Universal Treatment Curriculum

The Universal Treatment Curriculum (UTC) has been developed by several teams of curriculum developers, including JBS International, SME Consulting, and TTK, with overall coordination by the International Centre for Credentialing and Education of Addiction Professionals (ICCE). It provides a series of training materials for knowledge and skill development of treatment professionals. The aim of the training series is to reduce the significant health, social and economic problems associated with substance use disorders by building international treatment capacity through training, and so expanding the professional global treatment workforce.

UTC is available through the basic and advanced series as well as with several specialist series that focus on populations with special needs, such as women, children, and persons in recovery.

Example Materials

UTC Basic Level Series

The Basic Level UTC consists of eight courses that cover the broad spectrum of treatment for substance use disorders. The content and methodology of the UTC training series is designed to ensure that addiction practitioners develop a balanced perspective of the principles relating to both the science and art of treatment. Each course is intended to enhance the knowledge, skills and competencies of treatment professionals, as well as promote evidence-based practice for the enhancement of service delivery and treatment outcomes.

Course 1: Physiology and Pharmacology for Addiction Professionals

20 training hours

The course presents a comprehensive overview of addiction; provides an understanding of the physiology of addiction as a brain disease; and describes the pharmacology of psychoactive substances.

Course 2: Treatment for Substance Use Disorders–The Continuum of Care for Addiction Professionals

33 training hours

The course provides the foundation for learning about substance use disorder treatment. It gives an overview of recovery and recovery management, stages of change, principles of effective treatment, components of treatment and evidence-based practices.

Course 3: Common Co-occurring Mental and Medical Disorders- An Overview for Addiction Professionals

20 training hours

This course offers an overview of the relationship between co-occurring mental and medical disorders and substance use disorder related treatment issues.

Course 4: Basic Counselling Skills for Addiction Professionals

33 training hours

This course focusses on an overview of the helping relationship and the opportunity to practice core counselling including basic skills in motivational interviewing, group counselling and implementation of psychoeducation sessions.

Course 5: Screening, Intake, Assessment, Treatment Planning and Documentation for Addiction Professionals

33 training hours

This course is a skills-based course that teaches effective and integrated intake, screening, assessment, treatment planning and documentation procedures to addiction professionals.

Course 6: Case Management for Addiction Professionals

13 training hours

The course provides a skill-based course that provides an overview of case management in substance use disorder treatment and provides skills practice in case management functions.

Course 7: Crisis Intervention for Addiction Professionals

13 training hours

This course addresses the concept of crisis as a part of life and provides guidelines for crisis intervention, including managing suicide risk. It also addresses ways counsellors can avoid personal crisis situations by providing information and exercises about counsellor self-care.

Course 8: Ethics for Addiction Professionals

26 training hours

The focus is on professional conduct and ethical behaviour in substance use disorder treatment. It also provides participants with the opportunity to learn and practice the use of an ethical decision making tool.

UTC Advanced Level

The Advanced Level UTC is a set of fifteen courses, which is currently being developed to provide a more comprehensive and theoretical foundation in the clinical practice of substance use disorder treatment. It offers a specialised training provision that aims to provide an in-depth continuing education with the latest information and skills-based activities to further enhance the capacity of the treatment workforce and standardise the quality of care and services they provide for their clients.

The ten existing courses are as follows: 

Course 9: Pharmacology and Substance Use Disorders

The course provides an overview of pharmacology through the identification of the classification of drugs into based on their effects on the central nervous system and addiction potential. It provides an understanding of the role of neurotransmitters in the development of addiction and the psychological implications on substance use disorders. 

Course 10: Managing Medication Assisted Treatment Programs

This skills-based course is meant to provide an understanding of the importance of medication in substance use disorder treatment and it benefits when used in conjunction with psychosocial interventions.

Course 11: Enhancing Motivational Interviewing Skills

This course provides an in-depth understanding of the theory and application of Motivational Interviewing strategies and interventions for substance use disorder treatment. 

Course 12: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

This course offers an overview of cognitive –behavior therapy goals and techniques and its application to treatment of people with substance use disorders and comorbid disorders. 

Course 13: Contingency Management

This foundation course provides an understanding of the theories and principles of reinforcement- based treatment with a specific focus on the Contingency Management (CM) approach. The course covers the use of behavioral interventions in the treatment of substance use disorders, and the basic components of CM and its application. 

Course 14: Working with Families

The course provides a comprehensive overview for substance use disorder treatment practitioners working with families dealing with substance use disorders. The discussion covers the impact of substance use disorders on the family, its coping mechanisms, recovery issues and interventions that can be implemented. 

Course 15: Skills for Managing Co-Occurring Disorders

This skills based course is meant to enhance understanding of co-occurring disorders, substance-related disorders, and mental disorders. It aims to develop skills to identify and provide interventions for people with substance use disorders and other co-occurring medical and mental disorders. 

Course 16: Advanced Clinical Skills and Crisis Management

This skills based course is meant to enhance understanding of the theories of counseling and the application of its therapeutic techniques in substance use disorder treatment. 

Course 17: Case Management Skills and Practices

This course is designed to provide the opportunity to enhance competency in case management through a better understanding of the important roles and skills of case managers. 

Course 18: Clinical Supervision for Substance Use Disorder Professionals

This course provides an overview of the fundamentals, principles, models and methods of clinical supervision. This includes laying out the roles, functions, skills and competencies of clinical supervisors. 

UTC specialised series

The UTC specialised series has been developed to provide advanced material on specific issues relevant to those working in treatment:

  • Guiding recovery of women (GROW)
  • Developing Community-based Recovery Support Systems
  • Recovery Coach

Guiding recovery of women (GROW)

The GROW Curriculum has been designed to train substance abuse treatment professionals on gender- responsive methods and modalities. It aims to do so through the provision of the latest research on evidence-based gender-responsive treatments for women, and the introduction of key principles by experts in the field. The curriculum has been reviewed and examined internationally, and has provided insight and direction to organisations that work with women in recovery from substance use disorders.

Child Intervention for Living Drug-Free (CHILD)

Child Intervention for Living Drug-Free (CHILD) Curriculum provides treatment providers with the tools they need to identify, assess, and treat children with substance use disorders (SUDs) using age-appropriate interventions and methodologies.

It is a six-course training programme that responds to the needs of children and their caregivers impacted by substance use and life circumstances of various social, cultural, economic, and political situations.

Developing Community-based Recovery Support Systems (Recovery Coach) Training

The Training series “Developing Community-based Recovery Support Systems” consists of two curricula. It provides knowledge and skills on peer-led and community-based interventions to those serving in the community as recovery coaches or those aspiring to become one.  It helps participants understand addiction, recovery, what is covered under the term “recovery support” and to address substance use related problems among affected individuals, families and communities.