Personal Assistants and Direct Employers Aiming Higher Together

PADE UP offer free online courses to empower Personal Assistants and Direct Employers and give them control over the way they work together.

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PADE UP: e-learning and much more


PADE UP is a co-produced and co-designed resource for Personal Assistants (PAs) and Direct Employers (DEs). It’s a hub where you can find e-learning modules, information, advice, support and resources all in one place.


PADE UP’s content is produced by people with subject expertise and with lived experience. It isn’t a cut down version of training adapted from somewhere else; it’s all tailor made specifically for you.


The who, why, what and how of PADE UP

Who is it for?

an older couple laugh together - black man, white woman - on the bus
PADE UP’s immediate audience is PAs and direct employers who have budgets from local authorities, health or are self funding and was designed specifically for this group of people. However, the content is highly relevant to related professionals too. There is something here for you if you are:

thinking about becoming a PA

considering a direct payment for all or some of your support needs

a health or social care professional

an existing PA

an existing DE

a relative or friend

Why use it?

Because it was written, bespoke, for you! We at PADE UP noticed a gap in training for lone working PAs in the community, and for DEs, many of whom have never been employers before.

We got together with existing PAs, DEs, North East London local authorities and subject experts and from this emerged tailorable knowledge based learning that you can make into your own package, just for you. It’s been designed from the ground up by the people who will use it, written by people who really know their stuff.

The end result is a training tool that can encourage you to enhance your skill base, with certificates to acknowledge your hard work, studying at your own pace, in an online format that suits you. We know that the content is relevant because the people that asked for it have told us it is. That’s why co-production and design has been so important for us. This is your site.

This is just the start; more modules will follow as we achieve further funding. If you have a module that you really want to see, let us know.

What format is the e-learning?

PADE UP’s e-learning is tailor made for this website. Everything has been specially written. The modules contain text, graphics, voice over, closed captions, audio clips and films of real life PAs and DEs. It’s designed to be engaging and accessible to as many people as possible.

…but I don’t have access to a PC. How can I access the e-learning?

laptop, tablet and smartphoneYou definitely can! The e-learning modules are designed to work on desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

Different browsers work best, depending on what tech you’re using.


For an iPhone, iPad, MacBook or Mac use Safari.


For an Android phone, tablet or PC, use Chrome.


If you don’t have Chrome you can download it free here by clicking the button.


…but I’m not confident with computers

Technology can be intimidating, but we’ve tried our best to make this website and the resources on it easy to use. Our five minute user guide ‘how to’ course will show you the ropes, explain how things work and support you to get started and gain confidence.


Want to know more?

We’re glad to hear it! Have a browse around the site, look at the resources by clicking the tabs on the menu bar at the top and following buttons and hyperlinks, check out the latest course titles, and see who have financially supported the PADE UP project by clicking on the logos at the bottom of the page.

Personal Assistants

There are a wide range of courses for PAs so you can tailor your knowledge to your job. There are opportunities to reflect on examples from your own experience throughout, and plenty of practical examples from real life PAs and DEs to illustrate and reinforce your learning.

A Personal Assistant (PA) role is often mistaken as being the same as a care worker; the roles are not the same. The key difference is that a care worker is employed by an agency, or local authority, while a PA is employed by the person they are supporting (or family or spouse). Once you complete a course and pass you will be issued with a printable certificate to build a portfolio for yourself; they also show employers that you are knowledgeable in those areas. Have a look at the PA page and the courses page for more details and information.

Direct Employers

If you receive a direct payment from your local authority, a personal health budget or use your own money (known as self funding) to employ your own care and support staff (they’re known as PAs), then you’re a Direct Employer or DE. DEs are offered specific courses to assist you to navigate the world of employing PAs. These have a quiz at the end to show your knowledge. Throughout the courses there are opportunities for dual learning with your PA, if you choose. Have a look at the DE page and the courses page for details and more information.

Latest Courses

By Emma Preston-Dunlop No student enrolled Free
Many people can be a PA, but it takes a certain ...
By Emma Preston-Dunlop No student enrolled Free
Being a DE is a unique situation; you may find ...
By Emma Preston-Dunlop No student enrolled Free
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By Emma Preston-Dunlop No student enrolled Free
In this course we cover the important areas of ...
By Emma Preston-Dunlop No student enrolled Free
This course is an e-learning module to take a ...
By Emma Preston-Dunlop No student enrolled Free
This course aims to give you a general ...
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This course introduces aspects of safeguarding as ...
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"Learning disability means I'm still learning"




You’ll have to be quick! Skills for Care get a limited amount funding each year which you can apply for and use for training to understand and develop your role as a DE better. You can use it towards training for your PA’s skills as well, or a combination of both. When the funding’s gone for the year it’s gone!

Skills for Care has a range of resources to support DEs. Click on the link here to go to the page, or click the button below.

PADE UP is in a pilot phase until March 2020. All the learning materials are currently available to everyone. Councils, NHS authorities and trusts and other parties interested in purchasing a licence should contact

This resource has been developed by six local authorities working in partnership with Real DPO Ltd, supported by Skills for Care.

Real DPO logoSkills for Care logo


Join the conversation, sign up to our facebook group, tell us the courses you would like to see in the future, talk to other Personal Assistants and Direct Employers and stay connected.