Presentations from conferences and PowerPoint presentations from various training and events can be found here.

General resources can be found on this page but if you are looking for research resources and reports, they can be found here.


ATDC held Crystal Methamphetamine (ICE) training in 2015 and the following resources can be found below.


The following resources may be useful for the professional development and for interest for ATOD workers.

Drugs and the Workplace

The Drug Education Network has produced a resource on the topic of Drugs and the workplace.  This resource is designed to provide clear straightforward information on how to minimise harms of drug use in the workplace including alcohol and prescription medications as well as cannabis and amphetamine.   It can be used as a workplace induction resource  and is designed for varying levels of literacy.

DRINK THING - Alcohol and You

DRINK THING is the culmination of collaboration between the Department of Health and Human Services led by the Mental Health, Alcohol and Drug Directorate with assistance from DHHS Communications, the Departments of Education and Police, Fire and Emergency Management, the Alcohol and Drug Services and the Drug Education Network through the cross-agency steering committee.  A range of stakeholders, including young people were consulted to ensure that the content and features of DRINK THING are current, and most of all relevant to young people.

DRINK THING is for young people, their friends, parents, schools and other professionals, to assist them to learn more about the harms associated with alcohol use. It contains safer drinking tips if young people choose to drink and specific information pages for parents, schools and health professionals working with young people.  It also provides information on support services and a contact/referral page direct to the State Alcohol and Drug Services from the Get Help page.

Please check out DRINK THING by visiting and using it with your clients. For more information or to obtain a poster or fact sheet please contact the Mental Health, Alcohol and Drug Directorate by emailing and putting Drink Thing in the subject heading.

Tackling Indigenous Smoking Portal

A new Tackling Indigenous Smoking portal has been launched as part of the Health Department’s Tackling Indigenous Smoking (TIS) Programme. Produced by Edith Cowan University’s Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet, the portal is one component of the program run by the National Best Practice Unit for Tackling Indigenous Smoking (NBPU TIS) of which the HealthInfoNet is a partner.

The free-to-access online portal is the ‘go to’ place for Tackling Indigenous Smoking Workers to access the Tackling Indigenous Smoking Resource and Information Centre (TISRIC). These include tools and resources to plan, monitor and evaluate programs, as well as examples of evidence-based activities that work. It also contains a comprehensive collection of videos and programs, and workforce information such as conferences, jobs, courses and other events. Read more here.

Working with CALD Communities Posters

Drug and Alcohol Multicultural Education Centre’s (DAMEC) Australia-wide AOD workforce survey provides new insights into the standards and practices currently undertaken at AOD programs to address known access-barriers for people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities.
Key findings are represented in posters.The first poster covers how Australian AOD programs promote themselves and how they identify CALD clients attending programs. Read more here.

The second poster covers workforce development, training, interpreter access and bilingual roles, as well as suggestions from the workforce on how the sector could improve. Read more here.

Alcohol Cultures Framework

By defining alcohol culture and providing a lens for designing and implementing programs, public health workers and others with an interest in shifting drinking cultures can use the Alcohol Cultures Framework as a planning tool to reduce alcohol-related harm. Visit the website for more information.

Hepatitis C Quick Reference Flipchart

This excellent resource developed by Hepatitis NSW has recently been updated and provides information in a quick one-stop manner. Read more here.

Evaluating Suicide Prevention Programs

The Suicide Prevention Resource Center facilitated two separate virtual communities of learning (CoLs) for tribal and state Garrett Lee Smith (GLS) suicide prevention grant evaluators during fiscal year 2015. The purpose of the CoLs was to support local evaluation efforts by providing evaluators with opportunities to engage in peer-to-peer discussions, share local evaluation strategies and resources, and brainstorm solutions to local evaluation challenges encountered in their programs. Find resource here.

Preventing and Reducing Alcohol and other Drug Related Harm among Older People

Peninsula Health’s Older Wiser Lifestyles (OWL) program, Australia’s first older adult AOD specific service partnered with the National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA) to develop a practical guide that outlines the increasing risk of alcohol and other drug (AOD) harms among this cohort. Many of these individuals may not attend traditional AOD treatment services. AOD services and the wider community of healthcare providers may need to adapt their services to meet the needs of this emerging cohort.

