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Personal budgets and brokerage

Announcement created: Tuesday, 10th Jul 2012

Funding to help quality brokerage flourish and grow

We are delighted to have received funding from Kent County Council, Medway Council to train and quality assure support brokers to help people with mental health needs eligible for support with social care needs.

Broker training course completed

‘Life-enhancing’ and ‘empowering’ were some of the words used by participants to describe the Signpost brokerage training courses which took place this month. During the five-day course, the role of the broker was explained and explored and participants learnt how they could support people to develop a plan which could be used with a personal budget.

Self-directed support is where people work out for themselves what support they need to get the life they want. On the course, we learnt about the history of self-directed support dating back since the 1970s, and then went on to learn about how self-directed support is being delivered now.

During and following the training, participants are assessed to see if they meet the competencies to become a Signpost registered broker.  These competencies link closely to the person specification created by working collaboratively with people with mental health needs, service providers, carers, community mental health team representatives and other interested participants.  The person specification is available for you to view on the Want to be a broker? page.  The Signpost support brokerage competencies, as part of the Signpost Support Brokerage Training Course, have been approved by the Royal Society of Public Health.

We now have people trained as brokers. Visit the personal budgets and brokerage section of the website for more information.

Jargon buster!


People having choice and control over how they manage their mental health and the support they receive.

Personal budget

Clear, up-front allocation of money from social services that a person can use to design and purchase support for their eligible social care needs.

Individual budget

Like personal budgets but includes more than social care money – such as Supporting People money.

Direct payment

One way of getting your personal budget. Cash payment paid directly to the person.

Kent Card

Another way of getting your personal budget if you live within the Kent County Council boundary. It's a Visa card which enables people to get direct payments without having to set up or manage their own bank account.


The process of supporting individuals with a personal budget to find and choose resources that enable them to meet their assessed needs and have a better life.

Signpost UK registered support broker

A person accredited by Signpost UK who is committed to working within the Signpost UK Quality Charter when providing a brokerage service.

Signpost UK registered peer support broker

A person accredited by Signpost UK with personal experience of mental health issues who is committed to working within the Signpost UK Quality Charter when providing a brokerage service.