Unit of competency details

HLTAHW420B - Provide information and strategies in substance misuse (Release 1)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
1 1 (this release)Current 25/Mar/2011

Usage recommendation:
The Deleted usage recommendation was implemented on 13 June 2017 to describe training components that have no replacement. Enrolments in training components and statements of attainment or qualifications issued before 13 June 2017 are valid. For any components marked as deleted after 13 June 2017, the applicable transition/teach-out periods apply. For specific questions regarding the enrolment, delivery or issuance of a statement of attainment/qualification, please contact your training regulator.
DeletedDeleted from HLT07 Health Training Package07/Dec/2015

Training packages that include this unit


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 061305 Indigenous Health  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 061305 Indigenous Health  04/Nov/2011 
The content being displayed has been produced by a third party, while all attempts have been made to make this content as accessible as possible it cannot be guaranteed. If you are encountering issues following the content on this page please consider downloading the content in its original form

Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor

Unit Descriptor 

This unit describes the competencies required to conduct health promotion related to substance misuse as part of primary health care services for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander communities

Specific advice provided may be limited by close supervision or established guidelines in line with community needs and health provider guidelines

Application of the Unit


This unit is intended to address skills and knowledge required by those working with Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander communities to deliver primary health care services at Certificate IV level

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not Applicable


Not Applicable

Employability Skills Information

Employability Skills 

This unit contains Employability Skills

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements define the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

The Performance Criteria specify the level of performance required to demonstrate achievement of the Element. Terms in italics are elaborated in the Range Statement.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Promote the prevention of substance misuse 

1.1 Consider identified community and individual client needs in determining priorities and potential areas to be addressed by substance misuse information 

1.2 Provide accurate information about the incidence, impacts and social/psychological context of substance misuse in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander communities

1.3 Provide health information regarding substance misuse in plain language and use visual aids where appropriate

1.4 Discuss risk factors relating to substance misuse in the context of local, cultural, community, family and individual issues

1.5 Provide information on relevant legislation relating to the sale, supply and/or use of alcohol, tobacco and scheduled or illegal drugs in line with community requirements

1.6 Identify and evaluate services relating to substance use/misuse available to the community

1.7 Provide practical advice relating to management and prevention of substance misuse in line with community needs and organisation guidelines

2. Provide support to clients involved in substance misuse

2.1 Identify appropriate intervention and support for clients involved in substance misuse in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander communities in line with organisation guidelines and community requirements

2.2 Provide guidance about health issues related to substance misuse in line with community needs and organisational guidelines

2.3 Use culturally appropriate educational resources for substance misuse in programs

2.4 Provide information about resources available in the community and state in relation to addressing substance misuse

2.5 Make appropriate referrals for clients involved in substance misuse in line with organisation guidelines

2.6 Maintain confidentiality to reflect community and organisation guidelines

3. Follow up clients involved in substance misuse

3.1 Organise follow-up care for clients involved in substance misuse using computer and/or paper based registers

3.2 Identify social and environmental factors that impact on substance misuse and address them in partnership with the Aboriginal community and other agencies

Required Skills and Knowledge


This describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level required for this unit.

Essential knowledge :

The candidate must be able to demonstrate essential knowledge required to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

This includes knowledge of:

  • Patterns of alcohol and other substance use:
  • traditional and contemporary perceptions of health as perceived by aboriginal people
  • drug use in traditional Aboriginal culture and the impact of European settlement on the same, for example petrol sniffing
  • reasons for and the effects of alcohol bans (before 1967) imposed on aboriginal people
  • drugs which result in the most drug related deaths in Australia
  • factors which affect alcohol, tobacco and other drug use (availability, cost, the effect of the drug in the body, social factors, gender, customs)
  • commonly used drugs in the Aboriginal community and relationship to age and gender
  • effects of excessive alcohol consumption on the community
  • social/psychological context of substance taking
  • Range of potential AOD harms, the 7L's model
  • Thorley's model of patterns of AOD use
  • Aboriginal interaction model
  • Social learning theory of AOD use
  • Harm reduction - continuum of harm
  • Health promotion principles - needs analysis to include range of problems as well as community strengths, skills and assets
  • Relevant legislation relating to the sale, supply and/or use of alcohol, tobacco and scheduled or illegal drugs
  • Role of the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Worker with regard to alcohol and substance misuse problems in the community
  • Importance of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people being in control of their own alcohol and substance use/misuse programs
  • Organisation policies and procedures relating to client confidentiality
  • Substance misuse issues requiring referral
  • Relevant evaluation criteria for monitoring effectiveness of health care program

Essential skills :

It is critical that the candidate demonstrate the ability to:

  • Communicate effectively in a group and one-on-one environment to promote healthy practices and discuss health issues
  • Provide accurate and relevant information and guidance about substance misuse in line with identified individual and community needs

In addition, the candidate must be able to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

This includes the ability to:

  • Apply skills relating to health promotion and brief interventions
  • Communicate effectively, including ability to listen, observe, speak and behave in a respectful and sensitive manner
  • Work with clients in a non-judgemental and non-confrontational manner
  • Share health information that may be confronting to clients
  • Use English or a community language depending on the situation requirements
  • Clearly present health information in one-to-one or group situations
  • Undertake facilitation and negotiation to the level required to assist client decision making
  • Apply literacy competence required to satisfy record keeping and referral requirements
  • Apply principles of harm reduction and continuum of harm to support safer using behaviour
  • Liaise between service providers, individuals, families and community groups
  • Analyse own value system and how this affects response to others
  • Reflect on and improve own level and application of skills and knowledge to achieve desirable outcomes and maintain own capabilities
  • Work with a team to deliver effective health promotion and education for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander communities and clients using appropriate facilitation, problem solving and instructional practices

Evidence Guide


The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the Performance Criteria, Required Skills and Knowledge, the Range Statement and the Assessment Guidelines for this Training Package.

Critical aspects of assessment 

  • The individual being assessed must provide evidence of specified essential knowledge as well as skills
  • Consistency of performance should be demonstrated over the required range of situations relevant to the workplace
  • Where, for reasons of safety, space, or access to equipment and resources, assessment takes place away from the workplace, the assessment environment should represent workplace conditions as closely as possible

Conditions of assessment :

This unit includes skills and knowledge specific to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander culture

Assessment must therefore be undertaken by a workplace assessor who has expertise in the unit of competency or who has the current qualification being assessed and who is:

  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander him/herself


  • accompanied and advised by an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person who is a recognised member of the community with experience in primary health care

Context of assessment 

Competence should be demonstrated working individually, under supervision or as part of a primary health care team working with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients

Assessment should replicate workplace conditions as far as possible

Related units 

This unit may be assessed independently or in conjunction with other units with associated workplace application

Range Statement


The Range Statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Add any essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts.

Cultural respect 

This competency standard supports the recognition, protection and continued advancement of the inherent rights, cultures and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

It recognises that the improvement of the health status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people must include attention to physical, spiritual, cultural, emotional and social well-being, community capacity and governance

Its application must be culturally sensitive and supportive of traditional healing and health, knowledge and practices

Community control 

Community participation and control in decision-making is essential to all aspects of health work, and the role of the health worker is to support the community in this process


Supervision must be conducted in accordance with prevailing state/territory and organisation legislative and regulatory requirements

References to supervision may include either direct or indirect supervision of work by more experienced workers, supervisors, managers or other health professionals

A person at this level should only  be required to make decisions about clients within the organisation's standard treatment protocols and associated guidelines

Legislative requirements 

Federal, state or territory legislation may impact on workers' practices and responsibilities. Implementation of the competency standards should reflect the legislative framework in which a health worker operates. It is recognised that this may sometimes reduce the application of the Range of Variables in practice. However, assessment in the workplace or through simulation should address all essential skills and knowledge across the Range of Variables

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander health workers may be required to operate in situations that do not constitute 'usual practice' due to lack of resources, remote locations and community needs. As a result, they may need to possess more competencies than described by 'usual practice circumstances'

Under all circumstances, the employer must enable the worker to function within the prevailing legislative framework

Programs may be conducted :

  • In a range of workplace or community settings
  • For groups and/or individual clients

Information about substance misuse may include but is not limited to :

  • Information on:
  • use of stimulants and depressants and their ability to produce behavioural and psychological toxicity
  • risk factors associated with alcohol, tobacco and substance use
  • legislation relating to the sale, supply and/or use of alcohol, tobacco and scheduled or illegal drugs
  • options for intervention and management
  • availability of other agencies and/or resources for referral
  • Reference to:
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Complementary Action Plan 2003-2009

Unit Sector(s)

Not Applicable

Training component details
The following details are displayed for each different NRT:-

Training packages

- Training package details
- Training package components


- Qualification details
- Qualification components

Accredited courses

- Accredited course details


- Module details

Units of competency

- Units of competency details
- Unit components

Skill sets

- Skill set details
- Skill set components

Click on the Export link to export the NRT information to MS Word or PDF.

Click on the Manage notification link to create or change a notification for this NRT.

When selecting the Display history check box a set of tables will appear displaying a log of historical values describing what has changed and when over time.

If you have access to make changes to an NRT, click on the Edit link on the upper right hand side of the summary box.