Professional and Workforce Development


The Workforce Development Advisory Committee is co-led by the Bureau Director for Workforce Development and Talent Management and a Provider representative who’s primary responsibilities are to address Workforce Development, Recruitment and Retention in at least one of OASAS service settings (Prevention, Treatment, Recovery, Harm Reduction). Executive Sponsors are Associate Commissioners from Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement, Addiction Treatment and Recovery and Prevention and Problem Gambling Services. 

The committee consists of members with:

  • Addiction/Mental Health/Health Workforce Development Expertise
  • Diverse perspective regarding populations served, geographical representation, services provided and breadth of workforce development expertise.
  • OASAS direct service prevention, treatment, recovery, harm reduction Providers
  • OASAS approved Education and Training Providers (both community and college/university based)
  • Research/Public Policy entities related to Workforce Development

If you are interested in serving on this committee, please complete and submit a nomination form and return to [email protected] by January 15, 2023.


Responding to the Opioid Crisis

  • Clinical Response Following an Opioid Overdose: A Guide for Managers: The sharp upswing in overdose-related mortalities has prompted OASAS to issue this guide, intended to provide an overview of the primary issues that can arise when an organization must cope with the loss of a client to opioid overdose, from legal and regulatory issues, to addressing the issue with staff members and the client’s peers. This document will also introduce clinical responses to grief and the grieving process, including specific considerations for behavioral health professionals.
  • Overdose Prevention and Response in Behavioral Health Settings: This guide is intended to support providers and the individuals they serve through a multi-pronged approach to addressing overdose, from prevention strategies and services to postvention response. The guide outlines various procedures in overdose prevention.


Mandatory Trainings

  • CASAC Foundations: The International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium recently changed their policy related to individuals who have failed the CASAC exam multiple times. Boards must require that additional steps are taken prior to re-testing. In addition, re-testing can now only occur once every 90 days. Individuals who have failed the exam three times are required to take review training entitled CASAC Foundations or the Ready to Test training prior to re-testing. OASAS certified Education and Training Providers that teach the 350 hour CASAC curriculum may offer either the CASAC Foundations training or Ready to Test. OASAS Certified Providers offering the course can be found on the NYS OASAS Training Catalog.
  • Medication Assisted Treatment: Effective January 1, 2018, all levels of the SUD Counselor Scope of Practices, including CASACs, will be required to complete a new one-time, 3-hour requirement for Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) training in accordance with the legislation enacted in early 2017. The MAT training, entitled, “Supporting Recovery with Medications for Addiction Treatment (MAT),” is the only training that will be accepted to satisfy the requirement. This free training is offered through the Addiction Technology Transfer Center Network.
Ethics: Effective January 1, 2018, CASACs will be required to complete a continuing, 6-hour requirement for OASAS approved ethics training. The 6 hours of ethics training will be required for each CASAC renewal. The requirement may be satisfied through any ethics specific OASAS approved training and may be applied toward meeting the 60-hour renewal requirement. The ethics requirement may be satisfied by accessing the OASAS Learning Thursdays’ “Year of Ethics” series free of charge, including a course on confidentiality. These courses may also be used to develop the Introduction to Addictions Course for Counselor Assistants, Provisional QHPs and QHPs who do not meet the training requirements for QHP in the OASAS regulations.

Career Ladders


    CASAC Fact Sheet

    A brief overview of the New York State Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) workforce, including work experience and supervision.




    Scopes of Practice

    SUD counselor career ladders, the functions for each counselor category, and education/training for each. Mandatory training is listed on page 4.



Talent Management

Exceptional talent strategies for employees, leaders, board members and volunteers are essential to promoting long-term prevention, treatment and recovery. The benefit to providers is a skilled, motivated and engaged staff that is dedicated to positive outcomes for the people and communities they serve. The benefit to consumers is that they will receive quality care as well as experience changes which lead to healthy, safe and productive lifestyles.

Key Components that Characterize Talent Management:
  • Employee Engagement - An employee-centered focus involving employees at all levels in an open communication process designed to foster important business relationships, personal and professional growth, job satisfaction and improved service outcomes.
  • Leadership Development - The capacity to listen and observe, to use expertise to encourage dialogue between all levels of decision-making, to establish processes and transparency in decision-making, and to articulate one's values and vision clearly but not impose them.
  • Board Development - Empowering nonprofit board members with the information, tools and strategies needed to effectively carry out their governance responsibilities.
  • Employee/Clinical Supervision - The process by which a supervisor of a profession assists supervisees in developing the knowledge and skills necessary to perform effectively. This relationship is evaluative, extends over time and enhances the professional functioning of the subordinate, while monitoring the quality of services offered.
  • Healthy Organizational Culture - The ability to consistently maintain a productive and healthy work environment conducive to the well-being of employees and the communities/individuals they serve. A healthy organization includes a culture of respect, fairness and open communication which utilizes a shared set of values, norms and behaviors to effectively accomplish the organizational goals.
  • Cultural Competence - The ongoing practice of integrating knowledge, information and data from and about individuals, families and communities and transforming that information into clinical standards and practices, skills, approaches, policies and strategies that match the service population and enhance the quality of service.
  • Professional Ethics - The manner and extent to which specialized knowledge and professional integrity is governed in an organization and in the provision of services by its staff.
  • Career Development - A goal-oriented strategy through which an organization structures and manages learning opportunities, professional development, growth and the career advancement of its members

Workplace Wellness

The workplace is the perfect location to address health and wellness - employees spend more waking hours at work than at any other activity. Employers benefit from a supportive environment promoting healthy lifestyle choices where there is reduced absenteeism, lower turnover, and better moral. Employees will develop improved attitudes, increased energy levels, vitality, enhanced relationships with co-workers and supervisors, empowerment, and overall improved well-being.

Work-site wellness and health promotion is an investment in human capital. Promoting nutrition, exercise, emotional wellness/stress management, organizational wellness, and tobacco independence can contribute to a healthier and happier workforce.


Congratulations to the OASAS Certified Treatment Agencies awarded Best Company to Work for in New York 2020-2021! Thank you for your dedication and commitment to employee engagement and ensuring SUD Treatment service providers are consistently ranked amongst the Best Companies to Work For in New York State.

Apply to be considered for a Best Company to Work for in New York State award in 2022.