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Important Research Components and answers to FAQs for all Social Workers, Mental Health Counselors, and Substance Use Disorder Clinicians participating in research

Virginia and North Carolina NASW chapter members are being recruited for the SBIRT and ETHICS research happening NOW. We (Best Practice Trainers, Inc. ) are inviting you to participate research efforts which will be in progress through December, 2021. The SBIRT study investigates social workers use of screenings, brief interventions, and treatment, known to be preventive interventions against drug use. The ETHICS study investigates clinicians’ ethical decision-making. If you decide to participate in these research efforts, your de-identified answers will be used in research supported by Best Practice Trainers, Inc. Any personal answers you give will be kept confidential to the full extent of the law. The research questions for both studies have been approved by the New England Independent Review Board (ph: 800-232-9570). The NASW IRB has approved both research efforts.  Neither the NASW nor the ASWB has participated in designing the research nor do they endorse these studies. Informed Consent information concerning 1) risks and benefits, 2) ethical and other quality protection measures, 3) confidentiality is outlined under RESEARCH FAQs below.

 >More information on the training background and content can be accessed by clicking here.

Any SW Chapter member from Virginia and North Carolina sign up below:

Sign up here



If you are participating in the current research studies, you are being asked for your informed consent to take part in a research study.  Your participation is subject to ethical protections, evidence, confidentiality and risks and benefits, as described in the section below. This document provides a concise summary of this research. It describes the key information that we believe most people need to decide whether to take part in this research. This offer involves the following requirements and protections:
● ethical and quality protections for you as a research subject,
● two (2) 10-15 minute tests
● protection of confidentiality, and
● risks and benefits for you as a research participant

You can find out more by reading through the FAQs below.
When you check the box that states “I have read and understood the below conditions” on the registration page, your consent to participate in the research will be recorded.

What should I know about this research?

  • Taking part in this research is voluntary. Whether you take part is up to you.
  • If you don’t take part, it won’t be held against you.
  • You can take part now and later drop out, and it won’t be held against you.
  • If you don’t understand, ask questions.
  • Ask all the questions you want before you decide.

How long will I be in this research?

We expect that your taking part in each research study will last as long as it takes you to fill out one pre-training questionnaire. That usually takes about 10-15 minutes. You may go on to complete the course(s) (2.25 CEs for the CBT course and 2 CEs for the Ethics course = 4.25 CEs total) that are available to you for free, but that is not a requirement of the research participation. Courses will be available throughout 2021, and you can take them at your leisure. Most individuals who work straight through two courses spend approximately four and a half hours including the pretest and posttest. 

Why is this research being done?

The purpose of these research studies is to explore: 1) patterns of use of Screenings, Brief Interventions and Referrals by social workers, and 2) patterns of Ethical decision-making in the clinical practice of social workers.

What happens to me if I agree to take part in this research?

All participants are requested to allow their de-identified information to be used for research. If you decide to participate in a training that will be used for research, you will be asked to complete a registration which will request acknowledgement that your deidentified data can be used in research. Other general procedures include completing online pretests (10 – 15 minutes each). If you wish to get a certificate for the ASWB ACE-approved course for social workers, Essential Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with Substance Use Disorders, (#2813), and the ASWB ACE approved course Ethics for the Counseling Professions, (#2816) you can continue by taking the courses that open for your participation after you take the pretests. Your access to 2021 course materials is under your control and at your leisure. Completion of the courses and the 10 minute posttests with 75% accuracy will earn 4.25 (total) CEs toward your social work licensure. If you do not complete with 75% accuracy the first time, you will be able to take the posttest a second time with access to the training materials.

Will it cost me money to take part in this research?

  • Participating will not cost you anything.
  • You will not be paid for taking part in this research.

Could being in this research hurt me?

A risk is that you may experience some discomfort when answering some of the questions in the questionnaires, but this is not expected to exceed what you experience in a conversation with colleagues. There is also the possibility of loss of confidentiality if there is an inadvertent breach in the security of the data.

Will being in this research benefit me?

There is no direct benefit to you for your participation in this research; however, your participation may contribute to the knowledge about clinicians’ use of practices in several ways. When the studies are completed, the results will be available at

What other choices do I have besides taking part in this research?

Instead of participating in this research and taking the available course, your choices may include taking similar coursework from the NASW or from your state education department. For instance, clinical courses which would satisfy state continuing education requirements are available from the NASW at

What happens to the information collected for this research?

Your private information will be collected into a database. Your private information will only be seen by the Principal Investigator. De-identified information (after your name and identifying information have been removed) will be shared with individuals that conduct this research, including:

  • The research sponsor organization, Best Practice Trainers, Inc
  • People who work with the research sponsor (Principal Investigator, and data analyst)
  • The Independent Review Board (IRB) that reviewed this research
  • The results of this research may be published. However, your name and other identifying information will be kept confidential. Your information will be protected from disclosure to others to the extent required by law. We cannot promise complete secrecy.

