Addictions Counselling

Addictions Counselling

Program Overview

Redesigned program curriculum, and a new program title (Mental Health and Addictions Counselling), are now fully approved. A revised program web page will be published in the near future. Please check back.

The field of addictions counselling is growing and graduates of the Saskatchewan Polytechnic Addictions Counselling diploma program are in high demand. We appreciate your interest in this field and encourage you to consider joining us for our reintroduction of the program in the 2021/22 academic year. We anticipate that students will study full time and complete their studies in approximately two years.

Applied hands-on learning is the cornerstone of Saskatchewan Polytechnic's vision for education and allows you to hone the skills you've learned throughout the Addictions Counselling program. Our partners in industry are excited to work with and mentor our students, and you'll work on projects with them, gain real world experience and make important industry connections. We work with employers (where you live) to allow you to complete these experiences as part of your studies. At times some travel is needed, but whenever possible we work with you to create engaging and on-site practice experiences.

For more information or to find out more about how to apply to our new Addictions Counselling diploma program offering, please contact Caroline Hoffart, Program Head, Addictions Counselling, at or 306-775-7354.

It takes emotional maturity, good people skills and a strong sense of self to become an addictions counsellor. If you’re interested, the Addictions Counselling program at Saskatchewan Polytechnic will provide the training you need. The program is also the first in Canada to integrate mental health, addictions and First Nations philosophy.

Extensive training hours and experiential learning qualify you for jobs with community-based agencies, health authorities, non-profit organizations, school systems and private companies. Look for a position as a treatment counsellor, addictions educator, group home worker, case manager or employee/family assistance counsellor.

Addictions Counselling is a two-year diploma program offered at Saskatchewan Polytechnic Prince Albert Campus, and online. You’ll study cross-cultural and gender issues, gambling, pharmacology, drug abuse history in communities, prevention strategies and more. Instructors with real-world experience provide practical training in:

  • administrative and communication skills
  • integrated case management, motivational interviewing
  • one-one and group counselling
  • community mobilization, prevention and development projects
  • community-based public education, health promotion sessions
  • screenings, assessments, treatment plans and referrals
  • suicide intervention and crisis intervention
  • trauma and addictions

Experiential Learning

You’ll apply what you learn in class in simulated experiential learning labs. Skilled instructors provide coaching and monitoring as you practice suicide and crisis intervention skills, one-on-one counselling techniques and group counselling and mobilizing community prevention programs.

On-the-Ground Training

You’ll get hands-on training in the community, including a two-week clinical practicum in a detoxification setting and a 12-week clinical practicum in a mental health and addictions program setting. Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s extensive training hours and real-world experience provide professional skills and confidence, enabling you to transition smoothly into a counselling position on graduation.

Get a Degree

If you add an introductory course in corrections to your studies, when you graduate you’ll be eligible to transfer into third year of the four-year Bachelor of Applied Arts in Justice Studies at Lethbridge College in Alberta. 

Transfer credit is available for:

  • up to 42 credits towards a Bachelor of Social Work Degree (BSW) with the University of Regina Social Work Degree Program at the University of Regina, Regina Saskatchewan
  • up to 51 credits towards the Addictions Counselling Degree (B.Hsc.) program through the University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge Alberta
  • up to 30 credits towards a Bachelor of Arts Degree (BA) Briercrest College and Seminary, Briercrest Saskatchewan

Bachelor of Applied Management 

Leverage the completion of the diploma into a Bachelor of Applied Management degree at Saskatchewan Polytechnic with only two years of additional study. Remote classes and part-time options for study are available.

Nationally Recognized Training

The program is sanctioned by both the Addictions Professionals Association of Saskatchewan (APASK, and the Canadian Addictions Counsellor Certification Federation (CACCF, It also exceeds national workforce competencies developed by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA). This means your training is relevant in today’s job market.

On graduation, you’ll be eligible for membership in the Addictions Professionals Association of Saskatchewan (APASK). You’ll also be able to apply your training hours as recognized clinical supervision to achieve full certification as an addictions counsellor or prevention worker through the CACCF.

Career and Salary Information

Your Career

Look for career opportunities with provincial and federal health agencies, non-profit organizations, school systems, private companies and with community-based agencies such as the National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program and the Métis Addictions Council of Saskatchewan.

For more information, contact the Student Employment Services at the Saskatchewan Polytechnic campus nearest you.

Potential Careers

Sample Job TitleNOC Classification1Earning Potential2
Addictions CounsellorFamily, Marriage and Other Related Counsellors (4153)$39,600 - $85,300
Substance Abuse CounsellorFamily, Marriage and Other Related Counsellors (4153)$39,600 - $85,300
Addiction WorkerSocial and Community Service Workers (4212)$31,800 - $66,300

Length and Start Date

Start Date(s):

September (on-campus and online deliveries)

Length: 80 weeks

Year 1 - 41 weeks; Year 2 - 39 weeks


  • Prince Albert
  • Online/Distance options available

  • Some programs offered online or otherwise by distance (i.e., correspondence) include on-site labs, clinicals, practicums or work experiences. They may be offered course-by-course or full-time, or both, and deliveries may change over time.


Admission Requirements


  • Accepted applicants are required to provide current immunization records.
  • All successful applicants must provide proof of Standard First Aid, CPR Health Care Provider 'C' AED or equivalent, and submit the results of a Criminal Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Search prior to commencement of the program. (When you are accepted to the program, you will be further advised of the required timelines for submission of the related documents. Please await further notice). The cost of CPR certification, the Criminal Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Search is your responsibility.
  • Accepted applicants are required to provide evidence of 2015 WHMIS Globally Harmonized System (GHS) certification upon admission into the program. Recertification will be required every three years to remain current. The cost of WHMIS certification is your responsibility.
  • If you have experience(s) with a substance use disorder you will need to have reached a level of stability and functionality that will allow you to undertake this program of studies and to counsel others.
  • It is strongly recommended that you consult with an academic program advisor at Saskatchewan Polytechnic if you have questions about your readiness for the program.
  • An interview and/or letter of intent may be required.

Alternative Admission

Applicants who do not possess the academic qualifications for a program may be admitted if evidence of probable success can be established through an alternative admission assessment. Applicants are automatically considered for alternative admission. However, some specific admission requirements may still need to be met.


Refer to the ACCUPLACER© cut scores for this program below, and review additional details concerning Alternative Admission using Accuplacer.

  • 250 Reading
  • 245 Writing
  • 4 Writeplacer


Some programs allow applicants to meet the admission grade level requirement using 15 approved post-secondary credits. Review additional information.

If the program applied to has specific course requirements, they may be met through alternative post-secondary courses. Review already approved courses that may be used for admission purposes for your programs.

Admission Method

First Qualified/First Admitted

The First Qualified/First Admitted (FQFA) process is used for the majority of Saskatchewan Polytechnic programs. When we determine that you meet the program's admission requirements, you will be offered admission based on the date you fully qualify for the program. The earlier you provide the appropriate documents and information that qualify you for admission to the next intake, the earlier you might begin your studies. Your application, once qualified, is always considered for the next intake. 

Applicants to programs with multiple intakes in an academic year remain in the application pool until the last intake for that academic year has begun. Programs using the FQFA process receive applications year round and maintain an application pool for each academic year. Qualified applicants who are not offered a seat must reapply for the next academic year. 

Sponsored programs or programs targeted to specific groups do not accept applications year round or maintain an application pool.

See Admission Processes for more information about this method of admission.

Tuition and Fees

Estimates are based on current rates and are subject to change. Amounts for a program may vary by campus. Totals shown here include all mandatory fees as well as approximate cost for books and supplies. Visit the Tuition and Fees web page for a complete breakdown of tuition and fees for this program.


2020/21 Academic Year

Year 2 only - $7,490

Get Credit for What You Know

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition

Saskatchewan Polytechnic recognizes that adults learn in many different ways. This includes acquiring knowledge and skills through life and work experience or non-formal training.

See link(s) below to get more information about PLAR.

Transfer Credit

Many Sask Polytech students benefit from transferring course credit. You may be eligible to transfer credit to Sask Polytech or to another college or university.

May be eligible for block transfer, with a min GPA of 2.0, into the third year of the Bachelor of Applied Arts in Justice Studies. Students must complete Criminology-CJP 2278 prior to entering third year of the BAAJS program.
Graduates of this program is granted a maximum of 69 transfer credits into the Bachelor of Health Science. 
Graduates of this program may qualify for admission into the Post-Diploma Bachelor of Health Sciences Degree program in Addictions Counselling for completion of their Bachelor of Health Sciences degree.

Student Awards

Thanks to the generosity of donors and alumni, Saskatchewan Polytechnic gives away more than $2 million in student awards during the academic year.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic offers student awards for every certificate and diploma program at every campus. Not all student awards are based on marks - some are based on financial need or things like community or volunteer involvement.

More about scholarships


Canadian Addictions Counselling Federation (CACCF)

The program is sanctioned by both the Addictions Professionals Association of Saskatchewan (APASK, and the Canadian Addictions Counsellor Certification Federation (CACCF, It also exceeds national workforce competencies developed by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA). This means your training is relevant in today’s job market.

Additional Information

Related Programs