Universal Prevention Curriculum

The Colombo Plan is pleased to introduce the 2020 edition of the Universal Prevention Curriculum for Substance Use. 

This training curriculum which consists of two training series to address the needs of different target groups has undergone a change in name.

The UPC Coordinators Series will now be known as the UPC Managers and Supervisors (UPC-M&S) SeriesIt is designed for those wishing to undertake a significant in-depth study of prevention such as managers and supervisors or coordinators of prevention programmes, or for those who wish to undertake a major programme of study in prevention.

The UPC Implementers will now be known as the UPC Practitioners (UPC-P) Series. It is written for practitioners and implementers of prevention programmes who work with families, in schools, the workplace, and the community.

The major role in the development of UPC has been undertaken by Applied Prevention Science International (APSI) led by Dr Zili Sloboda working with international experts in prevention from around the world.

The underlying principles of UPC are to provide a way forward for prevention that is based on: scientific research and evidence; sound quality standards; and an ethical stance in how prevention should be undertaken.

UPC was designed to meet the current demand for a comprehensive training package in the field of drug use prevention, based on evidence-based principles.

UPC Managers and Supervisors Series

The UPC consists of two series, namely: UPC for Managers and Supervisors (UPC-M&S) and UPC for Practitioners (UPC-P). The UPC-M&S provides a training programme for prevention managers and supervisors who manage and supervise the implementation of prevention interventions and/or policies. This series is composed of nine courses as follows:

Course 1: Introduction to Prevention Science

40 training hours

This course provides an overview of the science that underlies evidence-based prevention interventions and strategies, and the application of these effective approaches in prevention practice.

Course 2: Physiology and Pharmacology for Prevention Specialists

24 training hours

This course presents an overview of the physiology and pharmacology of psychoactive substances and their effects on the brain to affect mood, cognition, and behaviour and the consequences of such use on the individual, the family and the community.

Course 3: Monitoring and Evaluation of Prevention Interventions and Policies

40 training hours

This course gives an overview of primary evaluation methods used to measure evidence-based prevention interventions and guidance in applying them to "real-world" prevention settings.

Course 4: Family-based Prevention Interventions

32 training hours

This course explores the family as the primary socialisation agent of children, the science behind family-based prevention interventions, and the application of such evidence-based approaches to help prevent the onset of substance use in children.

Course 5: School-based Prevention Interventions

40 training hours

This course presents an overview of the school in society, the science behind school-based prevention interventions, and the application of such evidence-based approaches in school settings around the world.

Course 6: Workplace-based Prevention Interventions

24 training hours

This course provides an overview of the role of work and the workplace in society, how stresses and other work-related influences affect people’s risk of substance use, the science behind workplace prevention interventions, and the application of such evidence-based approaches in work settings around the world.

Course 7: Environment-based Prevention Interventions

24 training hours

This course reviews the science underlying evidence-based substance use prevention environmental interventions, involving policy and community-wide strategies.

Course 8: Media-based Prevention Interventions

24 training hours

This course presents the science underlying the use of media for substance use prevention interventions.

Course 9: Community-based Prevention Implementation Systems

40 training hours

This course introduces the science underlying the systems approach to prevention interventions and guidance on developing such approaches, as well as exemplars of evidence-based drug use prevention systems.

UPC Practitioners Series

The UPC for Practitioners is designed to provide knowledge, skills, and competencies to prevention practitioners so that they have a better understanding about the key elements of evidence-based (EB) prevention and about the most effective EB prevention interventions that are currently available.

UPC-10: Core Course

48 training hours

The Core Course is composed of 10 modules representing different aspects of prevention science and its application to practice. It is designed to give participants a foundation in the knowledge and skills needed to undertake evidence-based prevention programming at the community level.

Specialty Track 1: Family-based Prevention

87 training hours

This track gives an overview of the science inherent in family-based prevention interventions and the methods used to intervene effectively in order to prevent substance use in children and adolescents. It also provides experiential learning in some of the skills used in effective family-based intervention methods to prepare prevention implementers to participate in such programmes. The track consists of seven courses.

Specialty Track 2: School-Based Prevention

84 training hours

This track introduces the science behind school-based prevention interventions and policies, and the methods used to improve school climate, strengthen policies, and intervene directly with classroom prevention interventions. It provides one track for administrators on effective planning and strategies for addressing school policy and climate; and a second track for teachers primarily on classroom interventions. There are eight courses in the track.

Specialty Track 3: Workplace-Based Prevention

85 training hours

This track presents the science underlying workplace-based prevention interventions and policies, and the methods and strategies workplaces can use to improve their environment and culture. It also provides experiential learning in planning for workplace policy changes and other substance use prevention efforts thus empowering employees to avoid substance use. It consists of seven courses.

Specialty Track 4: Environment-Based Prevention

69 training hours

This track reviews the science behind effective environment-based prevention interventions and policies – which focus on community-wide strategies to prevent tobacco and alcohol misuse; and illegal drug trafficking and use in various settings and the methods used to identify and successfully implement these interventions. It also provides experiential learning in planning for and implementing environmental policy changes and other community-wide substance use prevention efforts. There are seven courses in this track.

Specialty Track 5: Media-Based Prevention

86 training hours

This track discusses the science inherent in effective media-based substance use prevention interventions with a focus on developing successful persuasive communications. It also provides experiential learning in planning messages and media for reaching parents and youth in substance use prevention efforts. It comprises six courses.

Specialty Track 6: Community-Based Prevention

89 training hours

This track explores the science underlying the systems approaches to prevention interventions and presents the primary methods for planning community-wide implementation systems. It also provides experiential learning in planning and working with stakeholders to develop prevention intervention services. It consists of seven courses.

Specialty Track 7: Monitoring and Evaluation of Prevention Interventions and Policies

63 training hours

This track presents primary evaluation methods with a focus on monitoring and process evaluation used to measure outcomes of evidence-based substance use prevention interventions and policies. It also provides experiential learning in planning and monitoring outcomes through exercises and a practicum completed at the end of the track. There are eight courses in this track.