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Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction

In collaboration with substance use professionals across Canada, CCSA identified seven job clusters that reflect roles common to the substance use field.

Competency Profiles

A basic step in a competency-based approach to workforce development is to define the competencies required to perform a job successfully. A competency profile is a list of the competencies that are critical for a specific job. The profiles can be used to develop or revise job descriptions.

A competency profile includes:

  • A brief description of the tasks associated with the job
  • A sample list of job titles
  • A sample list of critical competencies for the job
  • A suggested proficiency level for each competency

In the tables below, sample competency profiles have been created for each job cluster. These profiles are meant to be guides that are reviewed and adapted for a given setting or organization.

Secondary Body

Resources Included in Each Profile

Adapting the Proficiency Profiles
Since organizations differ in workload and staffing needs, competency requirements can differ from one organization to the next. This tool outlines the steps to adapt a competency profile to reflect the competency needs of a specific job.

Interview Tools for Job Clusters for Behavioural Competencies
Sample interview questions focusing on behaviour for the generic competency profile of each job cluster. Before using it, review the suggested competency profile to determine if it is relevant. Use the Adapting the Proficiency Profiles tool if changes are needed.

Performance Management Tools for Common Job Clusters for the Behavioural Competencies
These are process guides and templates for conducting employee performance reviews for generic job clusters. Each provides a selection of sample performance objectives for the competencies in the job cluster competency profile. Before using it, review the suggested competency profile to determine if it is relevant. Use the Adapting the Proficiency Profiles tool if changes are needed.

Behavioural Competency Profile Matrix for Job Clusters

A sample matrix of competencies has been selected at relevant proficiency levels for each job cluster. This matrix is provided as an example and intended to be adapted to specific job descriptions and settings. Download the matrix table to view levels of proficiency by occupational cluster.

Navigate by job clusters using the tabs below.

Administrative
Support

Administrative Support

Description:
Provides administrative support to substance use professionals and, at times, individuals using services. Duties can include office management and administration, communicating with individuals in person, virtually or on the phone, coordinating office activities and logistics, and related administrative duties.

Sample Job Titles:
Administrative Assistant, Office or Clerical Support Staff Administrator, Regional Administrator, Clinic Technician, Office Manager

Sample Competency Profile:

Administrative Support Competencies Proficiency Level 
(1 to 4)
Adaptability and Flexibility 1
Analytical Thinking and Decision Making 1
Collaboration and Network Building  
Continuous Learning 2
Creativity and Innovation  
Developing Others  
Culturally Safe and Anti-Oppressive Practice 1
Effective Communication 2
Ethical Conduct and Professionalism 1
Interpersonal Rapport 2
Leadership  
Person-Directed Care 1
Planning and Organizing 2
Self Care 2
Self Management 2
Self Motivation and Drive  
Teamwork and Cooperation 2

Resources

Adapting the Proficiency Profiles

Interview Tool for Administrative Support

Performance Management Tool for Administrative Support

Counselling

Counselling

Description:
Provides counselling services to individuals, groups and family members for substance use, as required. Liaises with other substance use professionals to create treatment plans for a broad range of substance use issues.

Sample Job Titles:
Counsellor, Addictions Counsellor, Alcohol and Drug Counsellor, Substance Use Counsellor, Intake Counsellor, Therapist, Clinical Therapist, Recreation Therapist, Specialist Practitioner (e.g., physician or nurse trained in substance use and mental health)

Sample Competency Profile:

Counselling Competencies Proficiency Level 
(1 to 4)
Adaptability and Flexibility 3
Analytical Thinking and Decision Making 3
Collaboration and Network Building  
Continuous Learning 2
Creativity and Innovation  
Developing Others  
Culturally Safe and Anti-Oppressive Practice 3
Effective Communication 3
Ethical Conduct and Professionalism 2
Interpersonal Rapport 3
Leadership  
Person-Directed Care 3
Planning and Organizing  
Self Care 3
Self Management 2
Self Motivation and Drive  
Teamwork and Cooperation 2

Resources

Adapting the Proficiency Profiles

Interview Tool for Counselling

Performance Management Tool for Counselling

Health
Promotion

Health Promotion

Description:
Develops and delivers education and awareness programs in the substance use field to a wide range of individuals, groups and audiences. Assesses emerging substance use issues in targeted groups to develop timely and effective education and awareness strategies. Works closely with other agencies and community coalitions to develop, deliver and evaluate substance use awareness initiatives and education programs.

