Federation of Drug & Alcohol Practitioners
Substance Misuse Management in General Practice (SMMGP)

FDAP Qualifications: Drug & Alcohol Professional Certification

Criteria & Evidence

To be eligible for Certification as a Drug & Alcohol Professional (either Registered or Accredited status), practitioners must provide evidence of competence in each of nine compulsory National Occupational Standards (NOS) units, and one specialist option.

NOS units

DANOS compulsory units

  • Assess and act upon immediate risk of danger to individuals who have used alcohol and other substances [AB5.2014]
  • (Either) Carry out assessment to identify and prioritise needs in a substance misuse setting [AF2.2012] (or) Carry out comprehensive assessment for alcohol and other substances [AF3.2014]

Generic "core" compulsory units
(core "Health & Social Care" units from Level 3 NVQ in Health & Social Care)

  • Promote effective communication [SCDHSC0031]
  • Promote health, safety and security in the work setting [SCDHSC0032]
  • Develop your practice through reflection and learning [SCDHSC0033]
  • Promote the safeguarding of individuals [SCDHSC0035]

Other generic compulsory units
(from “Health & Social Care” & “General Health” NOS)

  • Develop effective relationships with individuals [SCDHSC0233]
  • Promote the rights and diversity of individuals [SCDHSC3111]
  • Make use of supervision [GEN36]

Specialist DANOS options

  • Support individuals who misuse substances [AB2.2012]
  • Enable access to services to those affected by someone else's use of alcohol or other substances [AB7.2014]
  • Raise awareness about substances, their use and effects [AD1.2012]
  • Develop and disseminate information and advice about health and social well-being [SCDHSC0438]
  • Test for alcohol and other substance use [AE1.2014]
  • Lead the service delivery planning process to achieve outcomes for individuals [SCDHSC0415]
  • Manage the prescription of controlled drugs for substance users [AH1.2014]
  • Supply injecting and other relevant equipment to individuals who use substances and facilitate safe disposal [AH3.2014]
  • Support individuals through detoxification programmes [AH7.2014]
  • Support individuals to take their medication as prescribed [GEN135]
  • Work with individuals to encourage a reduction in harmful alcohol consumption and drinking behaviour [AH10.2014]
  • Use recognised theoretical models to provide therapeutic support to individuals who misuse substances [AI1.2012]
  • Use recognised theoretical models to provide therapeutic support to groups of individuals who misuse substances [AI3.2012]

Evidence

There are three types of evidence of workplace competence against a particular NOS unit:

"Direct evidence" = Qualification based on an up-to-date (within three years) direct assessment of competence against a particular unit (or its exact equivalent), and validated by an independent, qualified NVQ assessor. 

"Complementary evidence" = An externally-validated, competence-assessed qualification, providing supportive evidence of someone’s competence in that unit.

"Workplace assessment" = An internal assessment of competence against the unit concerned, carried out by the person’s line manager/supervisor.

Only qualifications formally “recognised”by our independent Professional Certification Advisory Panel (PCAP) can be accepted as direct or complementary evidence of competence against a given unit.

For a map of the externally-validated evidence (direct or complementary) recognised by the PCAP, click on the link at the top right hand side of the page.

For more details on workplace assessments, click on the "workplace assessment" link at the top of the page.

Criteria

Accreditation

For the DANOS compulsory units, the four “core”generic compulsory units, and one option, the evidence required for Accreditation is:

  • Either - direct evidence;
  • Or - a workplace assessment AND complementary evidence.

For each of the three “other”generic compulsory units the evidence required for Accreditation is:

  • Either - direct evidence;
  • Or - a workplace assessment.

To be eligible for Accreditation, the applicant must have the required evidence for Accreditation for all nine compulsory units and their one option.

Registration

A practitioner who does not have all of the evidence required for Accreditation will be eligible for Registration if, for all nine compulsory units and their one option, they have:

  • Either - direct evidence;
  • Or - a workplace assessment.

