Alcohol CLeaR System Improvement

The Alcohol CLeaR System Improvement brings together all those working to reduce alcohol-related harm in a locality to think through what is working well and to identify the opportunities for further improvement

It is based on a model initially developed by Action on Smoking and Health to provide local government and partners with a structured, evidence-based approach to improve tobacco control. PHE has piloted an alcohol version of the model in four partnership areas and the content of the self-assessment has been reviewed by experts from the field.

CLeaR provides a framework for strategic review and analysis of local structures and delivery focusing on local outcomes and priorities. Completion of the self-assessment should result in the agreement of a place-based action plan which focuses on opportunities for improvement.

CLeaR stands for 3 linked domains:

  • Challenging services - looking at key aspects of local delivery against the evidence base, identifying local innovation and learning
  • Leadership - reviewing the local vision and governance supporting this, planning and commissioning arrangements and evidence of collaboration between partners
  • Results - examining outcomes achieved locally and considering progress against local priorities

The tool can be used flexibly to meet the particular needs of individual partnerships; it can be completed in its entirety or used to focus on specific aspects of the alcohol harm agenda depending on what is needed in the locality.

The key principles in developing the Alcohol CLeaR System Improvement have been simplicity, collaboration, honesty and a focus on the evidence-base. Coming out of the process partnerships will be able to:

  • clarify how services and structures support place-based ambition to reduce alcohol-related harm
  • check that local activity is in line with NICE guidelines
  • recognise good and innovative practice
  • bring together key stakeholders and reinvigorate collaborative working and a partnership approach across this agenda
  • drive local improvement in outcomes achieved across primary, secondary and tertiary prevention services.

Partnerships are encouraged to report on the key learning from the process through their local governance structures. This will offer an opportunity to assure local stakeholders that resource is invested in a range of services and interventions that meet local need, and which, the evidence indicates, support the most positive outcomes. These findings can then be used to inform a partnership-wide action plan.

If you'd like further information about this tool you can contact the alcohol lead in your local PHE centre or email

The tool (an excel spreadsheet), a handbook to support local partnerships through the process and other tools and resources designed to facilitate engagement in this process are available here for interested local alcohol partnerships to download and print as required: