Achieving professional practice change: From training to workforce development


Ann M. Roche PhD, Director, Ken Pidd PhD, Deputy Director, Toby Freeman PhD, Senior Research Officer. Professor Ann Roche, National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction, Level 3B, Mark Oliphant Building, Laffer Drive, Bedford Park, SA 5042, Australia. Tel: +61 8 8201 7575; Fax: +61 8 8201 7550; E-mail:


Issues. The traditional approach to increasing the capacity of health and human service professionals to deliver alcohol, tobacco and other drug interventions has been to build relevant knowledge, skills and attitudes through the provision of education and training. However, as a stand alone strategy, education and training is likely to have limited impact. Approach. This paper examines not only the features and characteristics of successful training programs and approaches, but also the wider array of systems and structural factors that might act as impediments to the implementation of new knowledge, skills and clinical behaviours. Key Findings. There is a constellation of factors that extend beyond traditional notions of ‘training’ that fall under the rubric of ‘workforce development’. Implications and Conclusions. A workforce development approach requires three levels of action—system-wide, capacity building and professional development to ensure effective responses. [Roche AM, Pidd K, Freeman T. Achieving professional practice change: From training to workforce development. Drug Alcohol Rev 2009;28:550–557]