The department has developed new Alcohol and other drugs (AOD) program guidelines (the guidelines) as part of its response to the Aspex review of the recommissioning of adult community-based AOD services.

The guidelines consolidate existing advice from the department and describe the purpose, target group and key service requirements for Victorian Government-funded AOD services and programs in three parts:

  • Part 1 - overview outlines the broad approach the department takes in relation to prevention, harm reduction and treatment.
  • Part 2 - program and service specifications outlines the service specifications for particular programs and services.
  • Part 3 - quality, reporting and performance management oulines key regulation and reporting requirements.

The guidelines are to be used to inform the delivery of funded programs and services that aim to reduce AOD-related harm. These programs and services also contribute to the department’s overall aim of improving the health and wellbeing of all Victorians.

They should also be used by Boards of Management of agencies delivering services and programs to contribute to continuous quality improvement processes and improving health outcomes for clients over time.


To inform the refinement of the guidelines, a consultation draft was developed and made available for comment in late 2016.  

Sector feedback on the consultation draft of the guidelines included approximately 35 submissions, including a submission from the Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association (VAADA) compiling sector feedback. Residential rehabilitation specifications were also refreshed in consultation with the sector over this period.

The guidelines have been refined based on this feedback and ongoing consideration by the Adult Community-based Alcohol and Other Drug Service Delivery Sector Reference Group and related stakeholders.

The guidelines were updated to reflect the December 2016 announcement about improving access to drug treatment by making changes to intake and assessment arrangements. They provide definitive information to the sector on a number of questions about intake and assessment that were raised during that consultation process.

Next steps

The guidelines will apply from 1 July 2017, when the new intake and assessment arrangements commence.

To provide certainty and consistency across the state in the transition to the new arrangements, the department will communicate key information available in the guidelines through the regular release of targeted factsheets.

The department will work with service providers to update the guidelines’ content as required.