To What Extent Is the Program Being Delivered by Competent Facilitators?

Program providers should receive regular trainings in order to ensure that they can deliver the prevention program with high levels of implementation quality (NIDA, 2003). Many school-based substance use prevention programs are delivered by teachers, but researchers have found that using peer leaders or outside professionals may be equally or more effective (Tobler et al., 2000; Soole et al., 2003). In addition to training on program content, program facilitators should receive training on classroom management practices, including rewarding appropriate student behavior (NIDA, 2003).

Effective program leaders should maintain an open dialogue with students and engage them using interactive methods. Good program leaders will establish a trusting relationship with program participants and set high expectations for participant performance and behavior (NOVA Research Company, 2009). 

Characteristics of program facilitators can be measured at different levels. For a broad overview, a program administrator can complete a tool that assesses the number of staff members with certain degrees, how long staff members have worked for the program, and staff members’ previous experience in substance use prevention. For more detailed ratings of individual facilitators, outside observers can sit in a program session and rate the teaching quality. Organizations with limited resources may rely on facilitator self-evaluations, though these are more likely to be biased. Lastly, participants can offer important insight into the effectiveness of the program facilitator. Data on program facilitators can be collected quarterly, for programs that are delivered over one academic year.

Surveys / Assessments


Sources Cited

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2003). Preventing drug use among children and adolescents: A research-based guide for parents, educators, and community leaders.

Tobler, N. S., Roona, M. R., Ochshorn, P., Marshall, D. G., Streke, A. V., & Stackpole, K. M. (2000). School-based adolescent drug prevention programs: 1998 meta-analysis. The Journal of Primary Prevention, 20(4), 275-336.

Soole, D. W., Mazerolle, L., & Rombouts, S. (2005). Monograph no. 07: School based drug prevention: A systematic review of the effectiveness on illicit drug use: DPMP Monograph Series. Fitzroy: Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Treatment Centre. 

NOVA Research Company. (2009). Substance abuse prevention handbook. from