Comorbidity treatment service model evaluation

Staff training, skills and supervision in assessment, treatment and specialisation

Page last updated: August 2009

Staff training and professional development are generally recognised as contributing to the quality and effectiveness of treatment. Of the 17 surveyed services, 16 noted that staff are required to undertake continuing professional development. The training opportunities available included study leave, in-house training, workshops, seminars, forums, conferences, mentoring, clinical supervision and induction/orientation (see Table 24 below).

Most services reported that during the previous 12 months staff had received more than five days of professional training. One respondent noted that on average staff receive 10 days of professional training per year. One service indicated that other training required by the government funding body (i.e. training in regard to an electronic health information system) has limited the provision of professional training days.

Overall, the amount of professional training available to staff can be considered as generous. See Table 25 below for detail.

With one exception, services reported that some or all of their staff had received training in identification and treatment of clients with comorbid problems. Respondents listed a broad range of training, including workshops (e.g. on specific mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, self-harming), courses at TAFE and university level, and NADA dual diagnosis training (in NSW). Five services noted that all staff, or all clinical staff, had received such training. For example, one respondent commented that AOD staff receive external clinical supervision from an AOD specialist service and mental health mentoring from a general practice network.

One respondent reported that he has provided such training to regional and other stakeholders since 1998, and that he wrote the state's 'Dual Diagnosis Initiative Screening Guidelines for screening for mental health and substance use disorders'. Further, he noted that 'all regional Clinical Mental Health workers receive training in screening for SUDS as part of routine annual competencies training'.

Table 24: Training opportunities

Table 24 is presented as a list in this HTML version for accessibility reasons. It is presented as a table in the PDF version.

Response frequency for training opportunities:
  • In-house training - 16
  • Workshops, seminars, forums - 16
  • Study leave - 15
  • Conferences - 13
  • Mentoring - 11
  • Clinical supervision - 5
  • Induction/orientation - 1

Table 25: Number of days of professional training during the previous 12 months

Table 25 is presented as a list in this HTML version for accessibility reasons. It is presented as a table in the PDF version.

Response frequency for number of days of professional training during the previous 12 months:
  • Less than one day - 0
  • One to three days - 1
  • Four or five days - 7
  • More than five days - 9
  • Total - 17
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