Sample Job Titles:
Health Promotion Specialist, Health Education Specialist, Prevention Specialist and Coordinator, Health Educator, Health Promotion and Protection Specialist, Specialist Practitioner (e.g., physician or nurse trained in substance use and mental health)

Sample Competency Profile:

Health Promotion Competencies Proficiency Level 
(1 to 4)
Adaptability and Flexibility 3
Analytical Thinking and Decision Making 2
Collaboration and Network Building 3
Continuous Learning 3
Creativity and Innovation 3
Developing Others 3
Culturally Safe and Anti-Oppressive Practice 3
Effective Communication 3
Ethical Conduct and Professionalism 2
Interpersonal Rapport 3
Leadership  
Person-Directed Care 2
Planning and Organizing 3
Self Care 2
Self Management  
Self Motivation and Drive 2
Teamwork and Cooperation 2

Resources

Adapting the Proficiency Profiles

Interview Tool for Health Promotion

Performance Management Tool for Health Promotion

Senior
Management

Senior Management

Description:
Provides overall direction in all aspects of an agency’s functioning and all services it provides. Provides leadership in the development and implementation of strategic and operational plans; manages finances, HR strategy and public relations.

Sample Job Titles:
Executive Director, Clinical Director, Program Director, Program Manager, Controller

Sample Competency Profile:

Senior Management Competencies Proficiency Level 
(1 to 4)
Adaptability and Flexibility 4
Analytical Thinking and Decision Making 4
Collaboration and Network Building 4
Continuous Learning 4
Creativity and Innovation 4
Developing Others 4
Culturally Safe and Anti-Oppressive Practice 4
Effective Communication 4
Ethical Conduct and Professionalism 4
Interpersonal Rapport  
Leadership 4
Person-Directed Care 4
Planning and Organizing 4
Self Care 4
Self Management  
Self Motivation and Drive  
Teamwork and Cooperation 4

Resources

Adapting the Proficiency Profiles

Interview Tool for Senior Management

Performance Management Tool for Senior Management

Supervision

Supervision

Description:
Provides direction for development, functioning and evaluation of program services and staff. Oversees and evaluates the quality and efficiency of services and provides supervision to staff. Works in conjunction with management to develop and deliver the goals and objectives of the organization.

Sample Job Titles:
Clinical Supervisor, Non-Clinical Supervisor, Senior Counsellor, Lead Clinician, Manager, Coordinator, Specialist Practitioner (e.g., physician or nurse trained in substance use and mental health)

Sample Competency Profile:

Supervision Competencies Proficiency Level 
(1 to 4)
Adaptability and Flexibility 3
Analytical Thinking and Decision Making 3
Collaboration and Network Building  
Continuous Learning 3
Creativity and Innovation 3
Developing Others 3
Culturally Safe and Anti-Oppressive Practice 3
Effective Communication 3
Ethical Conduct and Professionalism 3
Interpersonal Rapport 3
Leadership 3
Person-Directed Care 3
Planning and Organizing 3
Self Care 3
Self Management  
Self Motivation and Drive  
Teamwork and Cooperation 3

Resources

Adapting the Proficiency Profiles

Interview Tool for Supervision

Performance Management Tool for Supervision

Support
and Outreach

Support and Outreach

Description:
Provides encouragement, emotional support, help and advice on practical matters to individuals, their families and communities. Coordinates support and outreach activities that may include coordinating substance use and related services, counselling, brief assessment and referral, conducting education and information sessions, monitoring and supporting daily activities of individuals affected by substance use.

