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Type: Journal article
Title: Symposium – tackling the challenges of workforce development
Author: Roche, Ann M.
Athanasos, Peter
Newcombe, David Alexander L.
Citation: Drug and Alcohol Review, 2010; 29(Suppl 1):63-64
Publisher: Blackwell publishing
Issue Date: 2010
ISSN: 0959-5236
Conference Name: Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and Other Drugs Conference (30th : 2010 : Canberra, Australia)
APSAD 2010
School/Discipline: School of Nursing
Statement of
Ann M Roche, Peter Athanasos, David Newcombe
Abstract: Presenter 1: Professor MARGARET HAMILTON – Moving on up Lets try to work toward building a workforce that is capable and respected for its alcohol and other drug specific knowledge, evidence grounded interventions and capacity to deliver them with appropriate skill. There remains much to do to achieve this. While there are many committed and experienced people working in this sector, we remain unclear about just what is required to call ourselves alcohol and drug expert workers. At last years APSAD I provocatively said that we sometimes could be accused of dishing up ‘nice mush’; not necessarily sound treatment. This is to the disadvantage of our sector and to those who work in it. If we are to command respect we need capacity to conduct expert assessments and to professionally intervene. To achieve this we need to raise the bar if we want consistency, respectable salaries and clarity of our ‘products’ to ensure appropriate expectations for our service consumers. There is also a place for us to extend and expand our capacity for secondary (and tertiary) consultation through working with other services to ensure that sound alcohol and drug knowledge informs the delivery of services. Drug users often have mixed motivations and complex needs and are not always ready to take advantage of the interventions that our sector should, in my opinion, be offering directly. Lets discuss and debate this so as to be sure that we move the bar upward; not allow it to be eroded down. Presenter 2: Dr KEN PIDD – Vocational Education and Training (VET) Certificate IV in AOD work as a workforce development strategy One strategy for up-skilling the existing workforce and ensuring a qualifi ed future workforce is the establishment of a minimum level of AOD qualifi cations. While there is support for the adoption of the Certificate IV in AOD work as a minimum qualification, current use of the Certifi cate IV as a minimum qualification is largely informal (with the exception of Victoria & the ACT). However, there are potential barriers and limitations to the adoption of the Certifi cate IV as a minimum AOD qualifi cation. While it may be an appropriate strategy for workers with few or no relevant skills, it may not be appropriate for the substantial proportion of AOD workers with higher level qualifi cations and skills. A minimum qualifi cation may also result in the minimum qualifi cation becoming the accepted standard for AOD work, providing no incentive for workers to seek out higher level qualifi cations. In addition, some AOD agency managers have expressed dissatisfaction with Certificate IV training. To examine these issues, NCETA conducted a secondary analyses of data obtained from more than 3,500 students enrolled in VET AOD courses at the Certifi cate IV and Diploma level and from more than 200,000 students enrolled in AOD relevant graduate and postgraduate courses. The purpose of these analyses was to compare the demographic profile of students enrolled in VET and higher education courses in order to determine any implications for AOD workforce development and to identify the extent to which VET was used as a career/higher education pathway. In addition, an on-line survey of more than 200 AOD treatment agency managers was conducted to determine levels of satisfaction with VET training in AOD work and attitudes toward VET qualifi cations in AOD work as a minimum qualifi cation for AOD workers. Results and implications for AOD workforce development will be presented. Presenter 3: Dr KIERAN CONNOLLY – Three Community Services Training Packages, one Minimum Qualifi cations Strategy and about 1,000 AOD workers: Refl ections on the Victorian experience The establishment of nationally accredited AOD qualifi cations within the 1999 Community Service Training Package provided the impetus for the Victorian government to redirect funding away from traditional non accredited training to the provision of formal qualifi cations, primarily at the Certifi cate IV level. This in turn led to the establishment of a Minimum Qualifications Strategy in 2002 that applied to all government funded AOD workers in Victoria whereby it was incumbent upon them to commence/complete additional AOD specifi c courses. This paper reflects on the establishment of the original MQS, associated angst from the sector, the intricacies of working with unwieldy and poorly constructed national competencies, and on forced amendments to the MQS based on non negotiable changes to the Community Services Training Package. It will also provide statistical information on the Victorian AOD sector in terms of attainment of specialist AOD qualifi cations, its progression through MQS and refl ections from AOD workers and AOD managers on their experience with MQS. Presenter 4: SUE HELFGOTT – Helping Change The Volunteer Addiction Counsellors’ Training program, commenced in 1989 and trained over 600 volunteer counsellors across Western Australia. The program has been adapted and used across a number of Jurisdictions including Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Northern Territory and South Australia; as well as Jersey, United Kingdom and the Maldives. In 2001 the program was awarded the Premier’s Award in the category of Social and Community Development and the Organisational excellence prize in the same year by the Ted Noffs Foundation. In 2008 the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing provided a grant to update the current manual and disseminate it across Australia. As part of this review, the program’s name changed to refl ect the broader target group being trained: this includes paid and unpaid Drug and Alcohol Counsellors. This paper will refl ect on the evolution of the Helping Change training program, highlight key ingredients for best practice in AOD knowledge and skills workforce development and discuss barriers and opportunities in training paid and unpaid staff in working in the AOD sector. Panel discussion The above presentations will be followed by a Panel Discussion where the WFD content of the papers presented and related issues will be critiques. Panel participants will include the above speakers together with: David McDonald, Larry Pierce, and James Pitts. Ann Roche will moderate the Panel Discussion.
Description: Paper 30
Abstract of a paper presented at the 30th Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and Other Drugs (APSAD) Conference, held in Canberra, Australia, 28 November - 1 December 2010.
Rights: © 2010 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs
DOI: 10.1111/j.1465-3362.2010.00261.x
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