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Case Study – Quality Mark Endorsement for NHS Ayrshire and Arran

NHS Ayrshire and Arran’s Addiction services training awarded Skills for Health Quality Mark

NHS Ayrshire & Arran’s Addiction Services Prevention and Service Support Team has achieved the Skills for Health Quality Mark for its Alcohol and Substance Abuse Awareness and Prevention programmes of learning.

The team of 10 designs, delivers, and co-ordinates a range of courses through its Ayrshire Addiction Training Calendar, which is aimed at all staff within NHS, Local Authority, and third sector who are working with people who are affected by alcohol and drug issues.

The team applied to Skills for Health’s pilot Quality Mark scheme to gain this recognised qualification so that they could demonstrate the high quality of their work. They hoped to encourage employers to use their services, therefore allowing more patients to benefit from their expertise.

The Skills for Health Quality Mark provides a framework for defining and endorsing high standards of learning and training, enabling healthcare employers to benefit from a world-class workforce.

The Quality Mark assessment process focused on best practice and included on-site visits, teaching observations, interviews with trainers, learners, and employers, and evaluation of documentary evidence.

Our quality assurance team, with a background in training and education, considered four key areas: appropriate ethics and values; health sector engagement awareness to ensure that provision meets employer and health sector learning needs and adds value to the patient/service user experience; learning excellence; and effective Quality Assurance arrangements which include a commitment to continuous improvement.

The Prevention and Service Support team already had much of the paperwork in place, because they collect evidence about their work as an ongoing practice, and they were able to resolve queries and issues through dialogue with the Skills for Health assessor.

“The process was quite simple and self-explanatory, and not something to be afraid of! Our assessor supported us through the process and was always available to answer queries. We’d recommend it to anyone who wants to encourage others to use their services, as it demonstrates a commitment to high standards.”

Adelle Still, Addictions Education & Prevention Specialist, NHS Ayrshire & Arran


  • The Quality Mark was achieved, and although it is not yet widely recognised in Scotland, the Addiction Services team are confident that it will encourage employers to use their services
  • By going through the assessment process, the team were able to identify the positive aspects of what they were already doing, as well as reveal areas which would benefit from development
  • Learners on Addiction Services Prevention and Service Support courses will receive high-quality training which will ultimately benefit their patients

As the Sector Skills Council for Health, we help health sector employers across the UK optimise the potential of their workforce. Our proven solutions address not just improved productivity but also the quality of health and healthcare.