Problem gambling workforce

The Ministry of Health is committed to supporting the development of the problem gambling workforce.

One of the objectives of the Ministry’s Preventing and Minimising Gambling Harm Strategic Plan 2010–2016 is to enhance workforce development.

The Ministry supports workforce development by allocating a proportion of its funding to non-government organisations for workforce development. This allows problem gambling staff working for Ministry-funded problem gambling service providers to put aside some time each year to undertake training and further develop their skills.

Currently the Ministry contract with ABACUS (Counselling, Training & Supervision Ltd) to provide support to clinical psychosocial intervention staff, and Te Kakano (led by Hapai Te Hauora Tapui) to train the problem gambling primary prevention public health workforce.

These services are integral to achieving the Ministry’s strategic objectives to develop a skilled workforce to deliver effective services to prevent and minimise gambling harm.

As part of the services delivered for the Ministry, ABACUS and Te Kakano are responsible for:

  • commenting on emerging trends in the sector
  • identifying and/or analysing recently released research findings, and
  • updating providers on workforce development training opportunities.

Competency standards

Public health

Generic public health competencies have been developed by the Public Health Association of New Zealand.

The generic competencies for public health were developed to provide a minimum baseline set of competencies common to all public health roles across the public health disciplines, including the problem gambling public health sector.

The Ministry is exploring the development of specific problem gambling public health competencies that will build on, and align with, the generic public health competencies.

Intervention (problem gambling counselling)

The broader addiction treatment workforce has been reviewed to identify the essential knowledge, skills and attitudes required to deliver effective co-existing treatment services. Work has been undertaken to identify a core set of common competencies, and acknowledge specialist skills required specific to unique addictions and to problem gambling.

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