The guide provides health and welfare workers with practical advice on how to reduce alcohol and other drug-related harms among older people. Services may need to increase their capacity to identify and engage with this population.

A copy of the guide is available for download free of charge here or at

Earlier this year NCETA hosted the Grey Matters Conference in Adelaide and are keen to explore ways to enhance the capacity of AOD services to identify and engage with older adults; and meet the needs of this population.

Touch Base

Touch Base – AOD online resource for Australians who identify as LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex) 

Australian Indigenous Alcohol and Other Drugs Knowledge Centre

The Australian Indigenous Alcohol and Other Drugs Knowledge Centre website provides a wealth of information and resources for workers in the alcohol and other drugs sector.

Alcohol: a toolkit for improving care

The Royal College of Emergency Medicine has released a toolkit for improving care of patients with alcohol related issues. The toolkit can be found here.

The aims of the toolkit are:

1. Promotion of best practice in the area of alcohol management – methods of screening and complete management of the patient with alcohol related illness and injury in EDs.

2. Advancement of safe and effective care in this area – advising on approaches on how to care for this subset of patients and sharing best practice with the use of medications.

3. Education and training of Emergency Medicine doctors – by provision of guidelines and advocating training.

Operational aims:

1. Identification and Brief Advice – to have a system of alcohol screening in EDs across the UK so that Brief Intervention is followed by input from Alcohol Nurse Specialists.

2. Departmental Alcohol Care Team – to develop a framework for establishing Alcohol Services within EDs incorporating Alcohol Nurse Specialists.

3. Alcohol Champions – to have a Consultant as an ‘Alcohol Champion’ for their ED/Trust, to lead on the management of alcohol related illness and injury in the ED/Trust.

4. Tackle re-attenders – to reduce alcohol attendances to the ED with strategies for frequent alcohol related re-attenders.

Suicide Assessment Kit

A new resource to help treatment providers manage drug and alcohol clients’ high suicide risk has been developed by NDARC’s Professor Shane Darke and Dr Joanne Ross in partnership with the Network of Alcohol and Other Drug Agencies (NADA). The Suicide Assessment Kit (SAK) and accompanying videos are now available for download from the NDARC website.

The Australian Treatment Outcome Study led by Professor Darke and Professor Maree Teesson found that almost half of long-term heroin users have previously attempted suicide, whereas only 3.2% of the general Australian population reported a suicide attempt in their lifetime. Furthermore, one in 10 heroin users reported current suicidal ideation and one in 20 had a suicide plan. Read the NDARC news story here.

Enhance Skills in Recognising and Responding to Complex Trauma

This three-part series saw an interdisciplinary panel of leading experts explore, through the discussion of a case study, how they could support people who have, or may be have been exposed to or experienced childhood abuse.

Managing Organisational Change

Organisational Change

There is nothing permanent except change.   Heraclitus

The speed and magnitude of change seems ever increasing and to remain relevant and viable, organisations need to respond to, embrace and implement appropriate change. The ATOD sector is faced with the necessity to change work practices and procedures based on internal pressures for change, such as the need to improve work practices and procedures which are not working well, and external pressures for change such as government policy and funding decisions, the increasing availability of new evidence to inform work practice and the development of new guidelines and reporting requirements.

Organisational change that is not well planned and managed can result in less than optimal results and a host of unintended and unhelpful consequences that create a negative workplace culture and extra work for management.

To introduce change effectively requires:

  • Thinking it through: develop a clear vision of what the change is, why it is required and what is required to achieve it. It is essential to consider not only organisational procedures but the impact on staff.
  • A Shared Vision: get people on board by helping them to understand the nature of the change and the impact on them. Readiness for change and “Ownership” of the change will achieve better outcomes than imposed change – get people involved and keep them involved.
    Communicating: regularly and repeatedly, promptly, clearly, carefully, enthusiastically, optimistically, truthfully, empathically, through many different channels, why, when, how, what. As much as you can.
  • Addressing People’s Concerns: your organisation cannot function without staff, so provide opportunities through multiple channels and on multiple occasions for staff to express their concern; actively LISTEN to them. Resistance is natural, but should not be ignored. Acknowledge, value and validate concerns and work with individuals to gain and maintain their support.
  • Developing the Action Plan: pull together the team that will drive the change. Involve change agents – credible and trusted staff from across the organisation, and other relevant stakeholders, in developing and managing the change process. Consider the use of small scale trials. Identify all resources required to implement the change. Include appropriate incentives and rewards for contributing to measurable milestones and empower all staff to work towards them.
  • Creating a Climate of Certainty: give people a chance to farewell the old ways to help them move forward. Let them know what will not change and keep them informed about what will change, and how it will change. Keep communicating, keep listening, enthusiastically “walk the talk”. Set short term, realistic targets for which you can provide feedback and reward successful progress.
  • Monitoring Progress: seek employee feedback and be prepared to incorporate their suggestions for improvement. Keep up the momentum and enthusiasm during the sometimes unproductive transition period to the new ways. Consolidate the changes, integrating them into the organisation’s systems. Provide reward and share credit and recognition where it is due.

For more information:

Organisational Change from NCETA’s Workforce Development “Tips”.

Watch the video here.

Cole, K “Management Theory and Practice”

Using goal setting to support ATOD workers and teams

Setting goals and monitoring and supporting workers and teams to achieve those goals is a powerful technique in helping to build a productive and cohesive workplace culture.

Effective goals are those that are:

  • Specific and challenging

The goals need to be realistic and identify exactly what is to be achieved, in what timeframe and require some change in current practice to achieve them.  They need to involve both quantity and quality of work and desirably will involve measurable client outcomes.

  • “Owned” and supported by workers

Ideally, workers are involved in setting the goals.  At least the benefits of the goal must be “sold” to the workers and their involvement in the strategies to best achieve the goals is sought.

  • Supported with feedback, reward and recognition

Workers benefit from feedback on how they are progressing towards both shorter term objectives/targets or milestones, as well as the larger goal.  Slow progress needs to be addressed constructively.  Recognising and rewarding achievement of both short term objectives and long term goals helps to reinforce the value of the worker and maintain their motivation and satisfaction.

  • Receiving sufficient support and resources

Workers need clinical supervision, where appropriate, and a working environment and conditions that are conducive to achieving the goals.

  • Supported by ensuring adequate worker knowledge, skill and ability to achieve them

If professional development is needed in order to achieve the change in work practices, identify plans to achieve this and support the application of new or enhanced skills within the work environment.

For more information on goal setting, refer to chapter 5 in NCETA’s Theory Into Practice Strategies, which expands on these points, and provides a useful checklist and template.

Professional Development – Getting your money’s worth!

If you are spending money on opportunities to develop knowledge, skills and competencies, either your own or those of your staff, are you sure that it will result in improved client outcomes?

Working backwards from the improved client outcomes you would like to achieve:

  • Will the service that is delivered to clients improve?
  • Will staff retention improve?
  • Will staff have the opportunity to change their work practices and improve their performance?
  • Will staff gain increased skills, confidence and motivation?

You can help to ensure that these outcomes are more likely by taking a systematic approach to professional development.

Conduct a needs assessment for your organisation

Using your strategic plan and identifying client outcomes, clearly articulate the organisation, team and worker actions that are required to achieve these outcomes, and the knowledge, skills, attitudes and competencies (KSAC) needed to effectively achieve these goals.

Then undertake an audit of these KSAC – identifying, for each KSAC, who needs them, who has them and who needs further development in them.

Set goals for professional development

With each staff member, set specific, challenging, achievable targets

Develop a professional development plan

Documentation should include the program’s aims and objectives, the performance standards required of staff and the resources required

Identify and implement professional development activities

These can include not only formal education and training but also a range of in-house activities such as mentoring, clinical supervision, study groups, site visits, online learning and work placements which utilise the skills and knowledge already within the organisation.

Evaluate the outcomes

Identify whether goals have been achieved; whether the program has had impact on work practice and delivery of client services.

Enhancing work practice changes

Since the aim of professional development is for workers to transfer their new knowledge and skills to the workplace, it is important to recognise the factors that will impact upon this

  • Supportive supervisors
  • Supportive co-workers
  • An organisational culture with flexible procedures which support changes in work practice
  • Managers and supervisors provide support, recognition, incentives and reward for implementing positive changes
  • Organisational goals and strategies are supported by procedures that support training and training transfer

Well planned and supported professional development has the capacity to improve worker performance, wellbeing and retention and implement more effective organisational change.  Are you using it well?

