Joint Submission: May 2014

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1 Joint Submission: Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council (CSHISC) Consultation on Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) Units and Qualifications Draft 2 May 2014 Introduction The following joint submission, from the National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA); Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT (ATODA); Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Council Tas. Inc. (ATDC); Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association (VAADA); and Queensland Network of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies (QNADA) is provided in response to the CSHISC s public consultation on the second draft of the AOD vocational education training (VET) qualifications within the Community Services and Health Industry Training Package. It builds upon a similar joint submission that was prepared in February 2013 in response to the CSHISC s initial call for submissions. Whilst the CSHISC has adopted some of the suggestions in our earlier submission, particularly in relation to including more AOD-specific units, there remain a number of key issues relating to the quality and delivery of the units of competency and qualifications. The issues requiring further consideration are outlined below. From an AOD perspective it is essential that the VET sector: Adequately meets the needs of the AOD sector Ensures that AOD workers receive the appropriate training to equip them with the knowledge and skills Ensures that VET trainers provide up-to-date, relevant, evidence-based training. The following key issues form the basis of the current submission. 1. Training Package Our consultations with key stakeholders have highlighted the AOD sector s need for CHCAOD qualifications within the Training Package that are coherent and responsive to AOD workplace requirements. The Certificate IV qualification and units need to ensure sufficient weight is given to the therapeutic skills required of AOD workers. This includes ensuring sufficient coverage of Motivational Interviewing; Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and the use of AOD specific assessment tools, including intake, withdrawal, discharge and related tools. Achieving the above changes require increased AOD-specific content in the elements and underpinning skills and knowledge of particular units of competency. The context statement at Certificate IV and Diploma level should be re-worded to ensure that there is an explicit requirement that training providers consult with the AOD sector when developing their curricula resources. 1

2 2. Units of competency The content of individual units of competency within the training package need to more effectively address the needs of the AOD sector by including information about particular drugs of concern. At present, there is very little reference to specific drugs in CHCAOD08 (e.g. methamphetamine, cannabis, prescription drugs). To ensure adequate and appropriate coverage of core content there needs to be specific identification of key drugs of concern. The units of competency also need to include sufficient detail to assist training providers to develop curricula. There is considerable variability in relation to curricula quality. Giving clearer guidance to training providers in relation to specific essential required content will help to ensure greater consistency. Essential AOD skills and knowledge identified as being insufficiently addressed within the proposed CHCAOD units of competence include: Identifying and addressing emerging issues and complex needs It may be appropriate to include content within the competencies about the development of skills aimed at maintaining current and accurate, evidenced based knowledge in relation to identifying and addressing emerging issues and complex needs. This may include: How to access research and evidence Incorporating research and evidence in practice change. Whilst some improvements have been made to CHCAOD001, this may require further refinement. Inter-sectoral collaboration There is a need for a specific unit of competency or at least a focus within an existing on working collaboratively with other sectors including, mental health, domestic violence, housing and homelessness, child protection/child welfare and disability services. This is especially important if the Diploma AOD/Mental Health is to be discontinued. Working with older populations The ageing of the Australian population (including older AOD clients presenting for treatment) means that the AOD sector is increasing its focus on programs which aim to prevent harmful AOD use among older Australians. Hence a unit addressing working with older people who have AOD issues should be included as a core unit in the Certificate IV and Diploma qualifications. Co-morbidity/Multi-morbidity Many AOD clients are likely to present with co-morbidity/multi-morbidity issues and hence a unit addressing this should be included as a core unit in the Certificate IV and Diploma qualifications. Child and family sensitive practice Child and family sensitive practice is an emerging focus in service delivery with the AOD sector. There is growing recognition of the impact that an individual s substance use may have on their family and in particular their children. As a result, AOD workers are increasingly seen to have an ethical and legal obligation to reduce or prevent the potential harm to clients children. A focus on child and family sensitive practice also 2

