Since the beginning of June 2020, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) together with the Indonesian Association of Addiction Counsellors (Ikatan Konselor Adiksi Indonesia - IKAI) has been remotely discussing the development of remote training on Universal Treatment Curriculum (UTC). This initiative is based on the high demand from practitioners to continue with capacity building initiatives to receive an official national certification for addiction counsellors, even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since March 2020, all conventional/face to face trainings have been suspended due to COVID-19 pandemic which also affected the continuation of national certification for addiction counsellors. As a consequence, no trainings and competency test have been conducted since then.
In early June 2020, the government of Indonesia declared the initiation of a transitional phase to gradually ease social restriction under the so called “new normal” policy. This easing of restrictions brought about a new spirit amongst practitioners in drug treatment centres in Indonesia and they started to look for whatever opportunities to refresh and strengthen their capacities as a preparation to the coming competencies test.
IKAI has been receiving many requests from its members, including form approximately 400 counsellors across the country as well as non-member’s counsellors. Since 2019, UNODC and IKAI have already an agreement on the training implementation using evidence-based materials, such as UTC, community based treatment training tools and others, to strengthen the capacities of drug treatment workforces, especially for those who already registered as IKAI’s member.
The development process of UTC remote training has already started but is still at the level of conceptualising the training mechanism as its was a challenge to transform the role-play, small group discussions and other games into remote implementation.
With this effort, the capacity of drug treatment practitioners in Indonesia will be strengthened even amidst this crisis and hopefully with this initiative practitioners may be able to pass the government competency test and receive national acknowledgement as a certified addiction counsellor professional.