistants?

Under a national system known variously as Self Directed Support, Putting People First, or Personalised Budgets, you can choose to get social care and support to meet your needs in a variety of ways to suit you – you can choose the kind of help you receive and who you get it from.

Even if you are funding your own care, perhaps because you are ineligible for local authority funding, flexibility and choice are key to getting the services you need.

Personal assistants are people from all walks of life who work for people who require social care. They help with everyday things like going to the shops or taking the dog to the vet, but can also provide personal care such as washing and getting dressed.

If you have a Personal Budget or a Personal Health Budget, you might find these links useful:

Support with Confidence is a Local Authority scheme that provides a list of approved care and/or support services that have been vetted on the grounds of quality, safety and training.

Whether you get financial help to pay for your care, or you buy services privately, the Support with Confidence scheme will help you find a wide range of care and support services that you can trust. In Oxfordshire, Support with Confidence promotes Personal Assistants.

OACP delivers Support with Confidence on behalf of Oxfordshire County Council and provides a training and checking scheme for people who want to work as personal assistants.


Who can become an Approved Personal Assistant?

Individuals providing care and support services delivered in the home or community, including:

  • personal care;
  • cleaning and housework;
  • shopping services;
  • meal preparation and service or cooking in the home;
  • daytime opportunities, such as leisure and recreational activities;
  • any other care and support service provided in the home or community.

This Skills for Care guide is for people who want to be, or are already working as, a personal assistant. It explains more about the role, why it’s a great job, and how you can find work. It also has useful information about what to expect when you first start and what learning and development you could do.

How does Support with Confidence work?

We make checks on each Approved Personal Assistant’s background, their qualifications, experience,  and compliance with legal standards.

Approved Scheme Members are vetted and trained before they join. They agree to:

  • undertake any appropriate training, including adult protection and safeguarding;
  • Silhouette of man and woman head and shouldersrespond promptly and appropriately to people who use the service who may have complaints;
  • having criminal records checks and clearance;
  • providing references as part of their application;
  • providing clients with clear and appropriate information regarding the services to be performed (cost per hour or per day/ night/ task).

Register as an Approved Personal Assistant: on the grey bar above – click on Sign In/ Join and choose Register as a SwC PA.

By applying to register as an Approved Personal Assistant you are agreeing to our Support with Confidence Terms and Conditions, which include OACP’s Code of Conduct.

Please also read our Introduction to Support with Confidence.

If you are already an Approved Personal Assistant registered with Support with Confidence, to update your details, please log in and use this guidance.

DBS checks for Personal Assistants

OACP can provide DBS checks for approved personal assistants at cost price. Usually, these are for adult workforce only, but we can process checks for children’s and adult workforce. Once certificated we recommend you register for the Government Update service to enable automatic annual updating. This needs to be done within 28 days of your most recent DBS check.

Training for Personal AssistantsOACP orange logo

Support with Confidence approval comes with Associate Membership of OACP providing a 10% discount on OACP training published price.

We have a specific training offer for Approved Personal Assistants covering all the key areas of the Care Certificate. For more information please contact us at [email protected]

A network for Personal AssistantsPersonal Assistants Network

We hold an annual network for personal assistants – free to Approved PAs under the Support with Confidence Scheme. Networking enables personal assistants to develop expertise and learning we are developing a network throughout Oxfordshire. We also host a WhatsApp group for Approved Personal Assistants.

Details appear in our events listing.

Monitoring and Feedback

We monitor Support with Confidence scheme members once approved. If you have a comment, a compliment, or a complaint, please let us know by contacting us via the Contact Us button at the top. We can only accept comments about Approved Support with Confidence Personal Assistants. All information is treated with confidence. However, we will act if we are concerned about a person’s safety.

For further enquiries about Support with Confidence, please email [email protected]