PA Network Scotland

Personal Assistants Code of Conduct at Work


This Code of Conduct for Personal Assistants is intended for people who work in a paid support or caring role and to provide guidance - especially for those who may be new to the care industry.

Although being a Personal Assistant does not require you to register with the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) the values and principles they promote for social service workers are a useful place to start.


These are as follows (‘your employer’ has been used rather than ‘service user’) –

  • Protect the rights and promote the interests of your employer and carers
  • Strive to establish and maintain the trust and confidence of your employer and carers
  • Promote the independence of your employer while protecting them from danger or harm as far as possible
  • Respect the rights of your employer whilst seeking to ensure that their behaviour does not harm themselves or other people
  • Uphold public trust and confidence in social services
  • Be accountable for the quality of your work and take responsibility for maintaining and improving your knowledge and skills

More detailed information on the SSSC Codes of Practice can be found by using the following link –

Being honest, trustworthy, reliable and dependable is essential; remember your employer relies on you and will expect nothing less. If for any reason you are not able to attend work please give your employer as much notice as possible to arrange alternative cover.

Personal Assistants should also know that the following would be regarded as unacceptable conduct –

  • Any questions about your employment should not be raised externally but only with your employer in the first instance and all contract terms should be adhered to
  • Forming inappropriate personal relationships with your employer
  • Smoking whilst working, even if your employer invites you to – this also includes e-cigarettes and vapes
  • Consuming alcohol before or during work, even if your duties require you to accompany your employer to a licensed premises (restaurant/bar etc)
  • Use of any illegal substances or illegal behaviours
  • Accept gifts or money (other than wages) from your employer
  • Agree to look after any valuables belonging to your employer
  • Have access to or knowledge of your employers PIN numbers, bank/credit cards or internet passwords
  • Taking anyone else (or a pet) with you when going to work without prior approval from your employer
  • Disclosing anything to anybody regarding your employer without their approval, absolute confidentiality is essential at all times, even when not at work
  • Using any personal items belonging to your employer that are not required to carry out your duties
  • Using any inappropriate behaviour including abusive or foul language whilst at work

The following points should be noted when it comes to your own personal presentation/appearance –

  • A high standard of personal hygiene is essential at all times
  • Clean, suitable and practical clothes should be worn if no uniform is supplied
  • Excessive use of toiletries (including perfumes/aftershaves) can be offensive to others
  • Nails should be kept clean, short and free of varnish. Any nail extensions or false nails should be removed prior to starting work
  • Any tattoos that could be considered in any way offensive must be kept covered
  • Hair should be tied back away from the face to ensure your safety and shows good hygiene and infection control practice
  • Do not wear excessive amounts of jewellery especially anything that could be caught in any machinery as this can cause injury to yourself or your employer. All visible piercings should also be removed or covered
  • Wear sensible shoes and avoid flip flop or any open toed shoes

This Code of Conduct is for guidance only; common sense should apply at all times. If you are in any doubt check first or put yourself in your employer’s position and ask yourself ‘would this be considered acceptable?’ If in any doubt – don’t!’

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