The Substance Misuse Skills Consortium is an independent, sector-led initiative to harness the ideas, energy and talent within the substance misuse treatment field, to maximise the ability of the workforce, and to help more drug and alcohol misusers recover.

The Consortium will help the substance misuse treatment sector to:

  • Identify what the treatment workforce needs to promote and sustain better outcomes for service users, their families and communities
  • Review and develop initiatives to attract and retain the workforce
  • Equip practitioners and managers with the relevant skills

Consortium members include treatment providers, service users and carers, and professional and membership organisations for those working in substance misuse treatment. If you would like to join the Consortium, you can find out more here.



The Skills Consortium represents a significant opportunity for employers, clinicians, service users and others to develop a consensus on effective practice to achieve recovery, and to work together to equip the workforce to help service users succeed in treatment.

Paul Hayes, NTA chief executive

The creation of the Skills Consortium was driven by a desire to make the workforce best able to deliver effective recovery-orientated practice. There’s a massive amount of ideas, energy and talent within the treatment and wider workforce and the Skills Consortium is the ideal forum for this to come together for discussion and skill sharing.

Viv Evans, chair of the Substance Misuse Skills Consortium



The terms of reference for the Consortium are available here.


A large number of substance misuse treatment organisations met with the NTA in 2009 to consider ways to maximise the skills of the workforce and how the sector might drive this process. A core group then developed proposals for the consortium's constitution and a drug misuse treatment skills framework.

A meeting in June 2010 agreed that the Consortium should be simply but formally constituted as an independent network, closely supported by the NTA during its evolution over the next year to 18 months. This meeting also endorsed the proposed ‘Skills Framework’ as a basis for the work of the Consortium. The framework is a conceptual model of drug treatment and constitutes a consensus on effective treatment. The framework was also endorsed by the stakeholder group and agreed as the basis of an online resource for practitioners and managers.

In 2012 the running of the Skills Consortium’s was taken over by Adfam, DrugScope and the Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals (FDAP). These three organisations work together to deliver standalone projects, facilitate the running of Consortium’s Executive and working groups and maintain the Skills Hub and the Drug and Alcohol Matrices.


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