Rationale: Transfer of training (ToT) is defined as the application of competencies acquired during training into the workplace. Poor ToT to clinical practice in mental health settings has negative implications for evidence-based service provision.
Aims and objectives: This study aimed to explore the variables influencing differences in ToT across mental health settings. Variables of interest included organization type, caseload and several variables related to the opportunity to use training.
Method: One hundred and seventy-three mental health clinicians from community-based governmental and non-governmental mental health services in eastern Australia were trained in recovery-oriented interventions. Measures of ToT included time taken until implementation of intervention protocols, assessed using a clinical audit and a questionnaire survey completed by clinicians to identify barriers to implementation 6 months after training.
Results: Approximately 37% of the trained clinicians participating in the study were found to be implementing training protocols in clinical practice. In addition, the average time taken to implement the protocols was 5.6 months following training. The most frequently cited barriers were institutional constraints. Higher caseloads and more frequent client contact were related to a higher level of ToT.
Conclusion: ToT can be difficult to achieve in clinical practice. Greater facilitation of ToT may be achieved through better integration of the new ideology and protocols, regular monitoring of progress, staff incentives and examination of external attributions by clinicians of their responsibility to transfer training.