For more information and resources and tools to support professional development, download NCETA’s Theory into Practice: Professional Development

How to write great case notes

What are case notes?

Put simply, case notes (sometimes also called file notes, client records or chart notes) are a record about a client’s treatment. They may be electronic or paper-based and, by law, must be kept secure and private. Case notes allow us to document who did what and why, providing accountability for clients, clinicians and services.

How do case notes help clinicians and services?

Case notes have many benefits for clinical work:

  • They provide a record of treatment goals and can be used to monitor progress
  • They provide a space to reflect on treatment and outcomes
  • They allow us to document events or important information that we might otherwise forget. This can be especially important if you are working in a team or, for some reason, you can no longer see your client and a colleague needs to know what has been going on.

Case notes can also provide an important safety net for clients and clinicians alike if legal issues arise. Legal issues include clients going to court, clients attempting or completing suicide or homicide, and clients or services making a complaint about a clinician. Although these issues are not common, when they do occur the consequences can be devastating if case notes are not up to date and written well. If a complaint were made, for example, your case notes will allow you to show that you have met your duty of care responsibilities.

What are the barriers to good case note writing?

There are a number of barriers to case note writing:

  • In a busy clinic, it is sometimes difficult to find the time and space to write case notes as time is not often specifically allocated for this important activity
  • If case notes are not completed very soon after a session, it may be difficult to recall the session in detail and important information may be omitted
  • Balancing service delivery and administrative tasks can be challenging and some clinicians may view case note writing as a barrier to therapeutic alliance, an administrative burden, or a low priority activity, while others may be fearful that their notes could be used against them
  • Many clinicians have never been trained to write good case notes.

How do case notes help clients?

Clients can become pessimistic about their treatment, sometimes feeling as though they are not making progress. By recording outcomes in case notes, it is easier to show your client the progress they have made and to strengthen their commitment to continue. Case notes also allow us to see whether the client is making progress or not and to change treatment if necessary, ensuring that treatment is always tailored to individual clients.
How to improve your case notes?

Step 1: The legal stuff

Every state and territory in Australia has in place legislation, regulations and policies that create the framework for expected standards for case note writing and storage. Case note standards are governed by:

  • National laws (e.g. National Privacy Principles under Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988)
  • State laws (e.g. Victorian Health Records Act 2001, Information Privacy Principles under Victorian Information Privacy Act 2000, NSW Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002)
  • Professional association codes of of conduct (e.g. Health Profession’s Registration Act, APA, AASW etc.)
  • Funding agreements

It’s important that you find out which laws and policies relate to case note writing in your area. Regardless of your practice location, however, the principles of case note writing are the same and relate to the management of personal health information.

  • There are four areas of health information management that are covered by the various laws these include:The collection of client information (i.e. the circumstances under which you are allowed to collect and record information from clients)
  • The use and disclosure of that information (i.e. what you are allowed to do with it and who/when you are legally allowed to share it with)
  • Access and correction of the information (i.e. who can access the information and how this can be done, how you are legally permitted to correct errors and the circumstances under which a client can apply to have information about them corrected)
  • Standards of quality, security and retention (i.e. how long it is kept for) of the information.

Step 2: Good writing

Good writing in terms of structure, style, grammar, choice of words and so on can make a big difference to the quality of case notes. This may seem obvious to you but research shows that these things are not being done as well as they could be and there is always room for improvement.

It’s also good to know who you are writing for. The general rule of thumb is that case notes and reports should be clear and easily understood in style and content by anyone who reads them. When writing client reports, however, various factors about the intended audience can be considered and your writing modulated to reflect these things, such as assumed knowledge of the intended readers, their area of expertise or training, how much time they are likely to have to read the report, the style of reports they are used to reading and so on. Therefore, your case notes and reports need to be clear and easily understood by all readers. Writing with simplicity and clarity, using appropriate language and correct grammar is essential.

Step 3: Finding a useful format

One way to help improve your case notes is to use a structured format. The theory behind using a format is that it helps clinicians target their interventions to meet a client’s specific treatment needs or goals. Using a format highlights key information quickly – how many times have you had to read a case note while on triage or on-call duty and you could not find the key information you needed? All of the structured formats have been developed from the problem-orientated method known as ‘POM’. Formats include:

  • SOAP (subjective data, objective data, assessment and plan)
  • DAP (data, assessment and plan)
  • DAT (data, assessment and treatment)
  • Generic (Topic of discussion, current effective/emotional state, change to initial diagnosis/assessment, progress towards treatment goals. risk assessment, homework)
  • Narrative (Essentially a free form case note, narrative case notes have the ability to ‘tell the story’ of a client and can be useful if there is something detailed to record).

There are some positives and negatives to a Freeform vs. POM approach but, in general, case note formats can be used by clinicians working within any treatment model.

It is important that services have a clear policy in relation to case notes, and that clinicians know about and understand the legal and professional obligations under which they complete case notes. By improving your case note writing, you are assuring a quality service to your clients, improving your clinical practice, and creating an enduring record of care that can be used with confidence in any clinical or legal setting should the need arise.

Created by and published with the permission of LeeJen Health Consultants

Workplace English Language Literacy and Numeracy Kit

This comprehensive and easy-to-use Workplace English Language and Literacy (WELL) resource kit is mapped up to Level 3 against the Australian Core Skills Framework, it is contextualised to the Community Services and Health industries, but flexible enough to be used in other industries.

The resource is ideally suited for supporting Core Skills in the workplace without the specific need for a Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) expert.

Click here for more information.

Funding Sources for Training

Skills Fund

The Skills Fund program provides subsidised training via a range of options to suit the needs of industry and individuals.

Adult Literacy Program

26TEN aims to improve the literacy and numeracy levels of adult Tasmanians. It seeks to encourage action by the whole state through increasing the awareness and understanding of literacy issues and the importance of clear communication. 26TEN provides support and programs to improve literacy and numeracy levels and the use of plain English in Tasmanian businesses and communities, including through the 26TEN grants program.

Australian Apprenticeships (Traineeships)

Who? new employees or existing employees who do not have a current/relevant qualification at Certificate III or higher.

More Information:

Click here to see more about  Traineeships on the ATDC website.

Industry Skills Fund

The Industry Skills Fund (the Fund) assists industry to invest in training and support services and to develop innovative training solutions. The fund will help build a highly skilled workforce that can take advantage of new business growth opportunities and adapt to rapid technological change.

How to get the most from clinical supervision

LeeJenn Health Consultants offer useful advice on how to be a good supervisee and get the most from clinical supervision.

Supervision benefits practitioners and clients in quite a number of ways. It provides support  by allowing a space to share concerns, solve problems in therapy and share clinical responsibility; provides a learning environment to learn new and strengthen existing skills, and it helps workers to grow both professionally and personally and improve their practice.
Most of the material written about supervision relates to supervisors, and supervisors do have considerable responsibility for how supervision is conducted. On the other hand, supervisees need to take responsibility for their own supervision. It’s not something that’s ‘done’ to them, rather they’re highly active in the process.
To get the most from clinical supervision, you as the supervisee need to:

1) Plan

Planning for supervision means choosing a supervisor who is right for you, using supervision to support your career path, and planning for the small things like where, when and how supervision will take place.

2) Prepare

Prepare for supervision by reading materials and keeping a record of issues you want to cover in supervision. Some workers keep a log book or journal for this purpose. Being prepared also means being committed to being open and honest about your work with the supervisor and yourself.

3) Be willing

Being willing to learn and participate actively in both the supervision session and the process of supervision is vital for successful supervision. It’s your time, so use it wisely.

4) Apply

Just as we encourage clients to apply skills learnt in therapy to their lives, you’ll get the most from clinical supervision when you apply what you’ve learnt in supervision to your day to day work.

5) Review

A commitment to actively monitoring and reflecting on your own work gives you an opportunity to acknowledge your professional growth and to identify areas that need more development. Supervision is a dynamic process and regular review is important

Click here for LeeJenn’s online training ‘Getting the most from clinical supervision‘. This 3 hour training session, with downloadable workbook, costs just $39.

Contact details:

1300 988 184