Key messages

  • The Department of Health and Human Services offers free training for medical practitioners, nurse practitioners and pharmacists who wish to be involved in the pharmacotherapy program.
  • All medical practitioners (and nurse practitioners with a notation for a category in which the prescribing of buprenorphine and naloxone is authorised) may prescribe buprenorphine and naloxone for up to five patients without the need to attend the one-day Module 2 Accredited Pharmacotherapy Training. 
  • For medical and nurse practitioners who want to increase buprenorphine and naloxone patient numbers or prescribe methadone, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) offers a one-day Module 2 training workshop.
  • The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) provides pharmacotherapy training to pharmacists.

Training is available for prescribers and dispensers participating in the opioid pharmacotherapy program. Participants who complete this pharmacotherapy training can earn continuing professional development points.

Training for prescribers

Two training modules are available for pharmacotherapy prescribers, delivered by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. 

Module 1 is an online module that provides prescribers with the information needed to safely prescribe opioids. Module 1 is a prerequisite to Module 2. 

Module 2 is a comprehensive day-long training workshop that outlines the benefits and risks of the opioid pharmacotherapy program, and teaches participants to recognise and respond to problematic opioid use and implement safe prescribing practices.  

All medical practitioners (and nurse practitioners with a notation for a category in which the prescribing of buprenorphine and naloxone is authorised) may prescribe buprenorphine and naloxone to up to five patients without completing Module 2. A brief guide to prescribing buprenorphine/naloxone is a step-by-step guide to prescribing buprenorphine or naloxone for practitioners who fall in this category. A brief video is also available to guide prescribers who fall in this category to assist with safely prescribing buprenorphine and naloxone. 

Completing Module 2 is essential for medical and nurse practitioners who want to increase buprenorphine and naloxone patient numbers or prescribe methadone.

Register for the training on the Royal Australian College of General practitioners website.

Training for dispensers

Two training modules are available for pharmacotherapy dispensers - pharmacists and their support staff - delivered by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia. 

Module 1

Module 1 is a a self-directed learning module, delivered either online or face-to-face. It covers all basic requirements of harm minimisation and opioid replacement therapy.  It takes about two hours to complete. Participants can do the training anytime, anywhere and at their own pace via a web browser.

Module 2

Module 2 is a three-hour workshop, delivered by a facilitator as an online webinar or face-to-face in a small group. Concepts learnt in Module 1 are reiterated, and the workshop provides practical tips and guidance for participants to apply the knowledge in their own workplace. Module 2 is also a motivational session to encourage pharmacies to provide the opioid replacement therapy services. 

Participants can choose to attend a one-day face-to-face seminar covering both modules, facilitated by a pharmacist experienced in harm minimisation. 

Find out more and enrol for the training on the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia website.

Contact details