AJ1 Help individuals address their offending behaviour


This standard is about helping substance misusers, including alcohol misusers, who have offended, or are likely to offend, to understand and change their behaviour positively. The worker needs to challenge individuals’ behaviour and provide support and encouragement for change. They need to recognise the complex range of factors which may lead to offending and be able to help individuals value themselves and others. The substance misusing offender will lose something in making changes and they should be assisted in dealing with this. Such work may take place as the opportunity arises during ongoing contact with the individual or may occur during more formal interventions.

Users of this standard will need to ensure that practice reflects up to date information and policies.

Version No 1

Knowledge and Understanding

You will need to know and understand:

  1. the range of different substances, and their implications for the provision of services
  2. the range of behaviours that can be expected from substance users, and how to deal with these
  3. the range of substance misuse services
  4. the risks substance misuse may pose to individuals, and how to minimise these risks
  5. the risks substance users may pose to others, how to assess and minimise these risks
  6. the implications of a dual diagnosis on an offender
  7. the techniques to prevent relapse of substance misuse
  8. how you evaluate your own competence when at work and decide when further support and expertise are needed
  9. how offending behaviour can have bearing on treatment outcomes
  10. the range of treatments in relation to offending behaviour
  11. the ways in which the physical, social, psychological and emotional development and functioning of substance misusers affects their behaviour and its associated patterns
  12. how equality and inequality can affect people
  13. the impact of crime on victims and their need for protection, respect, recognition and information
  14. different ways of encouraging individuals to see the need to change their behaviour and develop the motivation to do so
  15. the obstacles to change which may exist for substance misusers and methods of overcoming them
  16. why it is important to help individuals consider the effects of their choices on others and to have ownership of, and be responsible for, the decisions that they make
  17. the evidence for the effectiveness of different ways of supporting individual to change their behaviour and how they determined that which was most appropriate to use for different individuals
  18. the ways in which it is necessary to alter communication when working with different individuals and representatives of different agencies
  19. the ways in which individual’s culture and gender influence the worker’s practice
  20. how they have applied the principles of equality, diversity and anti-discriminatory practice to their work
  21. the specific legislation (national and European) which relates to this work (such as Crime & Disorder Act, Drug Treatment and Testing Order legislation etc.) and how they have taken this into account in their work
  22. any particular factors relating to the agency’s policies and practices which have affected the work undertaken

Performance Criteria

You must be able to do the following:

  1. communicate with individuals throughout the process in a manner which:
    1. is appropriate to them
    2. encourages an open exchange of views and information
    3. minimises any constraints to communication
    4. is free from discrimination and oppression
  2. encourage individuals to:
    1. reflect on their behaviour, its consequences and the risks associated with it
    2. talk about those aspects of their behaviour which concern them
    3. ask any necessary questions
    4. identify their own priorities in relation to their behaviour
    5. recognise the benefits of and their potential for change
  3. you offer information and advice:
    1. on the advantages of positive change
    2. that is relevant to the individuals’ interests
    3. in a manner which recognises the complexity of the situation
    4. on preventing relapse of substance misuse
  4. challenge constructively attitudes and behaviour which are abusive, aggressive or discriminatory while taking account of personal safety
  5. give immediate, focused and constructive feedback to individuals on positive changes in their attitudes and behaviour
  6. complete records accurately and clearly and store them according to agency requirements
  7. seek advice and support promptly when team discussion and supervision are appropriate.
  8. explore with individuals the ways in which they can make positive changes in their behaviour and the implications of such changes
  9. encourage individuals to:
    1. value themselves positively
    2. recognise their strengths and ability to change
    3. select options which they are able to put into practice and to which they are committed
    4. identify how and when they should review their progress towards their goals
  10. clarify with individuals the support available to them
  11. support individuals in a manner which is consistent with:
    1. the individual’s needs
    2. the worker’s role and responsibilities
    3. statutory requirements and agency practice
  12. provide constructive feedback to individuals and reinforce positive changes in their behaviour
  13. assist individuals to:
    1. reflect on their progress and the factors that have contributed to their behaviour change
    2. learn from what has happened
  14. complete records accurately and clearly and store them according to agency requirements
  15. you communicate information to people who are authorised to have it

Additional Information

This National Occupational Standard appears in the Community Justice Standards as Unit D301 Help individuals address their offending behaviour. It has been tailored slightly to be consistent with other substance misuse standards.

This standard links with the following dimension within the NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework (October 2004):

Dimension: HWB4 Enablement to address health and wellbeing needs
AJ1 Help individuals address their offending behaviour
Final version approved June 2010 © copyright Skills For Health
For competence management tools visit tools.skillsforhealth.org.uk