3 recognises the importance of involving the people within the client s support network in their treatment plan. Consideration should be given to developing a child and family sensitive practice unit of competency. Consumer engagement Consumer engagement, especially at the systems, strategic and organisational levels is becoming integral to service delivery and workers need competence in this area. While many units identify that the consumer should be involved in the development of their own care plan, high level consumer and community engagement is not addressed in any of the units of competence. It may be appropriate to incorporate specific detail on consumer engagement into CHCADV006, the Advocacy unit. This requirement should also be reflected in the core skills units such as Work Effectively in the AOD Sector, Work within a Legal and Ethical Framework and Work with Other Organisations. Specific mention of consumer support groups could also be included in this last unit. 3. AOD content in qualifications/units/skill sets It is recommended that consideration be given to stipulating the amount of AOD content in the units of competence and/or identifying appropriate mechanisms by which relevant AOD content can be established. Consideration should also be given to stipulating the number of AOD units that an individual must complete to be eligible for an AOD qualification. This is of paramount importance where units from other qualifications or skill sets are incorporated into AOD qualifications. Assessment requirements may also need to be redrafted to ensure that they are AODspecific. 4. Skill sets It is recommended that consideration be given to (re)developing: 1. A revised introductory skill set (replacing the existing one) aimed at new entrants to the AOD sector such as peer support workers (e.g. by cross-referencing with the Certificate IV in Mental health Peer Support Work); workers who are transferring from other Certificate IV qualified roles; and workers who are moving into the AOD sector with higher education qualifications but with little or no knowledge of AOD issues. 2. An advanced AOD skill set aimed at experienced workers currently in employed the AOD sector who want to up skill and workers (e.g., those with Diploma/Bachelor qualifications in social work, education, welfare, justice requiring higher order skills in AOD) from a related sector who have significant exposure to clients with co-occurring AOD issues but require AOD practice specific skills and knowledge. 3. An advanced co-morbidity skill set as above but aimed at workers employed in AOD and mental health settings who see clients with complex needs including AOD and mental health issues. 5. Combined qualifications Historically, there has been a demand for both a stand-alone Diploma of AOD and a Combined AOD/Mental Health Diploma that resulted in the development of the Diploma of Community Services (AOD/Mental Health). More recently there has been a growing awareness of the issues of multiple morbidities and the increasing complexity of clients including co-occurring multiple issues such as AOD and mental health, family violence, child welfare, housing/homelessness, disability and social disadvantage. 3

4 In considering the relative merits of specific AOD qualifications and combined qualifications (i.e., Diploma Community Services (AOD) compared to the Diploma Community Services (AOD/MH)) it is requested that the CSHISC consider: Deleting the current co-morbidity qualification (Diploma AOD/MH)) and incorporate co- and/or multi-morbidity unit(s) into the revised Diploma AOD Retaining both qualifications as they currently exist with revisions as necessary to reflect changes to AOD and MH units in the current review Deleting or substantially revising the existing co-morbidity qualification and creating a new diploma (or advanced skill set) relating to clients with multiple and complex needs. We suggest that the CSHISC undertake further consultations with the AOD sector on these alternatives prior to making a final decision. Recommendations The following recommendations encapsulate the issues identified above and the changes required to the current redraft of the AOD VET qualifications within the Community Services and Health Industry Training Package. Training Package revisions Greater weight needs to be given including content concerning therapeutic skills including Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and the use of AOD specific assessment tools. Increase the AOD-specific content in the elements and underpinning skills and knowledge of units of competency Re-word the context statement at Certificate IV and Diploma level requiring training providers to consult with the AOD sector when developing curricula resources. Unit of competence revisions General recommendations: Include information about particular drugs of concern not currently mentioned in the CHCAOD08 (e.g. methamphetamine, cannabis, prescription drugs). Include sufficient detail and guidance to assist training providers to develop appropriate curricula. Specific recommendations: Refine CHCAOD001 to upskill workers to better respond to emerging issues and complex needs. Develop a specific unit of competency for working collaboratively with other sectors including, mental health, domestic violence, housing and homelessness, child protection/child welfare and disability services. Include working collaboratively with other sectors as a core unit in the Certificate IV and Diploma qualifications. Develop a working with older people with AOD issues unit of competency. Develop a child and family sensitive unit of competency. Develop units of competence to address consumer engagement and incorporate specific detail on consumer engagement into CHCADV006, the Advocacy unit Reflect consumer engagement in the core units (e.g., CHCAOD001`Work Effectively in the AOD Sector, CHCLEG001 Work within a Legal and Ethical Framework) 4

