The Opioid Treatment Accreditation Course (OTAC), previously known as the Pharmacotherapy Accreditation Course (PAC), can be completed either online or as a one day face-to face workshop followed by a half-day clinical placement with an approved pharmacotherapy prescriber.

The treatment of opioid dependence is a challenging and stimulating endeavour for medical practitioners. There are clear benefits for opioid dependent individuals, and communities that result from opioid treatment programs. These include reduction in risk of death, reduction in drug use, reduced risk of contracting some blood born viruses such as HIV, improved health, and reduced crime.

Prescribing opioids in NSW, including methadone and buprenorphine, occurs within a regulatory framework. The regulation of opioids have been developed in response to the need to minimize harm associated with prescribing opioids. In order to prescribe methadone or buprenorphine a medical practitioner must have approval from the NSW Health Department to prescribe to each patient.

In order to equip medical practitioners to provide good quality clinical care to their patients who are opioid dependent, NSW Health offers training and accreditation in opioid treatment.

The training program, known as the Opioid Treatment Accreditation Course (OTAC), has two key aims:

  • To develop the medical practitioner’s knowledge and skills in opioid treatment to a level of basic competence.
  • To prepare medical practitioners to deliver safe and effective opioid treatment within the NSW health system.

A redesigned Opioid Treatment Accreditation Course (OTAC) has been developed for 2011 to ensure the content reflects the new national framework for opioid pharmacotherapy treatment, as developed by the Royal Australian College of Physicians, Chapter of Addiction Medicine.

Participants interested in enrolling in the Opioid Treatment Accreditation Course, or future dates for the course, should visit the Course Registration tab on this website.

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Course Development

The content for the Opioid Treatment Accreditation Course (known previously as the Pharmacotherapy Accreditation Course) was originally developed by Associate Professor James Bell on behalf of NSW Health, and has been fortunate to benefit from contributions from a number of clinicians and educators over the years it has been operating.

It was most recently updated in 2011 to bring content into line with the national curriculum developed by the Royal Australian College of Physicians, Chapter of Addiction Medicine.

The OTAC has been designed and developed by the Workforce Education and Development Group, Sydney Medical School. The team has been coordinating the OTAC on behalf of NSW Health since 2001, as both an online and face to face course.