The REACT project requires a third-level institution to implement eight mandatory and a number of optional action points. There were three main stages in the development of the agreed suite of action points. These were:

Step 1: Systematic review of the literature to create a short list of action points

In January and February 2015, a systematic review of the literature was carried out using a standard Google search with specified parameters. The search aimed to identify examples of community, school, college and university action plans worldwide.

All available action plans were reviewed and each available action point extracted. The initial list of available action points was 918. All available action points were then reviewed for possible or potential applicability in the Irish third-level setting. This initial review reduced the list to 218 available action points. Subsequent reviews eliminated duplication and merged action points creating a list of 18 mandatory and 34 optional action points, which were presented for consideration at the Knowledge Exchange Forum. The optional action points were divided into four categories:

 Prevention 1: Policy, information & training

 Prevention 2: Screening, referral & environment

 Supply & demand

 Research & evaluation

Step 2: Delphi Consensus Method (Knowledge Exchange Forum) to consider this list

A Knowledge Exchange Forum provides an open forum for individuals to work and this “group interaction is explicitly used to generate data and insights”. This method facilitated participant description of the suitability of each of the proposed action points. Representation across all third-level institutions in Ireland was sought at the Knowledge Exchange Forum.

The Knowledge Exchange Forum took place on 16th April 2015. It was attended by staff and students from 6 (out of a possible 7) universities, 11 (out of a possible 14) institutes of technology, teacher training colleges, 2 local further education colleges and 2 organisations with interest in the area of alcohol. In total there were 46 attendees at the Forum. Trained facilitators oversaw each table as the participants read and ranked the list of possible action points.

Step 3: Content analysis & evidence-based review of the outcome of the Forum to produce a final agreed list of optional and mandatory action points

Once the data from the Knowledge Exchange Forum was analysed, an expert consultation exercise involving the project team, Dr Ann Hope (Trinity College Dublin) and Ms Ciara O’Connor (Cork Institute of Technology, as the student representative) was arranged. Expert consultation has a long tradition and is employed to gain relevant, informed information when making important decisions. This process was conducted in June 2015. Each action point was discussed in conjunction with the median scores and content analysis from the Knowledge Exchange Forum. This meeting resulted in the final suite of action points included in the report.