Print Header


What is certification?

Certification is a process by which an independent third party assesses and acknowledges an individual's level of knowledge and skill relative to a set of pre-determined standards. Unlike accreditation, which acknowledges compliance with standards at the program or organization level, certification concerns standards at the individual level.

Certification is typically accomplished by collecting and presenting information related to educational background, work-life experience and specific skill sets. Membership fees, ethics codes, continuing education and periodic reviews are also a common part of the certification process.

CCSA is in the process of developing a national certification on the Competencies for Canada’s Substance Abuse Workforce.

Why get certified?

Practitioners from a variety of disciplines and sectors provide services related to substance abuse prevention and treatment. Certification is one way to ensure they develop, incorporate and maintain the necessary skills to provide the highest quality services to their clients. In addition, certification:

  • Gives substance abuse and related professionals regular access to the latest developments in the field and targeted training opportunities;

  • Demonstrates expertise and serves to promote professionalism towards the public and peers; and

  • Can lead to increased compensation and expanded career opportunities.

How to get certified

Six Canadian organizations offer certification to substance abuse and allied professionals with the general aims of providing protection to their clientele and recognition for the practitioner.

Learn about accreditation for organizations.