Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction

To support Canada’s substance use workforce, CCSA has put together a collection of resources and tools to support the understanding and use of our Technical and Behavioural Competencies for Canada’s Substance Use Workforce.

You can access the resources and tools in two ways:

  1. Navigate through the sections below to view all resources
  2. Use the quick filter to find specific resources

We have also developed a glossary for the entire set of competencies.

To share successes and lessons learned, and support uptake, we continue to collect stories about the impact, use and application of the competencies in the field. Let us know how you are using our resources by contacting us at

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Introduction to Workforce Competencies

Competencies are the measurable knowledge, skills and values a worker needs to perform effectively in a defined function or role. Understanding competencies helps people to identify what is needed to do their job well and to continuously improve their practice. We have identified competencies for the substance use workforce across four levels of proficiency.

Using competencies for the substance use workforce is an evidence-informed way to ensure workers provide consistent care across the wide range of backgrounds and settings in the substance use field, including among allied professionals who support this work.

A competency-based approach to workforce development in the substance use field improves the alignment of staff and roles with:

  • The needs and expectations of employers;
  • The type and setting of care delivered; and
  • Professional development goals.

In addition, our competencies for the substance use workforce support employers and service providers to embed competencies specific to the field into programs, practices, training and curriculum development.

In the sections below, you will find definitions of the Technical and Behavioural Competencies and resources and tools to help you develop a competency-based approach to Hiring and Performance Management.

Quick Filter

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