Quality care requires a competent workforce that is well trained, educated and skilled in appropriate services.
It is the position of IC&RC UK that regulatory and funding agencies, whether on the national or local level, as well as individual clients, should require prevention, substance use treatment, and recovery professionals be certified in order to ensure services are provided in an appropriate and ethical manner.
Ensuring the public’s safety
The most compelling reason to certify professionals is to ensure public safety. Qualified staff are an essential part of quality programmes. Further, IC&RC credentials establish a strong ethical code among prevention, substance use treatment and recovery professionals. This protects clients of services from other forms of professional misconduct, such as misappropriation of funds, misrepresentation of credentials, conflicts of interest, and discrimination. IC&RC requires all certified professionals obtain ethics-specific training and agree to adhere to a code of ethics.
Ethical practice demands accountability for private and public expenditures, and accountability dictates the need for staff who demonstrate proficiency with competency-based standards. This increases the likelihood that people will be served in a positive way. Credentialling aligns practice with rapid advancements in the field, keeping pace with new data. Meeting standards for certification insures that practitioners meet competency benchmarks. Substance abuse is widespread and costly to society, so the credentialling of professionals who work in the field is critical.
Prevention, substance use treatment, and recovery professionals also gain significant benefits by achieving and maintaining a practice credential. Not only are they able to demonstrate practice competencies in their daily work, but they become part of an international cadre of advocates for quality service delivery.
An IC&RC certificate on a practitioner’s wall shows the highest levels of competency. The certification also offers a ‘paper trail’ to minimise potential complications.
Through the continuing education required for renewal of certification, practitioners are able to maintain their knowledge, skills and abilities while staying abreast of new and emerging trends in the field. Continued skill development often leads to an enhanced career standing and the potential for greater advancement.