The quality of SDF’s training endorsed by unique award

21 January 2022

Scottish Drugs Forum has been endorsed by Skills for Health through the award of both the Quality Mark and Quality Mark Digital in recognition of its provision of, and commitment to, high quality learning and training.

SDF joins a network of 43 providers and is the first organisation in the UK to receive dual endorsed status for both training and e-learning. These benchmarks of learning excellence, define and endorse superior learning and training standards for digital and face-to-face workforce development.

Achieving the Quality Mark endorsements builds on the work of our new SQA accredited Learning Centre, which has been established to develop and deliver work-based qualifications for the substance use workforce.

SDF CEO Dave Liddell said:

“Healthcare bodies across the UK trust Skills for Health to help them develop the skills, roles, competencies, and strategies that provide better outcomes for people in treatment. We are delighted to have been recognised by Skills for Health for the quality of our training and e-learning. There is a real sense of organisational achievement in being the first dual endorsed provider.

“Colleagues across the organisation have contributed to this award and to the development and delivery of excellent training. Stakeholders including learners across Scotland, have attested to the value of SDF’s workforce development and training.

“Workforce development remains a key driver of service improvement that we will continue to develop in line with emerging needs through our training and eLearning, and through the work of our SQA accredited Learning Centre which delivers SVQ work-based qualifications. This is a key asset to the drugs field in Scotland and will continue to serve as a national resource in this area.

Our Scottish Vocational Qualifications programme has a specific focus on substance use which, employers tell us, is lacking within practice and leadership awards available elsewhere. There is much work to do in addressing this wider issue, which will be a key area of focus for the SDF Learning Centre.”

Laura Faber, Service Delivery Manager from Skills for Health said:

“Scottish Drugs Forum (SDF) were the first organisation to approach Skills for Health to apply for both the Quality Mark and Quality Mark Digital endorsements simultaneously. This is no mean feat, given the depth of information and scrutiny required for both quality assurance endorsements.

“The training that SDF delivers is vital in supporting the health of patients and service users in Scotland, through ensuring that those working with vulnerable people who have a substance use problem, are equipped with the knowledge and skills to provide the best possible care. Training is of a high standard and SDF pride themselves in offering a ’lived-in’ approach to delivery, which was a major strength in their learning provision.

“I am thrilled to confirm that the Scottish Drugs Forum were successful in achieving both Quality Mark and Quality Mark Digital endorsements in 2021, following a rigorous review of their learning processes and outcomes by the Skills for Health team.”

Workforce Development Programme Manager Adelle Still said:

“The Skills for Health Quality Marks are a fantastic addition to our training and e-learning offer, and are testament to the knowledge, dedication, and expertise of our trainers and developers.

“They are also a further measure of the depth of quality evident within our work-based qualifications, complementing that which is already offered by SQA approval. I am sure that the Quality Mark awards will give stakeholders confidence when investing in all areas of workforce development with SDF.“

SDF has a long history of offering high quality training to the workforce, contributing directly to the improvement of services and aiding the recovery of those whose lives have been impacted by substance use.

To maintain this work, an innovative, blended approach to training has been delivered almost seamlessly across the organisation during the period of the pandemic, with SDF e-learning also emerging to take a more prominent and critical role in the learning and development needs of the workforce.

In just 5 years, SDF’s e-learning capacity has expanded to a suite of 13 courses, reaching over 25,000 learners who can access a range of specialist e-training online.

SDF has also recently welcomed 32 new learners onto its SQA accredited Social Services and Healthcare qualifications, all of whom will be working towards the Learning Centre’s ‘enhanced skills’ SVQ programme which combines vocational teaching and learning, with Skills for Health endorsed training and development.


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