A repeated measures design was used to evaluate a 12 month on-site counsellor internship programme aimed at training staff to support the recovery needs of people with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders. Fifty-four interns completed measures of recovery knowledge, attitudes, confidence/competence, as well as identifying significant learning events. Statistically significant improvements were found in terms of attitudes and confidence/competence, and only one recovery knowledge factor, 'roles of self-definition and peers in recovery'. Recovery knowledge at the end of the internship was positively associated with increases in interns' confidence/competence but was not associated with changes in the interns' attitudes. The mentoring, training/feedback and observational elements of the internship programme were highly valued by interns. Competency based learning events were most frequently identified as significant. Strategies to increase self-directed and interpersonally focused learning, and specific personal recovery knowledge in training are discussed.