Defining Practitioner Competencies Required for Co-Occurring Disorders Treatment
The basis for workforce development is to develop practitioner competencies in co-occurring disorder treatment. Some states have found that it is helpful to define basic, intermediate, and advanced competencies.
A workgroup can be created to tackle this task. Workgroup representation may include service agency administrators, practitioners, individuals with co-occurring disorders and other key stakeholders. A workgroup can be charged with developing guidelines and/or competency checklists. Available competency lists for co-occurring disorders can be used as a reference for beginning the process. Examples include:
- Competency assessment tools (e.g., the Co-Occurring Disorders Educational Competency Assessment Tool [CODECAT™])
- Oregon Co-occurring Disorder Competency Checklist Guidelines
The purpose of a competency checklist is to provide a tool for clinical supervision that determines the proficiency of practitioners who provide integrated services. The competency checklist provides guidance for assessing performance.
Defined competencies can be incorporated into:
- Existing job descriptions
- Training plans
- Supervision meetings
- Personnel evaluation
- Credentialing and licensure
The goal is for all practitioners to attain basic competencies to serve individuals with co-occurring mental and substance use disorders. Set an expectation that all practitioners can provide basic services such as conducting integrated screening for co-occurring disorders and providing coordinated care.
Intermediate and advance competencies include skills for providing evidence-based interventions and knowledge of psychotropic medications. Clearly defining competencies and practitioner roles creates a common language and a common framework for collaborative work when working across systems.
Resources and Links
Pennsylvania Co-Occurring Disorder Competency Approval Criteria Bulletin, which includes Interpretive Guidelines for the Co-Occurring Disorder Competency Approval Criteria Bulletin
Oregon's checklist provides a tool for clinical supervision that determines the proficiency of clinical practitioners who provide treatment services for both mental health and substance abuse programs.
The CODECAT presents principles for the treatment for co-occurring disorders, identifies the expected clinician core competencies associated with each principle, and provides a format for either supervisory evaluation or clinician self-evaluation of these competencies.
Overview of purpose of licensure and certification