DANOS - the Drugs and Alcohol National Occupational Standards


Sets of National Occupational Standards represent a consensus on what workers can be accepted to achieve in any particular sector. This means they can be used to establish competence - that a worker can achieve a task to a specific standard in a range of different contexts.

National Occupational Standards are developed through detailed consultation with as many stake holders as possible and then ratified by a statutory authority. They then become a basic tool for workforce development as the basis for qualifications, for organising human resource functions (like job descriptions, selection processes and supervision amongst others) and to inform training and development. The set particular to the Drugs and Alcohol Sector is called DANOS - the Drugs and Alcohol National Occupational Standards.
DANOS has been a major development in how drugs and alcohol services are carried out in Britain as represents a consensus on good practice in the whole field across the UK.

DANOS describes the kinds of outcomes that are expected of workers in the sector under three separate headings. These are
A - practitioner issues
B- management issues
C- commissioning
Each of these areas is then divided into groups of Units that describe the key tasks and the underpinning knowledge and skills that are needed to be competent in an area of work. Competent means that a worker is able to work to a specific standard in a range of different circumstances
So the Practitioner A units that .deal with issues to do with dealing with people who are upset are all grouped together in the section AB: Support individuals in difficult situations.
The original schema changed in 2007 and a number of units were amalgamated with ones from other suites of standards. The updated list is available on the
Skills for Health website.
FDAP, the relevant professional body, has developed a list of units it sees as being essential for all workers in the sector. These are available on their website.

How we use DANOS. 

National Occupational Standards form the basis of how we structure the learning packages and courses offered here. We map courses against them and  they form the basis for both learning objectives and content.
For people to be assessed against the DANOS standards to gain a qualification they must be registered with an assessment centre (like a further education college) so their competence can be measured. Our training provides one route that can help people gain the skills and knowledge they need.

How we can help you. 

DANOS is a resource that can be used to streamline a range of processes in any organisation. We can help with embedding them in the whole supervision and appraisal structure by working with you to design processes and then deliver training for all the staff involved.
We can also help with training needs analysis to help management gain a realistic idea of the learning needs of the organisation.
Finally, we can help you get hold of the evidence base. National Occupational Standards have been around for a long time and there is a substantial literature about them. Pages in the online bookshop look at competence based learning .