Re-Certification

Certification is valid for three years. To be eligible for re-certification, a practitioner must: (i) have an up-to-date workplace assessment confirming their on-going competence; (ii) have held continuing FDAP membership since last certified.

Notes

Professionally qualified practitioners

Health and social care professionals

Being qualified to practise in the UK in a regulated health or social care profession (doctors, psychiatrists, pharmacists, nurses, BPS chartered psychologists, social workers, probation officers and youth workers), is recognised as complementary evidence for all four “core”compulsory units.

Health and social care professionals need to provide qualification evidence (direct or complementary) for the two DANOS compulsory units and their one optional unit only.

In addition, for health and social care professionals, any qualification in working with substance users, at Level 3 or above, will be accepted as meeting the qualification-based evidence requirements for the DANOS compulsory units and a number of optional units (including AB2.2012, SCDHSC0438 & SCDHSC0415).

To be Accredited, those health and social care professionals who already have a qualification in working with substance users need only confirm their competence through workplace assessments where required.

Teachers

As with health and social care professionals, being qualified to teach in the UK is recognised as complementary evidence towards all four “core”compulsory units.

UK-qualified teachers need to provide qualification evidence (direct or complementary) for the DANOS compulsory units and their one optional unit only.

Counsellors

Being Accredited as a Drug & Alcohol Counsellor by FDAP is recognised as complementary evidence for all nine compulsory units and the two counselling options (AI1.2012 and AI3.2012).

FDAP Accredited Counsellors do not need any additional qualifications to be eligible for Accreditation as a Drug & Alcohol Professional - and need only to confirm their competence in each of the units with workplace assessments where required. [NB There is no additional charge for those Accredited by FDAP as a Counsellor to become Accredited as a Drug & Alcohol Professional also.]

Being Accredited as a Counsellor by the BACP and being on the UK Register of Counsellors are each recognised as complementary evidence towards the four “core”compulsory units.

BACP Accredited and UKRC Registered Counsellors do not need only confirm their generic competence through a workplace assessment to be eligible for Accreditation as a Drug & Alcohol Professional, but will require additional qualifications in relation to the DANOS compulsory units and their specialist option.

Vocationally qualified practitioners

Those with Advanced Apprenticeship in Community Justice

(substance misuse pathway)

Being Accredited as a Drug & Alcohol Counsellor by FDAP is recognised as complementary evidence for all nine compulsory units and a number of options.

Practitioners awarded the Advanced Apprenticeship do not need any additional qualifications to be eligible for Accreditation as a Drug & Alcohol Professional - and need only to confirm their competence in each of the units with workplace assessments where required.

Those with NVQ at Level 3+ in Health & Social Care

An NVQ in Health & Social Care at Level 3 or above will provide the qualification evidence required for the four “core”compulsory units, and depending on the options taken, may also provide the qualification evidence required for the compulsory DANOS units and one or more optional units too.

To be eligible for Accreditation, practitioners with the Health & Social Care NVQ need additional qualification evidence only where any of the non-generic units required are not included in their NVQ itself.

Those with other NVQs at Level 3+ re working with people in health, social care or criminal justice settings

NVQ’s at Level 3+ in: Advice & Guidance; Care; Community Justice (working with victims, survivors & witnesses / working with offending behaviour); Counselling; Custodial Care / Healthcare; Health; Mental Health; Policing; Psychological therapies; Youth Justice Services; and Youth Work, are accepted as providing all of the complementary evidence required for the four “core”compulsory units not covered directly by the NVQ itself.

As with the Health and Social Care NVQ, to be eligible for Accreditation, practitioners with another relevant NVQ need additional qualification evidence only for any of the non-generic units not covered by their NVQ.

"Top up" evidence

There are a number of ways in which practitioners who already have most of the evidence they require for Accreditation can “top up”their qualification evidence for a small number of units where necessary.

The Awards and Certificates in Working with Substance Misuse (Levels 3 and 4) are nationally accredited NOS-based vocational qualifications. Applicants can select two to five units from a set of options (depending on the level and complexity of the units concerned).  

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