Sample Job Titles:
Support Worker, Outreach Worker, Alcohol Worker, Drug Worker, Substance Use Worker, Drug Outreach Worker, Substance Use Practitioner, Community Outreach Worker, Community Liaison Worker, Attendant, Peer Support Worker, Specialist Practitioner (e.g., physician or nurse trained in substance use and mental health)

Sample Competency Profile:

Support and Outreach Competencies Proficiency Level 
(1 to 4)
Adaptability and Flexibility 3
Analytical Thinking and Decision Making 2
Collaboration and Network Building 2
Continuous Learning 2
Creativity and Innovation 2
Developing Others  
Culturally Safe and Anti-Oppressive Practice 3
Effective Communication 3
Ethical Conduct and Professionalism 2
Interpersonal Rapport 3
Leadership  
Person-Directed Care 3
Planning and Organizing 2
Self Care 3
Self Management 2
Self Motivation and Drive  
Teamwork and Cooperation  

Resources

Adapting the Proficiency Profiles

Interview Tool for Support and Outreach

Performance Management Tool for Support and Outreach

Withdrawal
Management

Withdrawal Management

Description:
Provides medical or non-medical support and withdrawal management services to individuals affected by substance use. Works with other professionals in the substance use field to create and deliver withdrawal management and associated treatment plans to meet the needs of individuals using services.

Sample Job Titles:
Withdrawal Management Worker, Withdrawal Management Nurse, Specialty Nurse, Withdrawal Management Counsellor, Attendant, Specialist Practitioner (e.g., physician or nurse trained in substance use and mental health)

Sample Competency Profile:

Withdrawal Management Competencies Proficiency Level 
(1 to 4)
Adaptability and Flexibility 3
Analytical Thinking and Decision Making 2
Collaboration and Network Building  
Continuous Learning 2
Creativity and Innovation  
Developing Others  
Culturally Safe and Anti-Oppressive Practice 3
Effective Communication 3
Ethical Conduct and Professionalism 2
Interpersonal Rapport 3
Leadership  
Person-Directed Care 3
Planning and Organizing 3
Self Care 3
Self Management 3
Self Motivation and Drive 3
Teamwork and Cooperation 2

Resources

Adapting the Proficiency Profiles

Interview Tool for Withdrawal Management

Performance Management Tool for Withdrawal Management (VI-50 to VI-57)

Quick Filter


You must select both a task and cluster


Resources Included in Each Profile

Adapting the Proficiency Profiles
Since organizations differ in workload and staffing needs, competency requirements can differ from one organization to the next. This tool outlines the steps to adapt a competency profile to reflect the competency needs of a specific job.

Interview Tools for Job Clusters for Behavioural Competencies
Sample interview questions focusing on behaviour for the generic competency profile of each job cluster. Before using it, review the suggested competency profile to determine if it is relevant. Use the Adapting the Proficiency Profiles tool if changes are needed.

Performance Management Tools for Common Job Clusters for the Behavioural Competencies
These are process guides and templates for conducting employee performance reviews for generic job clusters. Each provides a selection of sample performance objectives for the competencies in the job cluster competency profile. Before using it, review the suggested competency profile to determine if it is relevant. Use the Adapting the Proficiency Profiles tool if changes are needed.

Behavioural Competency Profile Matrix for Job Clusters

A sample matrix of competencies has been selected at relevant proficiency levels for each job cluster. This matrix is provided as an example and intended to be adapted to specific job descriptions and settings. Download the matrix table to view levels of proficiency by occupational cluster.

Navigate by job clusters using the tabs below.

Administrative
Support

Administrative Support

Description:
Provides administrative support to substance use professionals and, at times, individuals using services. Duties can include office management and administration, communicating with individuals in person, virtually or on the phone, coordinating office activities and logistics, and related administrative duties.

