The Health Development Agency (HDA) has launched an online standard designed
to benchmark the quality of smoking cessation training and services.
Up to now, there has been no national co-ordinated approach to how smoking
cessation services are drawn up and developed or the level of training.
A recent audit of smoking cessation training commissioned by the HDA found
many courses were of variable quality, many advisers were receiving only very
brief training, and there was frequently little assessment of trainees’ skills or
The standard covers three levels of smoking cessation advice: brief
interventions, intensive one-to-one support and advice and group interventions.
It highlights the need for training to be flexible, to allow tailored
instruction for advisers and that smokers wanting to quit have equal access to
the best advice.
The HDA said the standard would help primary care trusts reach the new NHS
target of each producing 900 successful quitters per year – an increase of 170
per cent on the current figure.
Dame Yve Buckland, HDA chair, said: "The success of smoking cessation
services in helping people quit depends on highly-trained and skilled