Higher Learning is also available to undertake a number of consultancy services that will assist your organisation to continually develop and improve.

Services available:

Retendering Support:

  • Project preparation and planning including risk assessment and assimilation
  • Consult with providers, service users, local communities and national and local stakeholders
  • Service review, options appraisals and DAAT/PH sign off
  • Draft detailed service specifications and prepare advertisements, ITQs and tender documentation, driving local priorities and in accordance with local procurement and European Legislation
  • Contract mobilisation post contract award including risk mitigation, performance monitoring and target setting/re-alignment

Treatment Planning & Service Design:

  • Assemble relevant data to identify an evidence base for treatment planning
  • Review budget and VfM components of treatment services
  • Evaluate expenditure against cost/benefits of treatment delivery
  • Set realistic targets for provider delivery
  • Research and implement options appraisals of service design
  • Develop/draft strategic and operational commissioning priorities and annual treatment plans
  • Develop service user input to the design and delivery of treatment services

Performance Management & Commissioning Support:

  • Improve performance: by establishing Performance Management Frameworks in line with changes to national reporting methodologies, groupings by substance use and local outcome comparator benchmarks
  • Reviewing joint and tactical commissioning to yield maximum benefits
  • Review partnership and treatment provider arrangements and performance
  • Setting recovery and outcome focused targets for partnership and service providers
  • Develop performance monitoring dashboards for partnerships and service providers to support effective real time contract monitoring and to help design commissioning intentions

Service Reviews:

  • Review service impact, Equalities Impact, VfM, cost effectiveness, governance and delivery history and strategic relevance
  • Support providers with understanding NDTMS/TOP and effective recording of client data to better understand client need and interventions
  • Identify successes and shortfalls in the existing treatment system as a whole and including referral pathways
  • Support effective partnership working through joint working protocols
  • Identify and address effective links between outcome and recovery focused services e.g. ETE/Housing/benefits and lifestyle health
  • Support providers to work effectively with agencies from the Criminal Justice System

Adult and YP Substance Misuse Needs Assessments:

  • Review demand and supply of treatment services for drugs and alcohol (opiate, non-opiate only, alcohol only and non-opiate & alcohol), for adults and young people’s services
  • Assess need and contextualise priorities for treatment provision
  • Examine and present evidence of changing trends in local substance misuse (e.g. prevalence and use of NPS)
  • Identify preventive approaches in respect of YP Commissioning
  • Prioritise and address gaps and areas for service expansion and improvement
  • Establish levels of actual and estimated prevalence and service penetration
  • Reviewing existing service provision, presentations, those, entering treatment, in effective treatment, and treatment exits and successful completions
  • Reviewing service infrastructure to meet needs
  • Review alternative and partnership data sources to complement NDTMS data

Development of Resources: If your organisation wishes to produce written literature for either staff and/or clients; Higher Learning can produce the full resource, from content, design and printing. Examples of in-house literature can provided upon request.

We are also able to produce filmed content that can be professionally packaged in a variety of options, or can be made available for web hosting only. This can be particularly useful in engaging your client group, be it young people or adults and has also been used to demonstrate consultation or promote services. Prices for this type of work vary depending upon requirements, and are calculated based upon your specifications.



Policy Review and Development

We write, and review policies and procedures for businesses, organisations and services. We believe in empowering services and organisations and as such our approach rests upon active involvement of staff in the process. Below is an example of some of the work that can be undertaken:

  • Policies to support curriculum work with young people around Drugs Education
  • User Complaints Policy and Procedures
  • Development of bespoke Staff Handbooks
  • Development Policy and Procedures
  • Equality Policy and Guidelines
  • Recruitment & Selection Policy and Procedures

Stay abreast of changes and make sure you regularly review and update your policies, procedures and practice guidelines by using our services.

Research: With expertise developed over many years, and utilising highly skilled associate partners, Higher Learning can provide qualitative and literature based-research services that can be used to inform service development and effective evidence based practice.

Service User & Community Research:

  • Quantitative: Service user surveys, targeted sub samples, community perception surveys (using interview, street, electronic and telephone data capture methodology)
  • Qualitative: Targeted social marketing surveys, focus groups, developing and supporting service user groups as independent entities