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Victorian Government workforce development strategy

What qualifications do I need to work in the alcohol and other drug sector?

Professional education and training courses

Continuing professional development

Keeping up-to-date with what's happening in the alcohol and other drug sector 


The majority of information provided on this page is specific to Victorian alcohol and other drug (AOD) workers. For information about AOD training in other states and territories visit:

New South Wales: NADA (Network of Alcohol & Drug Agencies)

Queensland: QNADA (Queensland Network of Alcohol & Other Drug Agencies)

Tasmania: ATDC (Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Council of Tasmania)

South Australia: SANDAS (South Australian Network of Drug & Alcohol Services)

Northern Territory: Association of Alcohol and Other Drug Agencies NT (AADANT auspiced by NTCOSS)

Western Australia: WANADA (Western Australian Network of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies)


Victorian Government workforce development strategy

The Victorian Government has developed an Alcohol and Other Drug Workforce Development Strategy to make sure that everyone providing treatment within alcohol and other drug (AOD) services has access to relevant training and support.

Visit the Victorian Government's 'Workforce development' page to read about the Strategy and to look for their latest projects, opportunities and resources.

Change Agent Network (CAN)

The Change Agent Network (CAN) is a major Victorian Department of Health Workforce Development initiative established in 2014 and designed to assist in the reform process across all catchments. It is the first AOD Community of Practice uniting existing and emerging leaders in the Victorian AOD sector who are committed to developing and sharing leadership knowledge and expertise; to sharing values and principles around collaboration and evidence-based practice; and to generating and supporting culture and practice change.

What qualifications do I need to work in the alcohol and other drug sector?

In most cases the Certificate IV can also be credited toward a diploma-level qualification. The Diploma will require a higher level of specialist knowledge, skills and competencies in regard to laws affecting clients and the range of services available to them.

Workers who are new to the field, but who already hold a health, social or behavioural science-related tertiary qualification, must undertake AOD competencies as part of their induction or training plan.

Professional education and training courses

In February 2012, NCETA (National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction) released the Alcohol and Other Drug VET qualifications and training providers database. It includes details of the providers of alcohol and drug related vocational education qualifications, as at 30 August 2011. It includes publically funded Technical and Further Education Institutes (TAFEs) and industry based and private registered training organisations (RTOs).

Training in Victoria

The following Victorian organisations offer professional education and training courses, such as Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs Work, Diploma of Community Services (Alcohol, Other Drugs and Mental Health) and competency-based training.

Search their websites for 'alcohol and other drugs' for more details about courses offered by each organisation.


Visit, the database on Vocational Education and Training in Australia, to search for courses Australia-wide.

Visit the Victorian Government's 'Workforce development' page for more information on training, including post-graduate training and professional development.

Continuing professional development

There are many organisations that provide professional development to workers in the alcohol and other drugs field. It's a good idea to check their websites regularly so that you can take advantage of the training and resources offered. Find events.

Anex Anex offers an extensive training program which provides information and develops skills in preventing and reducing the harms associated with drug use. No matter where you are located, and your organisation background, Anex can provide training that will suit your needs. For information about the Anex training program, to book a training session or to discuss your particular needs, call Anex or email .

Dovetail offers a self-paced online course, and can advise workplaces on training and professional development on topics related to young people and alcohol and other drug use.

Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) enhances the AOD workforce throughout Australia through professional development, peer support and mentoring programs, on-site learning, and the development and implementation of best-practice models for intervention.

National Centre for Training on Addiction (NCETA) The workforce development section of the NCETA (National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction) website provides an overview of workforce development, including a glossary, frequently asked questions, publications and information about postgraduate grants.

National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools (Canada) offers a range of online courses and modules relevant to alcohol and other drug workers.

Network of Alcohol and Other Drug Agencies (NADA) has a wide selection of resources to help AOD agencies in planning their workforce development strategies.

Odyssey House Victoria is a major provider of AOD treatment services through residential and community based programs. They are a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) offering Community Services, Certificate IV/Diploma, secondary consultation, training and workshops.

ReGen is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) offering a range of specialised professional development training, which can be tailored to meet specific needs. sets out competencies, or units of competency, which are skills or knowledge, which workers are expected to be able to apply in order to operate effectively in their work.

Turning Point Alcohol & Drug Centre is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) and leading provider of education and training services in AOD work in Australia.

VACCHO Education & Training Unit in a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) offering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Courses.

Keeping up-to-date with what's happening in the alcohol and other drug sector

Subscribing to e-lists, newsletters and podcasts is a great way to keep up-to-date with what's happening in the alcohol and other drug sector. With regular updates delivered to your email inbox, you will always know the latest on the topics everyone is talking about. Seminars and events are a great opportunity for networking with other people working in your area.

Here are some of our favourites, just to get you started:


The Alcohol and Drug Foundation's online solution for the discovery and delivery of information on alcohol and drugs including reports, books, journal articles and more. It includes content from a range of collections and sources, including full text journals and online databases. Most material is free to browse, or join the library for your logon and password for access to full text.


Browse the events calendar for conferences, seminars, professional development courses suited to alcohol and other drug professionas.

Regular seminars

  • DrugInfo seminars. Free seminars for people working in the alcohol and other drug, and related sectors. These events allow for further discussion on the topics covered by our most recent Prevention Research and Prevention in Action. Invited speakers present their research findings or experiences in the field, and afterwards take part in a discussion with the audience. Most presentations are available online.
  • Talking Point alcohol and drug issues seminar series. An opportunity for discussion on a range of topical alcohol and drug issues. These forum-based seminars are designed to promote debate and build stronger links, understanding and cooperation between people working in the alcohol and drug field today. Watch online.

e-lists and alerts


Newsletters and regular publications




    Last updated: 21 June 2016

    Information you heard is intended as a general guide only. This audio is copyrighted by the Australian Drug Foundation. Visit for more