Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

International Credentialing Agency Recognizes SAPST at Annual Event

The leading organization for the testing and credentialing of professionals working in the fields of prevention and addiction recognized SAMHSA’s new Substance Abuse Prevention Skills Training (SAPST) at its annual meeting on October 13. The International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC) hosted a presentation on the SAPST, facilitated by Julie Hogan, co-director of SAMHSA’s Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies, which developed the training, and a member of the IC&RC Advisory Board.

The IC&RC sets international standards for competency-based certification programs for professionals engaged in the prevention and treatment of addictions. It represents a membership of 45,000 substance abuse counselors, clinical supervisors, and prevention specialists and is comprised of 76 member boards in 24 countries and 47 states and territories.  

The SAPST is a foundational course in prevention for early-career substance abuse prevention professionals, introducing them to the latest prevention concepts and skills. It was accredited by the IC&RC in August, signifying that the training meets the consortium’s criteria for preparing individuals to become Certified Prevention Specialists. “Having a standardized credential reassures the public that the certified prevention practitioners in their communities have the skills and knowledge necessary to carry out effective prevention work,” says Hogan. “The public is used to professional service providers, such as lawyers and doctors, having licenses. This is a step in that direction, and gives the prevention field more credibility as a profession.”

In her presentation, entitled Workforce Development Curriculum for Substance Abuse Practitioners, Hogan introduced the SAPST, explained its purpose, and provided her audience with background on how it was developed. She also reviewed the training content, which is designed to prepare substance abuse prevention practitioners to implement SAMHSA’s Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF), a five-step process to assess community prevention needs, build capacity to address those needs, and plan, implement, and evaluate prevention programs and strategies. “Because many of the people attending the presentation came from treatment backgrounds, they weren’t familiar with the SPF or how it might apply to their work. This was a good introduction for them,” she says.

“The field of prevention is moving toward requiring certification of its providers,” according to Hogan. “The fact that the IC&RC included a presentation on the SAPST in its annual event is significant. They are listening to states and agencies who want to see the level of certification increase.”

For more information contact:

Julie Hogan, Co-Director of the Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies,


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