A yellow sign that says change coming and clouds in the background

"The Times, They are a-Changin!": The Updated SAPST

Publication Date: Jul 12, 2023

By Sandra Del Sesto, National Certified Prevention Consultant

In 1964, Bob Dylan wrote a song entitled, “The Times They Are A-Changin'!” And certainly in prevention, times have changed since the foundational prevention training called SAPST was first developed in 1999! We could truly say this training is an evolving work reflecting the continuing advancements in our field. Revised in 2006, 2013, and in 2018, the SAPST has been recently updated by the Workforce Development Committee of the Prevention Technology Transfer Center-National Coordinating Office (PTTC-NCO) and its consultants. The training, renamed SPF Application for Prevention Success Training (SAPST) to better reflect its content, retains its well-known acronym. It also retains its four-day, 26 contact hour, face-to-face format with its 5-contact hour online pre-course not yet revised, but still available. The purpose of the revision was to align the changes and additions to current prevention science and practice.

Notable among those changes are:

  1. the addition of more information on, and discussion of, health disparities and health equity as they apply to all steps of the Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF)
  2. a discussion of harm reduction as it relates to prevention
  3. additions to the section on culture that include a discussion of cultural proficiency
  4. further detail on strategies to enhance capacity
  5. a rewrite of the section on sustainability.

In addition, the case study, as well as its nine sequential activities, has been updated but retains its focus on underage drinking. The information sheets have also been updated, and others connected to the new content have been added. Finally, the reference section has been reviewed to ensure that all links are active and reference materials are current.

The course’s virtual version has also been updated. Its requirements include the online course, twenty hours of virtual training over a two-week period plus six hours of homework to maintain the total of 31 SAPST contact hours. Other versions of the updated SAPST are also underway, to include a version in Spanish, a Native American / American Indian, and a version for the Pacific Islands.

Circling back to Bob Dylan, he reminds us, “Your old road is rapidly agin’. Please get out of the new one… If you can’t lend your hand…For the times they are a-changin’.” The changes we are sharing reflect our field’s most up-to-date research and practice as well as its continuing growth. As we all come together to embrace the evidence-based changes and incorporate them into our work, we are strengthening the communities we work in, wherever they may be.