Alcohol Identification and Brief Advice - e-Learning for Healthcare
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This programme is in partnership with...
  • Alcohol
  • Public Health England

About the Alcohol Identification and Brief Advice programme

The Alcohol Identification and Brief Advice e-learning project (Alcohol IBA) helps professionals to identify those individuals whose drinking might impact their health, now or in the future and to deliver simple, structured advice aimed at reducing this risk. Courses available include delivering alcohol IBA in four settings:

  • Primary Care
  • Community Pharmacy
  • Hospitals
  • Dental Teams

All four pathways were developed in collaboration with Public Health England. NICE public health guideline PH24: Alcohol-use disorders: prevention, recommends that health and social care, criminal justice and community and voluntary sector professionals should routinely carry out alcohol risk identification and deliver brief advice as an integral part of practice.

Users learn how to use World Health Organisation validated tools to identify patients’ levels of health risk from alcohol and how to intervene appropriately with those who could benefit from cutting down their alcohol consumption. The curriculum is based on the robust evidence-base of more than 60 controlled trials over 30 years which show that simple structured feedback and motivational advice lasting a few minutes is effective in reducing health risks from alcohol including hypertension, CHD, mouth, throat and breast cancers and many other conditions. Recipients reduce their alcohol intake by an average of 15% which will return a net saving to the health and social care system. Widespread use of IBA is therefore recognised as a contributor to Making Every Contact Count (MECC) and is a feature in the NHS Health Check, CQUIN programmes and efficiency savings programmes.

More information

According to the Health Survey for England, 1 in 4 adults are drinking above low-risk levels. This can result in or contribute to chronic and acute ill health, alcohol-related accidents and hospital admissions. Evidence has shown that providing simple alcohol advice results in:

  • Reductions in weekly drinking by between 13% and 34%, (2.9 to 8.7 fewer units per week) with a significant effect on health risk
  • One in eight adults reducing their drinking to low-risk levels
  • Adults being twice as likely to moderate their drinking 6-12 months after intervention
  • Reduction from 50 units/week to 42 units/week reduces the relative risk of alcohol-related conditions by some 14% and the absolute risk of lifetime alcohol-related death by some 20%.

The overall goal of the Alcohol IBA e-learning programme is to enable the learner to effectively engage with non-dependent alcohol misusing patients, who may not realise they may be taking risks with their health.

Each of the courses aimed at Primary Care, Community Pharmacy and Hospital Settings is split into four e-learning sessions:

  1. Alcohol Facts
  2. Introducing IBA and Identifying Risky Behaviour
  3. Practising IBA and delivering brief advice
  4. Assessment

The course aimed at Dental Teams consists of four sessions:

  1. Facts about Alcohol
  2. Identification and Brief Alcohol Advice (IBA) for Dental Teams
  3. Practising AUDIT-C
  4. Assessment

Alcohol IBA for community pharmacy

Community Pharmacies are part of the primary care umbrella. Therefore, it is important that they have the most up-to-date information to be able to discuss with patients the impact lifestyle choices have on their health.

IBA is the delivery of ‘simple brief advice’ which follows identification of how much your patient is drinking and problems they may be experiencing. IBA is usually delivered by non-alcohol specialists and has been shown to be effective in helping people to reduce their alcohol health risk.

This module of 4 sessions is aimed at staff working in community pharmacies. It will help you undertake screening and then give routine, opportunistic ‘simple brief advice’.

Alcohol IBA for dental teams

Dental teams are part of the primary care umbrella. Therefore it is important that they have the most up-to-date information to be able to discuss with patients the impact lifestyle choices have on oral health.

IBA is the delivery of ‘simple brief advice’ which follows identification of how much your patient is drinking. IBA is usually delivered by non-alcohol specialists and has shown to be effective in helping people to reduce their alcohol health risk.

This module of 4 sessions is aimed at dental teams and will help you undertake a screening test and then give routine, opportunistic ‘simple brief advice’. This programme is aligned to Section 8 ‘Alcohol Misuse and Oral Health’ within Delivering Better Oral Health.

Alcohol IBA for hospital settings

Hospital settings offer opportunities to “Make Every Contact Count” therefore it is important that staff have the most up-to-date information to be able to discuss with patients the impact lifestyle choices have on their health.

IBA is the delivery of ‘simple brief advice’ which follows identification of how much your patient is drinking and problems they may be experiencing. IBA is usually delivered by non-alcohol specialists and has shown to be effective in helping people to reduce their alcohol health risk.

This module of 4 sessions is aimed at staff working in hospital settings. It will help you undertake screening and then give routine, opportunistic ‘simple brief advice’.

Alcohol IBA for primary care

Primary care provides an important opportunity to intervene in risky alcohol use and encourage change. It is important that practice team members have the most up-to-date information to be able to discuss with patients the impact that lifestyle choices have on their health.

IBA is the delivery of ‘simple brief advice’ which follows identification of how much your patient is drinking and any problems they may be experiencing. IBA is usually delivered by non-alcohol specialists and has shown to be effective in helping people to reduce their alcohol health risk.

This module of 4 sessions is aimed at staff working in primary care. It will help you undertake screening and then give routine, opportunistic ‘simple brief advice’.

Primary Care, Community Pharmacy and Hospital Settings project team

  • Iain Armstrong

    Iain Armstrong

    Clinical Project Lead, Alcohol team, Public Health England
  • Don Lavoie

    Don Lavoie

    Advisor, Alcohol team, Public Health England
  • Patricia Howe

    Project Manager, HEE e-Learning for Healthcare

Dental project team

  • Alan Ryan

    National Programme Director, HEE e-Learning for Healthcare
  • Julia Csikar

    Dr Julia Csikar

    Project Lead, Dental Public Health, Public Health England
  • Heather Raison

    Heather Raison

    Academic Clinical Fellow, Dental Public Health, Public Health England
  • Yasmin Allen

    Dental Programme Manager, Health Education England
  • Deema Marzouq

    Deema Marzouq

    Dental Core Trainee, Dental Public Health
  • Iain Armstrong

    Iain Armstrong

    Clinical Advisor, Alcohol team, Public Health England

How to access

In order to access any e-LfH programme, you will need an e-LfH account. If you do not have one, then you can register by selecting the Register button below.

Register >

If you already have an account with e-LfH, then you can enrol on to the Alcohol IBA programme by logging in to the e-LfH Hub, selecting My Account > Enrolment and selecting the programme. You can then access the programme immediately in the My e-Learning section.

NHS healthcare staff in England

The Alcohol IBA programme is also available to NHS healthcare staff via the Electronic Staff Record (ESR). Accessing this e-Learning via ESR means that your completions will transfer with you throughout your NHS career.

Further details are available here.

Non NHS Staff

Non-NHS staff can access the Alcohol IBA programme via the PHE Alcohol Learning Resources website: www.alcohollearningcentre.org.uk/eLearning/IBA.

e-LfH is a Health Education England Programme in partnership with the NHS and Professional Bodies