Sample Job Titles:
Administrative Assistant, Office or Clerical Support Staff Administrator, Regional Administrator, Clinic Technician, Office Manager

Sample Competency Profile:

Administrative Support Competencies Proficiency Level 
(1 to 4)
Adaptability and Flexibility 1
Analytical Thinking and Decision Making 1
Collaboration and Network Building  
Continuous Learning 2
Creativity and Innovation  
Developing Others  
Culturally Safe and Anti-Oppressive Practice 1
Effective Communication 2
Ethical Conduct and Professionalism 1
Interpersonal Rapport 2
Leadership  
Person-Directed Care 1
Planning and Organizing 2
Self Care 2
Self Management 2
Self Motivation and Drive  
Teamwork and Cooperation 2

Resources

Adapting the Proficiency Profiles

Interview Tool for Administrative Support

Performance Management Tool for Administrative Support

Counselling

Counselling

Description:
Provides counselling services to individuals, groups and family members for substance use, as required. Liaises with other substance use professionals to create treatment plans for a broad range of substance use issues.

Sample Job Titles:
Counsellor, Addictions Counsellor, Alcohol and Drug Counsellor, Substance Use Counsellor, Intake Counsellor, Therapist, Clinical Therapist, Recreation Therapist, Specialist Practitioner (e.g., physician or nurse trained in substance use and mental health)

Sample Competency Profile:

Counselling Competencies Proficiency Level 
(1 to 4)
Adaptability and Flexibility 3
Analytical Thinking and Decision Making 3
Collaboration and Network Building  
Continuous Learning 2
Creativity and Innovation  
Developing Others  
Culturally Safe and Anti-Oppressive Practice 3
Effective Communication 3
Ethical Conduct and Professionalism 2
Interpersonal Rapport 3
Leadership  
Person-Directed Care 3
Planning and Organizing  
Self Care 3
Self Management 2
Self Motivation and Drive  
Teamwork and Cooperation 2

Resources

Adapting the Proficiency Profiles

Interview Tool for Counselling

Performance Management Tool for Counselling

Health
Promotion

Health Promotion

Description:
Develops and delivers education and awareness programs in the substance use field to a wide range of individuals, groups and audiences. Assesses emerging substance use issues in targeted groups to develop timely and effective education and awareness strategies. Works closely with other agencies and community coalitions to develop, deliver and evaluate substance use awareness initiatives and education programs.

Sample Job Titles:
Health Promotion Specialist, Health Education Specialist, Prevention Specialist and Coordinator, Health Educator, Health Promotion and Protection Specialist, Specialist Practitioner (e.g., physician or nurse trained in substance use and mental health)

Sample Competency Profile:

Health Promotion Competencies Proficiency Level 
(1 to 4)
Adaptability and Flexibility 3
Analytical Thinking and Decision Making 2
Collaboration and Network Building 3
Continuous Learning 3
Creativity and Innovation 3
Developing Others 3
Culturally Safe and Anti-Oppressive Practice 3
Effective Communication 3
Ethical Conduct and Professionalism 2
Interpersonal Rapport 3
Leadership  
Person-Directed Care 2
Planning and Organizing 3
Self Care 2
Self Management  
Self Motivation and Drive 2
Teamwork and Cooperation 2

Resources

Adapting the Proficiency Profiles

Interview Tool for Health Promotion

Performance Management Tool for Health Promotion

Senior
Management

Senior Management

Description:
Provides overall direction in all aspects of an agency’s functioning and all services it provides. Provides leadership in the development and implementation of strategic and operational plans; manages finances, HR strategy and public relations.

Sample Job Titles:
Executive Director, Clinical Director, Program Director, Program Manager, Controller

Sample Competency Profile:

Senior Management Competencies Proficiency Level 
(1 to 4)
Adaptability and Flexibility 4
Analytical Thinking and Decision Making 4
Collaboration and Network Building 4
Continuous Learning 4
Creativity and Innovation 4
Developing Others 4
Culturally Safe and Anti-Oppressive Practice 4
Effective Communication 4
Ethical Conduct and Professionalism 4
Interpersonal Rapport  
Leadership 4
Person-Directed Care 4
Planning and Organizing 4
Self Care 4
Self Management  
Self Motivation and Drive  
Teamwork and Cooperation 4

Resources

Adapting the Proficiency Profiles

Interview Tool for Senior Management

Performance Management Tool for Senior Management

Supervision

Supervision

Description:
Provides direction for development, functioning and evaluation of program services and staff. Oversees and evaluates the quality and efficiency of services and provides supervision to staff. Works in conjunction with management to develop and deliver the goals and objectives of the organization.

