Key messages

  • The Minimum Qualification Strategy aims to ensure that alcohol and other drug workers are appropriately and adequately trained and competent to do their jobs.
  • The strategy also aims to increase the proportion of workers who have relevant qualifications. It requires workers without a qualification to obtain a specialist alcohol and other drug or addiction studies qualification.
  • The strategy provides a consistent approach to learning and skills development based on nationally recognised minimum competency standards.
  • The strategy applies to all alcohol and other drug workers funded by the Victorian Department of Health & Human Services.

The aims of the Victorian Minimum Qualification Strategy are to:

  • ensure that alcohol and other drug workers are appropriately and adequately trained and competent to do their jobs
  • increase the proportion of workers who have specific alcohol and drug or addiction qualifications.

The strategy’s implementation mechanisms provide a consistent approach to learning and skills development based on nationally recognised minimum competency standards.

The strategy came into effect in 2006 and applies to all alcohol and other drug treatment services workers funded by the Victorian Department of Health & Human Services.

The introduction of the strategy has increased the number of staff with relevant skills and qualifications working in the sector, with the majority meeting the minimum requirements in 2009. Compliance with the strategy has remained stable since 2009.

What the strategy means for drug and alcohol agencies

By supporting the strategy, employers contribute to the ongoing development of a consistently competent and professional workforce and to credibility of the field as a provider of specialist support and consultancy services to the broader health and welfare sector.

What the strategy means for drug and alcohol workers

New workers entering the sector without relevant qualifications must obtain a Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs to be eligible to work in an alcohol and other drug service funded by the department.

New workers entering the sector who have a health, social or behavioural science tertiary qualification are required to undertake the following core induction competencies, detailed in the Community Services Training alcohol and other drugs skill set:

  • Work Effectively in the Alcohol and Other Drugs Sector
  • Work with Clients who are Intoxicated
  • Assess Needs of Clients with Alcohol and/or Other Drugs Issues
  • Work Effectively in Mental Health Settings.

If a worker has an undergraduate degree, completing a specialised Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma in Alcohol and Other Drug Studies exceeds the minimum qualification.