5 Develop or import a unit on Working with Other Organisations. Include specific mention of consumer support groups into this unit. AOD content in qualifications/units/skill sets Stipulate the amount of AOD content in the units of competence and/or identify appropriate mechanisms by which relevant AOD content can be established. Stipulate the number of units that an individual must complete to be eligible for an AOD qualification. Redraft the assessment requirements to ensure they are AOD-specific. Skill sets revisions Consider the development of three skill sets including: A revised introductory skill set for new entrants coming into the AOD sector such as peer support workers; workers who are transferring from of other Certificate IV qualified roles; and workers who are moving into the AOD sector with higher education qualifications but with little or no knowledge of AOD issues. An advanced AOD skill set aimed at workers currently in employed the AOD sector who want to up skill and workers (e.g., those with Dip/Bachelor qualifications in social work, education, welfare, justice requiring higher order skills in AOD) from a related sector who have significant exposure to clients with co-occurring AOD issues but require AOD practice specific skills and knowledge. An Advanced Co-morbidity skill set as above but aimed at workers employed in AOD and mental health settings who see clients with complex needs including AOD and mental health issues. Combined qualifications revisions Consider: Deleting the current co-morbidity qualification (Diploma AOD/MH)) and incorporate co- and/or multi-morbidity unit(s) into the revised Diploma AOD. Retaining both qualifications as currently exist with revisions as necessary to reflect changes to AOD and MH units in the current review. Deleting or substantially revising the existing co-morbidity qualification and creating a new diploma (or advanced skill set) relating to clients with multiple and complex needs. 5

6 Contributors National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA) NCETA is an internationally recognised research centre that works as a catalyst for change in the alcohol and other drugs (AOD) field. We offer information and access to a wide range of AOD resources and research. Our mission is to advance the capacity of health and human services organisations and workers to respond to alcohol and drug-related problems. Our core business includes the promotion of workforce development (WFD) principles, research and evaluation of effective practices, investigating the prevention, prevalence, and effect of alcohol and other drug use in society, and the development and evaluation of intervention programs and resources for workplaces and other organisations. Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT (ATODA) ATODA is the peak body representing the non-government and government alcohol, tobacco and other drug sector in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). ATODA seeks to promote health through the prevention and reduction of the harms associated with alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. ATODA works collaboratively to provide expertise and leadership in the areas of social policy, sector and workforce development, research, coordination, partnerships, communication, information and resources. ATODA is an evidence informed organisation that is committed to the principles of public health, human rights and social justice. ATODA coordinates the Minimum Qualification Strategy for the ACT AOD sector. For further information about the sector-wide policy and its implementation please see: Alcohol, Tobacco & other Drugs Council Tas Inc (ATDC) The ATDC is the peak body representing the interests of the community service organisations that provide services to people with substance misuse issues in Tasmania. The ATDC has a key role in advocating for adequate resources for the delivery of evidencebased alcohol, tobacco and other drug initiatives. In this regard, the ATDC represents the interests of a broad range of service providers and individuals concerned with prevention, early intervention, treatment and supply reduction and research. Victorian Alcohol & Drug Association (VAADA) VAADA is the peak body representing Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) services in Victoria; and provides leadership, representation, advocacy and information to both AOD and non AOD related sectors. VAADA s purpose is to ensure that the issues for people experiencing the harms associated with alcohol and other drug use and the organisations that support them are well represented in policy and program development and public discussion. 6

7 Queensland Network of Alcohol and Drug Agencies (QNADA) QNADA is the peak organisation representing the views of the non-government (NGO) Alcohol and other Drug (AOD) sector. QNADA is committed to supporting our members to deliver high quality service to individuals, families and communities affected by alcohol and other drugs. Our primary functions include: supporting and advancing the Queensland AOD sector to build its capacity to respond to existing and emerging harms caused by alcohol and other drugs supporting the information and technology needs of our member agencies, particularly with regard to State and Federal data reporting requirements sharing information through regular forums, events and workshops on key sector issues providing advice and information regarding available funding opportunities. QNADA was established in 2007 to deliver professional, quality, and relevant services that will assist in the development and growth of the NGO AOD sector across Queensland. QNADA also liaises with key government, industry and social sector representatives. 7

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