Key messages

  • Victoria’s alcohol and drug workforce framework: strategic directions 2012-22 and the accompanying Implementation plan 2012-15 support and guide long-term workforce planning and development in Victoria’s alcohol and other drug treatment sector.
  • Effective workforce planning and development means that a capable, supported and sustainable workforce will continue to meet the needs of people with alcohol and other drug issues and their families into the future.
  • Significant progress has been made in the first three years of implementation of the framework.

It is important to develop and sustain a skilled, capable and professional alcohol and other drug workforce in Victoria. This goal is reflected in a range of key alcohol and other drug strategy and policy documents, including Victoria's alcohol and drug workforce framework: strategic directions 2012-22 and the accompanying Implementation plan 2012-15, released in 2012.

About Victoria's alcohol and drug workforce framework

Victoria's alcohol and drug workforce framework: strategic directions 2012-22 sets the direction for workforce planning and development for Victoria’s alcohol and other drug treatment sector to 2022. Input from individuals, organisations and representative bodies within the sector has been central to determining this direction.

The framework focuses on critical strategies for change. These strategies are organised according to four workforce planning and development domains: people, place, environment and performance.

The framework presents a new approach to workforce planning and development that reflects best practice, better data collection and more strategic planning. This approach promotes a capable and sustainable workforce with the necessary knowledge, attitudes, values and skills to deliver high-quality care that meets the needs of people with alcohol and other drug issues and their families, now and into the future.

About the alcohol and drug workforce implementation plan

In 2012, Victoria's alcohol and drug workforce framework: implementation plan 2012-15 established the priority activities to progress the vision and objectives of the framework to 2015.

The plan built on the strategic directions of the framework in the four domains: people, place, environment and performance. Each domain has a clearly defined goal, objectives and strategies that respond to the critical challenges and opportunities facing the workforce and the service system.

What the framework and implementation plan mean for the sector

The framework and implementation plan aim to achieve the following outcomes:

  • More people with the necessary attitudes, knowledge, values and skills are attracted to work in the sector.
  • The existing workforce is supported, developed and retained.
  • The workforce is well planned, based on distribution of the population and the needs of service users.
  • People with the necessary attitudes, knowledge, values and skills are available where and when they are needed.
  • Organisational culture supports and fosters positive working and learning environments.
  • Stronger leadership and governance exists at all levels.
  • The workforce delivers high-quality, evidence-based treatment and care.
  • A service system that is productive, effective and connected.

What the framework and implementation plan mean for workers

The framework and implementation plan support workers to realise their full potential through:

  • stronger supports within work settings and across the sector
  • better working environments
  • easier access to high-quality, evidence-based learning and development opportunities
  • promotion and reward of cultures of excellence and continuous learning
  • a greater sense of pride and professional identity in alcohol and other drug work
  • a stronger cross-system focus that supports new ways of working and learning across professions, teams and services.

Progress of framework and implementation plan

Significant progress has been made in the first three years of implementation of the framework.

A key achievement is the release of the 2013 Victorian Alcohol and Other Drug Workforce Survey findings, providing a snapshot of the workforce prior to the recommissioning of alcohol and other drug treatment services.

Professional development achievements are:

  • conducting a pilot project to increase alcohol and other drug student placement in the Eastern and Hume Regions
  • developing and promoting clinical practice guidelines to support high-quality supervision practice
  • establishing the alcohol and other drug Change Agent Network model to support new and emerging leaders, drive sector reform and advance evidence-based practice
  • developing a mental health and alcohol and other drug capability framework through extensive consultations with sector leaders, clients and carers to inform learning and development and drive service improvement
  • sharing rural workforce innovations in 12 case studies developed as part of the Rural Workforce Innovation Grant Program.

Training achievements are:

  • commencing a project to explore customisation of the capability framework to the youth alcohol and other drug workforce and to develop training to embed the capabilities into practice
  • delivering family-inclusive practice training in 2013 and commencing a cross-sector, family-inclusive practice project across the catchments in 2015
  • delivering culturally appropriate training for non-Aboriginal clinical supervisors of Aboriginal alcohol and other drug workers.

Achievements in developing cultural competence in the workforce include supporting full registrations for the Aboriginal alcohol and other drug workforce to attend the 2014 National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Conference and commencing a funded project to define and assess cultural competence in alcohol and other drug services.

Screening and assessment capability and recovery and care coordination has been enhanced by forming communities of practice and delivering best-practice screening and assessment training across the workforce.