Workforce Development Programme

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A national workforce development service

The Workforce Development Programme (WDP) is a national workforce development service which aims to improve the competence, confidence and capacity of the workforce to improve the quality of services offered and aid the recovery of those whose lives have been negatively impacted by substance use.

People affected by alcohol and other drug use come into contact with a wide range of organisations; our work supports both the specialist workforce and those within the broader health, social care and criminal justice spheres across statutory and voluntary sectors.

We view active participation as key to effective learning and facilitate people taking responsibility for their own learning, exploring ideas critically within a safe environment and reflecting on practice within the workplace.



SDF offers a range of training and workforce development options designed to enhance both individual and team skills and knowledge to ensure that service users, staff and management benefit from an ongoing learning culture in all relevant areas of service provision. Core training is offered through Alcohol and Drug Partnerships (ADPs) on an agreed programme reviewed on an annual basis with the Substance Misuse Unit of Scottish Government and currently includes:

We also offer a wide training portfolio from within the workforce development team and with partners in SDF and beyond, details of our current training can be viewed on the SDF Training website.

WDP are commissioned to provide training for various organisations across Scotland and will also work with partners to design bespoke training packages and courses to meet their specific needs. The staff team is very experienced, skilled and enthusiastic in both creation and delivery of training packages and has worked on projects of a range of sizes, from one-off sessions, through to extended programmes of training containing tens of sessions and many hundreds of delegates.



SDF has invested in its capacity to produce e-learning courses so that everyone across Scotland can benefit from some elements of our training, regardless of location or time constraints.

The first course of this nature to be produced was our e-learning course around NPS, which was designed to meet the needs of workers who come into contact with people who may use New Psychoactive Substances (sometimes known as Legal Highs).

All SDF e-learning courses are free to access to people in Scotland.


Additional Services

WDP offers training needs analysis to identify and provide a better understanding of current workforce trends, gaps and priorities and works with ADPs to develop training and workforce development plans to assist the attainment of new skills and abilities and support integration to practice.

WDP can also offer a range of support including coaching and fidelity assessments to support organisations to further enhance and embed the practice of Motivational Interviewing within them.