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Addiction and Mental Health Services Therapy Capability Framework

Metro South Addiction and Mental Health Services has created an evidence-informed framework to strengthen their workforce.

The Addiction and Mental Health Services Therapy Capability Frameworks (TCF) highlights Therapeutic Pillars which represent specific therapies and interventions (Consumer, Carer and Family engagement, Trauma Informed Care, Physical Health Care and Cognitive and Behavioural Therapies) to guide targeted areas of health provision offered at Metro South Addiction and Mental Health Services.

The Therapy Capability Framework can be used by individual staff and organisations as a process to understand their current workforce capabilities and plan for the future.

Strategically identify how to upskill your workforce and identify leaders.

Using the Framework can support clinical practice and the provision of evidence-informed services. The Therapy Capability Framework (TCF) can help staff to:

  • Self-assess against a number of key criteria for professional development
  • Identify strengths for maintaining improvement across the organisation
  • Recognise key barriers for improvement, relating to specific contexts (e.g. clinical service or professional group)
  • Plan for sustainability of improvement efforts such as training, education, mentoring and support needs and;
  • Monitor progress over time

Using the Framework will support the practice and provision of services to the community by way of professional development, supervision, focused organisational support, research and service development.

Improving evidence-informed psychosocial therapies

The TCF was designed to improve the provision of evidence-informed psychosocial therapies by:

  • Providing a reflective tool to support the development of therapeutically minded practitioners
  • Enhancing assertive case management by improving the psychosocial therapy capabilities of the multi-disciplinary case management workforce
  • Assisting service managers and clinical leaders to map the multi-disciplinary workforce for strategic planning for psychosocial therapies
  • Promoting, acknowledging and outlining leadership roles for evidence-informed psychosocial therapies

Therapy Capability Framework

The Therapy Capability Framework can help clinicians to:​

  • Self-assess against a number of key criteria for professional development​
  • Identify strengths for maintaining improvement​
  • Recognise key barriers for improvement, relating to specific contexts (e.g. clinical service or professional group) ​
  • Plan for sustainability of improvement efforts (e.g. training, education, mentoring and support needs) ​
  • Monitor progress over time

How to apply the framework

A Therapies Capability Framework Manual has been developed to guide consistent use and provide detailed instruction of how to use the TCF. 

Step 1: Identify priority therapies - Staff member nominates a specific therapy or pillar in consultation with team leader and practice supervisor.

Step 2: determine capability levels – use each domain to reflect on the staff members ‘best fit’ capability level, reflecting on each domain will ensure that the capability level is not only determined by knowledge and skill but also elements of autonomy, leadership and dealing with complexity in practice.

Step 3: data collection and analysis – the overall capability level for the specific therapy or pillar is documented in the staff members' PCS.  Team leaders and professional leaders will also use the information to map broader workforce capability levels for a range of therapies and identify current workforce gaps and future priorities for the team.

The TCF is not intended as a performance management tool. The framework can be used at any time to guide clinical improvement in therapies.  Team member and team leader nominate a specific therapy and apply the framework using each domain to reflect on the team member's ‘best fit’ capability level; reflecting on each domain will ensure that the capability level is not only determined by knowledge and skills but also elements of autonomy, leadership and dealing with complexity in practice.

Domain 1 Knowledge and skill: In this domain the team member reflects on and identifies completed therapy training, use of assessment and treatment modalities, knowledge of therapeutic models and possession of core practice skills.  There is also an emphasis on the team member's ability to appropriately combine therapy with non-specific therapeutic factors, such as connectedness and recovery-orientated principles.

Domain 2 and 3: Autonomy and supervision: this combined domain extends the notion of capability beyond knowledge and skill.  The nature of this domain highlights the importance of interpreting capability in the context of the team member's ability to deal with complex scenarios and subsequent levels of independence and support required.

Domain 4: Research and evidence-based practice: This domain refers to the team member’s involvement in research or translation of evidence into practice in the service setting.  The evidence-based practice role includes the level of participation in and /or facilitation of formal and informal evidence-informed professional development and training.

Resources to use the framework:

Terminology

Core competency:  A technical skill (e.g. administering a therapy, medication etc) and a precursor to capability which refers to a professional’s ability to utilise knowledge and skills effectively amidst clinical challenges (e.g. time-pressured environments, consumers with complex presentations etc).

Knowledge is obtained through completion of professional training and familiarity with evidence and literature; understanding is developed through the application of knowledge in practical settings over time.

Professional and therapeutic practice: The practice of mental health professionals involves therapeutic components unique to professional discipline, as well as those developed through training and clinical experience that may form part of an expanded scope of practice where appropriate.

Portfolio: Through clinical experience, completion of professional training, participating in mentoring, and contributing to service development, a mental health professional may develop a high level of expertise in therapies related to their professional and therapeutic practice such that it becomes a specialisation.

Mentorship and supervision: Skilled therapists provide supervision to Practice-Informed Practitioners to maximise patient safety and accountability. As part of developing autonomy and capability, Practice-Informed Practitioners provide mentorship to Foundation Practitioners to assist their professional development.

Evidence-based practice guidelines refers to guidelines related to professional practice or work unit operation; research and evaluation refers to formalised research studies and evaluation of usual care, and service-development initiatives refers to efforts to improve quality of care through updating guidelines or models of care within the service.

Last updated 14 September 2020
Last reviewed 21 August 2020