Department of Health

Victoria’s Alcohol and Other Drugs Workforce Strategy 2018–2022

Key messages

  • Victoria’s alcohol and other drugs workforce strategy 2018–2022 supports and guides long-term workforce development and planning in Victoria’s alcohol and other drugs treatment sector.
  • Effective workforce development and planning means that a capable, supported and sustainable workforce will continue to meet the needs of people with alcohol and other drug issues and their families into the future.
  • This strategy has been developed to put in place a range of immediate actions that can be built on in subsequent years to improve recruitment, retention and the skills of the specialist AOD workforce.

The Victorian Government is committed to building the capability and capacity of the Victorian AOD workforce to ensure Victorians can experience their best possible health and wellbeing, free of substance-related harm.

People seeking help to address their substance use issues should reasonably expect a positive experience of the AOD service system. To achieve this, individuals experiencing substance-related harm and their families need to be supported by a highly skilled workforce.

About Victoria's alcohol and other drugs workforce strategy

Victoria’s alcohol and other drugs workforce strategy 2018–2022 sets the direction for workforce development and planning for Victoria’s alcohol and other drug treatment sector to 2022. Input from individuals, organisations and representative bodies within the sector has been central to determining this direction.

The strategy focuses on six Key Result Areas (KRAs):

  • KRA 1: Improve workforce availability
  • KRA 2: Build workforce capabilities
  • KRA 3: Increase workforce diversity
  • KRA 4: Improve worker health, wellbeing, safety and engagement
  • KRA 5: Strengthen leadership and collaboration
  • KRA 6: Deliver person-centred, integrated care

The strategy presents a new approach to workforce development and planning that reflects best practice, better data collection and planning. This approach promotes a capable and sustainable workforce with the necessary knowledge, attitudes, values and skills to deliver high-quality treatment that meets the needs of people with alcohol and other drug issues and their families, now and into the future.

About the implementation plan

The AOD Workforce Strategy has been developed in close consultation with the sector, primarily through the Sector Reference Group, and represents a comprehensive and timely plan focused on building a world-class AOD workforce. A commitment to work closely with the sector to identify and respond to workforce issues will underpin this strategy’s implementation.

The immediate priorities will be implemented across the next 12–18 months. In some cases, implementation has already commenced to provide immediate support to the AOD workforce. Activities identified as long-term strategies will need deeper exploration in partnership with the sector.

Delivering strong results within each KRA will ensure we achieve our workforce vision of a world-leading AOD sector that is focused on achieving the best health, wellbeing and safety for all Victorians. This achievement will be evidenced by all Victorians having better access to a capable workforce that delivers high-quality, integrated, person-centred services. Workers will enjoy safe, healthy and supportive work environments and improved engagement and role satisfaction. An evaluation framework will be developed in consultation with the Sector Reference Group.


Date published
16 Aug 2018

Reviewed 27 October 2022

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