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Interprofessional Substance Use Practice Certificate

Learn through a blend of online and practicum courses in this evidence- and practice-based program, in which you will gain demonstrable expertise in the area of substance use practice.

You can enhance the positive impact you already make on the health and well-being of your clients and people in your community. Learn to develop and demonstrate foundational and innovative competency in prevention and treatment practice.

This program is ideal for you if you are a fourth-year nursing student or currently employed in a setting such as health, criminal justice, social services and treatment facilities and seek to build the knowledge and competencies needed to work with clients who have substance use issues.

With the exception of its practicum component (which must be taken in BC), the program is available to applicants who meet the admission requirements (see below) and are residing in Canada, who either are Canadian citizens or else have a current student or working visa.

Typical completion time is within two years. Courses are sequential and taken one at a time. To stay in good standing with the program, you must take a minimum of one course every year.


BC’s health care system's capacity for mental health and substance use specialists has increased. There is a need—and job opportunities—for skilled professionals who can respond effectively to individuals with substance use problems. The Interprofessional Substance Use Practice Certificate program, offered in collaboration with TRU’s School of Nursing and grounded in a student-centred approach, responds to this need.

In the program's 12-day practicum, which includes opportunities for experiential learning, you gain and demonstrate the behavioural and technical skills required to meet the current Competencies for Canada's Substance Abuse Workforce, thereby enhancing your opportunities for employment.

Calendar description

This five-course certificate program provides interdisciplinary learners who are working in the substance use field or those interested in this area with an opportunity to acquire the knowledge and competencies necessary to work in a variety of substance use treatment settings within facilities, agencies and community. This substance use program will integrate theoretical constructs from best practices in the substance use field with the technical and behavioural competencies developed by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse.

Elective Courses

Students may take HLTH 4511 and HLTH 4521 as elective credits without applying for admission into the certificate program upon approval of he Associate Dean and/or designate. To complete the remaining courses, students must apply for admission in the certificate program.

Program requirements

Admission requirements

One of the following:

  • Current employment in a health care, criminal justice, social services or treatment facility setting OR
  • Graduation from a certificate, diploma or bachelor’s degree program in health and human services OR
  • Permission of the associate dean or a designate
  • Fourth-year standing in TRU's Nursing program or permission from the School of Nursing
  • Eligibility to take a 4000-level course

Additional requirements

  • A Program Admission Form
  • Official transcript should be sent to
  • After program admission and prior to enrolment in the practicum course, a completed Consent to a Criminal Record Check (CRC) form

Residency requirements

A minimum of six TRU credits (online courses only; this program is not offered on campus)

Certificate requirements (15 credits)

  • HLTH 4511, Introduction to Problematic Substance Use (3)
  • HLTH 4521, Assessment and Intervention Approaches to Problematic Substance Use (3)
  • HLTH 4531, Assessment and Intervention Approaches in Concurrent Disorders (3)
  • HLTH 4541, Population-Based Prevention and Intervention
  • HLTH 4551, Directed Studies Practicum in Substance Use and Concurrent Disorders (3)

Prior to registering in HLTH 4541, you must complete all theory courses, with a GPA of 2.00 (a grade of C) or higher.

The program coordinator, with your input, arranges an appropriate practicum. This directed practicum is based on availability and resources in the community that you select. The practicum consists of a total of 96 hours and can be completed on a part-time or full-time basis. To complete the practicum, you may need to relocate at your expense if suitable service agencies are unavailable near where you live. Acceptance into this program does not guarantee a practicum placement.

Graduation requirements

Completion of all theory courses and the practicum with a GPA of 2.00 or higher over all courses required for this credential

Student responsibility

Consult with the program coordinator or your program advisor to ensure that the courses you select are available and appropriate for your program of study and educational goals. Otherwise, you may find that a course does not meet the program requirements and cannot be applied toward this program's credential.


The funding to develop this program was received from the Interior Health Authority (IHA) in recognition of the need to address the strategic priorities addressed in the BC Ministry of Health's Setting Priorities for the B.C. Health System.

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