It has been argued that considerable untapped potential exists to reduce the burden of illness, harms and other untoward consequences associated with alcohol and drugs through the more effective utilization of the skills of health and other human services workers. To achieve this, improved systematic education and training of key personnel is required. This literature review identifies various issues pertaining to best practice in alcohol and drug education and training. Questions relating to who should be taught, what should be taught, how should it be taught and, when we might know that it is effective are addressed. The relationship between the educational process and the utilization of acquired knowledge and skills in the work place is a complex, non-linear phenomenon. An interactive set of variables operates to determine activities undertaken in any work environment. The nature and level of education received by the professional is one of several key variables. Nonetheless, it is a key factor over which we have some degree of influence and one which warrants closer attention.