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

FDAP Qualifications: Drug & Alcohol Professional Certification

Frequently Asked Questions

This section outlines answers to a number of frequently asked questions about our Drug & Alcohol Professional Certification scheme. If you would like further clarification on these, or any others issues, please contact us.

What is the purpose of FDAP's Drug & Alcohol Professional Certification?

Our Drug & Alcohol Professional Certification, under which workers can be either Registered or Accredited as a Drug and Alcohol Professional, is intended to provide practitioners with a way to have their competence and professionalism recognised throughout the field - and is widely seen as such by employers and commissioners (see overview page for some of the endorsements and messages of support for the scheme).

What's the difference between Registration and Accreditation?

Registration does not require any formal qualifications. You can be Registered as a Drug and Alcohol Professional on the basis of a workplace assessment alone. Registration provides a first step towards the demonstration of workplace competence.

To be Accredited as a Drug and Alcohol Professional you will need to have your competence backed-up by competence-assessed qualifications. Accreditation provides externally-validated evidence of workplace competence.

How does Certification link with FDAP's NCAC Counsellor Accreditation

Counselling is a specialist profession and FDAP's view is that anyone wishing to work as a counsellor needs to be accredited as a counsellor by a reputable accrediting body. Our NCAC Counsellor Accreditation is designed to provide a similar level of professional accreditation to that offered by the British Assocation for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) while taking account of the particular specialism of counsellors working in the substance use field.

Counsellors with FDAP's NCAC Accreditation are also eligible for Accreditation as a Drug & Alcohol Professional with an additional cost of 25 and no need for further qualifications.

How does the scheme work for people with Health & Social Care Professional Qualifications

Being qualified to practise in a regulated health or social care profession is 'recognised' as evidence towards Accreditation as a Drug & Alcohol Professional.

Health and Social Care Professionals who hold any qualification in the substance misuse field would generally be eligible for Accreditation as a Drug & Alcohol Professional, without the need for further qualifications, provided their competence was confirmed by a 'workplace assessment'.

How detailed does my 'workplace assessment' need to be?

Applicants do not need to produce a detailed portfolio of evidence to back up a workplace assessment of competence. We need your line manager / supervisor to assess your competence, to confirm that you are competent, and to outline the type of evidence on which their assessment is based (such as direct observation of your practice, supervision sessions, or information from appropriate third parties). We do not need them to provide us with the actual evidence on which they have based their appraisal.

See under Workplace assessment for more information.

What if I don't have the opportunity to demonstrate competence in a particular unit in my current job?

Because the requirements for different jobs vary, some people may not have the chance to demonstrate their competence in a given unit within their current position. As noted above, however, your line manager / supervisor may base their assessment of your competence in a particular unit on information from another position - such as a previous job or a temporary placement in another role.

What qualifications are 'recognised' as evidence of competence for the purposes of Accreditation?

Only qualifications which include a formal assessment of workplace competence covering all elements of a given NOS unit can be taken to provide evidence of competence in that unit. And to be accepted as evidence in support of an application for Accreditation, a qualification must have been 'recognised' as such by our Professional Certification Advisory Panel (PCAP).

For details of the qualifications recognised by the PCAP in relation to each unit, see under Criteria & evidence.

What do I do if I have a qualification which is not 'recognised' as evidence of competence?

Only qualifications which have been 'recognised' by our Professional Certification Advisory Panel (PCAP) will be accepted as evidence of competence in support of an application for Certification.

If you have a qualification which you believe should be 'recognised', you should first apply for Registered status and then submit details for the PCAP to review. If your submission for review is accepted by the PCAP and you then meet the requirements for Accredited status, your Certification will be upgraded accordingly.

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