Substance Use Certificate

The Substance Use Certificate is a 20-day (10 credit) program. Courses in this area are grounded in a harm-reduction approach.

The Substance Use Certificate Program is getting a refresh! During this time the Substance Use Certificate will be on pause but we will continue to offer some of our most popular substance courses:

All the certificate courses will remain available for customized delivery to you and your organization. For more information see customized training.

If you would like to be notified as to updates and when registration becomes available, please send us your email indicating your interest at otherwise, be sure to visit this page for updates!

Substance Use courses are taught by experienced professionals with a focus on understanding substance use within a bio-psychosocial-spiritual framework; the application of current research and knowledge about interventions; and the exploration of social justice issues such as race, class, gender, poverty and violence.

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Who Should Take This Certificate Program

This program is designed for counsellors, management, and staff of health, criminal justice, and social service agencies whose clients include people who are using substances.

Learning Objectives

You will gain an understanding of the key concepts, policy, and intervention models that guide the prevention, assessment, and treatment of substance use. Specific assessment and treatment approaches, including motivational interviewing, are covered in depth.

Through class discussion, you will develop approaches to substance use issues that can be applied to a range of settings. You will come away with a clearer understanding of your own values and practice framework.

Program Format

These courses can be taken individually or as part of the Substance Use Certificate.  To successfully complete the certificate, students must attend the program in full and achieve 70% or higher on the written take-home final assignment. 

The courses must be completed within 3 years after acceptance into the program. 

All courses can also be customized for your organization, agency, or group.


Required Courses (10 credits)

Course Name

Course Code



Understanding Substance Use  COUN-1100 1 2
Continuum of Care: Prevention to Harm Reduction  COUN-1105 1 2

All My Relations: Working with Aboriginal Clients 

COUN-1110 .5 1
Assessment Practices COUN-1115 1 2
Interconnected Risk
COUN-1120 1 2
Motivational Interviewing 1  COUN-1125 1 2
Compassion & Policy: The Heart and Mind of Drug Policy Reform COUN-1130 .5 1
Concurrent Disorders Planning 1 COUN-1135 1 2
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Increasing Our Understanding COUN-1140  .5 1

Community Voices/Contemporary Issues

COUN-1145 .5 1
Trauma Informed Practice (TiP) in Addictions COUN-1150 1 2

The Neurobiology of Addiction and Substance Use Strategies

COUN-1156 1

Course Dates

Please note, acceptance into the program does not guarantee your seat in a class. We suggest registering at least one month before classes begin as seating is limited.

Certificate Program participants are required to complete a final assignment within six weeks of completing their final course.

Books & Supplies

Course manuals are supplied when you attend class, and if the purchase of books or other materials is required you will be advised of the details when you register. 

Books & Supplies


Non-Refundable Certificate Application Fee:  $75

The total cost to complete the Substance Use Certificate is approximately $3,000. Courses are paid for individually when you register for them.

International tuition are calculated at 3 times domestic rates.

For individual course fees please see the courses tab and click on the course code.

Application Process

Submit your online application form.



Once your application has been approved, please register directly with Student Services at 604.528.5590 or

Courses in this program are open to all students. For more information email or call 604-528-5833.

Last updated November 22, 2019