Who can answer my questions about his research?

If you have questions, concerns, or complaints, or think this research has hurt you or made you sick, talk to the research team at the phone number listed above on the first page. This research is being overseen by an Institutional (or Independent) Review Board (“IRB”). An IRB is a group of people who perform independent review of research studies.

You may talk to personnel at the New England IRB at (800) 232-9570, if:

You have questions, concerns or complaints that are not being answered by the research team.

>You are not getting answers from the research team.
>You cannot reach the research team.
>You want to talk to someone else about the research.
>You have questions about your rights as a research subject.

What else should I know about this research?

You do not have to complete the registration if you don’t want to. You do not have to complete the pretests or the courses if you don’t want to.

>The free courses have been created and are being made available by Best Practice Trainers, Inc. (BPTI), a nonprofit organization with a research and training mission. Content and training information of the available courses (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Substance Use Disorders and Ethics for the Counseling Professions) that will be offered in both proposed studies has been approved by The Association for Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program for continuing education credit for social workers. They have also been approved by the NYS Office of Addiction Services and Supports for continuing education credit for CASACs. The research has neither been developed nor is it endorsed by the ASWB, the NASW or any of the agencies that grant CEs. After registering for these free courses, you can log in and start either course. When you have started the session, you will see your home page that will allow you to take a pretest which asks about you, your perceptions of your practice, and your experience, specifically your use of SBIRT practices and what Ethical decisions you may make in clinical practice.

>After you have completed the pretests, you will have access to the Essential Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Substance Use Disorders course and the Ethics for the Counseling Professions course. Trainers who are presenters in the training are specialized in substance abuse and mental health, with a total of more than 80 years of experience providing services to clients with alcohol and drug problems.

>You will have access to these training materials until the end of 2021. You can take the posttests at any time. If you complete each posttest with a score of 75% or more, you will receive your certificate of completion documenting your name, the names of the instructors, the provider number of the organization from which you will receive your CEs (ASWB ACE authorized for this course #2813 and #2816) and the CEs earned (4.25 total). If you do not get a score of 75% or more on the posttest, you can retake the posttest once with access to the training materials.

Ethics and other quality protection measures: The design and components of the studies have been approved by the New England Independent Review Board (IRB) that oversees the ethical conduct of research. The NASW IRB has approved both (Ethics and SBIRT) research efforts. The research has neither been developed nor is it endorsed by the ASWB, the NASW or any of the agencies that grant CEs.

Confidentiality: your participation and answers will be confidential to the fullest extent of the law. All findings will be reported as group trends, not individual reports. Only de-identified information will be collected. The master list of codes, the names of the trainees, the email addresses, the pre-test and post-test answers will be kept on the main researcher’s computer, which is protected by a password known only to the principal investigator.  Paper copies of the master list and any hard copy of the questionnaires and certificates will be kept in a locked file drawer in the Principal Investigator’s house, and only the Principal Investigator will have the key. This master list, all questionnaires and all copies will be destroyed after 3 years. Copies of certificates will be kept for as long as organizations involved in giving CEs (e.g., NYSED, OASAS) suggest, usually a minimum of 10 years.

About the course creators:   All creators and instructors who are providing clinical material are Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health clinicians – most are LCSWs, LMSWs or LMHCs –  with a total of over 80 years’ experience providing services to clients with alcohol and drug problems. Their credentials have been approved by the NYS Office of Addiction Services and Supports (NYS OASAS). The creator of the Ethics for the Counseling Professions course is Dr. Timothy Campbell, a bioethics researcher with the Institute for Futures Studies since 2016.  The creators of the course concerning CBT are Ruth Campbell, LCSW, Ph.D. and Richard Coleman, LMSW.
NY Social Workers: The provider-of-record for the courses is Best Practice Trainers, Inc. provider  #0806 (OASAS), #MHC-0124 (NYSED) and #SW-0519 (NYSED), ASWB (individual course approvals for #2816 and #2013).

All Other Social Workers:  Ethics for the Counseling Professions #2816 and Essential Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Substance Use Disorders #2813 have been approved by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program to be offered by Best Practice Trainers, Inc. as  individual courses. Individual courses, not providers, are approved at the course level. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. ACE course approval period: 5/29/2020 – 5/29/2022. See individual courses for type and number of CEs available for social workers. See a map showing what jurisdictions accept ACE here.  
Questions about research should be directed to Ruth Campbell at or at 845-255-5022 or at 845-810-0022 or by US mail at PO Box 1042, New Paltz, NY 12561.