Local alcohol services and systems improvement tool

Guidance and tools to help plan and improve local alcohol systems, services and interventions to reduce alcohol harm, using the CLeaR approach.


The alcohol CLeaR approach to system improvement

Alcohol CLeaR self assessment tool

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CLeaR (Challenge services, Leadership, and Results) is an evidence-based approach to system improvement, which can help to prevent and reduce alcohol-related harm at a local level.

This guidance and the tool can be used by local alcohol partnerships, which include local government, the NHS, police and other partners.

CLeaR gives partnerships a framework (a self-assessment followed by an optional peer review) that they can use to assess their local arrangements and delivery plans for reducing alcohol-related harm and agree how to improve these.

The self-assessment tool is based on the CLeaR approach which was developed for tobacco control system improvement.

Completing the self-assessment as a partnership helps local areas to:

  • assess operational practices against the current evidence and established standards
  • consider the extent to which local leadership is supporting action to reduce alcohol harm
  • review the outcomes they are currently achieving
  • agree a common approach to reducing alcohol harm across the area
  • identify priorities for future action

The findings from the self-assessment can help shape local action plans for improvement, based on a shared understanding of current strengths, gaps and local priorities.

Public Health England (PHE) can offer extra support to local alcohol partnerships planning to do the CLeaR self-assessment. For more information, contact the alcohol lead in your local PHE centre in the first instance or email

Published 1 June 2017
Last updated 12 June 2020 + show all updates
  1. Replaced section 3.3 'CLeaR peer assessment' with 'External validation of the CLeaR findings'. Removed 'Preparing for a peer assessment visit' (formerly section 5) and all mentions of subsidised CLeaR assessments, which the service no longer provides.

  2. Updated information about the CLeaR enhanced support offer and peer assessment.

  3. Updated to revise the guidance and the CLeaR tool.

  4. First published.