Sample Job Titles:
Clinical Supervisor, Non-Clinical Supervisor, Senior Counsellor, Lead Clinician, Manager, Coordinator, Specialist Practitioner (e.g., physician or nurse trained in substance use and mental health)

Sample Competency Profile:

Supervision Competencies Proficiency Level 
(1 to 4)
Adaptability and Flexibility 3
Analytical Thinking and Decision Making 3
Collaboration and Network Building  
Continuous Learning 3
Creativity and Innovation 3
Developing Others 3
Culturally Safe and Anti-Oppressive Practice 3
Effective Communication 3
Ethical Conduct and Professionalism 3
Interpersonal Rapport 3
Leadership 3
Person-Directed Care 3
Planning and Organizing 3
Self Care 3
Self Management  
Self Motivation and Drive  
Teamwork and Cooperation 3

Resources

Adapting the Proficiency Profiles

Interview Tool for Supervision

Performance Management Tool for Supervision

Support
and Outreach

Support and Outreach

Description:
Provides encouragement, emotional support, help and advice on practical matters to individuals, their families and communities. Coordinates support and outreach activities that may include coordinating substance use and related services, counselling, brief assessment and referral, conducting education and information sessions, monitoring and supporting daily activities of individuals affected by substance use.

Sample Job Titles:
Support Worker, Outreach Worker, Alcohol Worker, Drug Worker, Substance Use Worker, Drug Outreach Worker, Substance Use Practitioner, Community Outreach Worker, Community Liaison Worker, Attendant, Peer Support Worker, Specialist Practitioner (e.g., physician or nurse trained in substance use and mental health)

Sample Competency Profile:

Support and Outreach Competencies Proficiency Level 
(1 to 4)
Adaptability and Flexibility 3
Analytical Thinking and Decision Making 2
Collaboration and Network Building 2
Continuous Learning 2
Creativity and Innovation 2
Developing Others  
Culturally Safe and Anti-Oppressive Practice 3
Effective Communication 3
Ethical Conduct and Professionalism 2
Interpersonal Rapport 3
Leadership  
Person-Directed Care 3
Planning and Organizing 2
Self Care 3
Self Management 2
Self Motivation and Drive  
Teamwork and Cooperation  

Resources

Adapting the Proficiency Profiles

Interview Tool for Support and Outreach

Performance Management Tool for Support and Outreach

Withdrawal
Management

Withdrawal Management

Description:
Provides medical or non-medical support and withdrawal management services to individuals affected by substance use. Works with other professionals in the substance use field to create and deliver withdrawal management and associated treatment plans to meet the needs of individuals using services.

Sample Job Titles:
Withdrawal Management Worker, Withdrawal Management Nurse, Specialty Nurse, Withdrawal Management Counsellor, Attendant, Specialist Practitioner (e.g., physician or nurse trained in substance use and mental health)

Sample Competency Profile:

Withdrawal Management Competencies Proficiency Level 
(1 to 4)
Adaptability and Flexibility 3
Analytical Thinking and Decision Making 2
Collaboration and Network Building  
Continuous Learning 2
Creativity and Innovation  
Developing Others  
Culturally Safe and Anti-Oppressive Practice 3
Effective Communication 3
Ethical Conduct and Professionalism 2
Interpersonal Rapport 3
Leadership  
Person-Directed Care 3
Planning and Organizing 3
Self Care 3
Self Management 3
Self Motivation and Drive 3
Teamwork and Cooperation 2

Resources

Adapting the Proficiency Profiles

Interview Tool for Withdrawal Management

Performance Management Tool for Withdrawal Management (VI-50 to VI-57)

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