As of June 5, 2017, the BCCSU is responsible for the educational and clinical care guidance activities for all health care professionals who are prescribing medications to treat opioid addiction (i.e., methadone, buprenorphine/naloxone, slow-release oral morphine). This includes the authorization process for those seeking an exemption under section 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to prescribe methadone.

In order to improve access and provincial capacity for opioid agonist treatment education for health professionals, the BCCSU is transitioning to an online learning environment paired with an in-person preceptorship for the Provincial Opioid Addiction Treatment Support Program.

In partnership with UBC CPD, the BCCSU has developed an online course intended for all BC physicians, nursing and allied health professionals, and other care providers involved in the treatment of individuals with opioid use disorder. Completing this course is the first step in the authorization process for those seeking an exemption to prescribe methadone. The course articulates the BCCSU Opioid Use Disorder Guidelines through interactive content, videos, and case studies.

Please note: the exemption process for prescribers of methadone for analgesic purposes is the responsibility of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC.

The process to meet the requirement for methadone prescribing (includes full methadone exemption) involves:
  • 8-hour online course (which includes both MainPro+ and MOC CME credits)
  • 2 half-days of preceptorship, or additional learning as needed (with BCCSU-approved preceptor)
  • PharmaNet review
NOTE: Those seeking to prescribe buprenorphine/naloxone do not need a methadone exemption, but completing the training module is recommended. There are other ways to engage with the online training program:
  • Temporary Methadone prescribing (includes temporary methadone exemption) – specific modules and PharmaNet review
  • Methadone CME – Methadone modules only
  • Buprenorphine/naloxone CME – Buprenorphine/naloxone modules only
  • Full CME – All online modules
  • Educational only – One or more modules of choice
NOTE: If you have previously completed Methadone 101 through the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC but have not yet completed a preceptorship or you have completed educational requirements in another province or jurisdiction, please contact: Amanda Giesler Project Coordinator, Implementation (236) 668-2431 [email protected]
  • Trauma-Informed Care
  • Overview of Opioid Use Disorder
  • Triage, Assessment, and Treatment Planning
  • Urine Drug Testing
  • Harm Reduction
  • Health Promotion for People with Opioid Use Disorder
  • Methadone – Pharmacotherapy, Safety, Continuing Care, and Pregnancy
  • Buprenorphine/Naloxone – Pharmacotherapy, Induction, Continuing Care, and Pregnancy
  • Slow Release Oral Morphine (SROM)
  • Caring for a Patient with Opioid Use Disorder
  • Differences Between Methadone and Buprenorphine
  • Treating Opioid Use Disorder – Rural Context
  • Home Induction of Buprenorphine/Naloxone
  • Polysubstance Use While on Opioid Agonist Treatment
  • Strategies to Prevent Diversion
  • Benzodiazepine Prescribing from Another Prescriber
  • Youth with Opioid Use Disorder
  • Managing Precipitated Withdrawal - Buprenorphine/Naloxone
  • Methadone in Acute Care Settings
  • Buprenorphine/Naloxone in Acute Care Settings
  • Transition from Methadone to Buprenorphine/Naloxone

We are expanding the number of opioid agonist treatment preceptors in the province. If you are interested in becoming a preceptor, please contact:

Amanda Giesler
Project Coordinator, Implementation
(236) 668-2431
[email protected]

FAQS - Provincial Opioid Addiction Treatment Support Program

Online training for the Provincial Opioid Addiction Treatment Support Program is geared towards opioid agonist treatment prescribers, including both physicians and nurse practitioners, however, all health care providers (e.g., nurses, pharmacists, social worker, counsellors, etc.) can benefit from the online education modules. Those not seeking an exemption or CME credits can simply select modules of interest to their profession.

Early July 2017. The course is offered in partnership with UBC Continuing Professional Development. The College will remain responsible for prescription monitoring of controlled substances, including methadone and buprenorphine, across the province.

Preceptors will assist in the training and mentoring of new prescribers. The BCCSU has developed a process to select preceptors across the province (i.e. each health authority) to ensure adequate coverage to meet the needs for recruiting new prescribers, including nurse practitioners.

BCCSU preceptors must meet the following criteria:

  1. At least three years’ experience in the Methadone Maintenance Program with minimum 20 registered patients and a practice that includes routine inductions
  2. An acceptable PharmaNet review (as per the CPSBC Standards and Guidelines for Safe Prescribing of Drugs with Potential for Misuse/Diversion)
  3. Clinical practice adherence to the BCCSU’s Guideline for the Clinical Management of Opioid Use Disorder

Preceptors will be provided with comprehensive training regarding their role and responsibilities. Further, preceptors will be compensated $200 per half-day of teaching and for training sessions required by the BCCSU.

Those who have completed a Methadone 101 course from October 1, 2016 (Vancouver session) onwards will not be required to complete the additional online training at this time. Please send a copy of the certificate of completion to Amanda Giesler ([email protected]) to be linked to preceptorship opportunities.
No. The Methadone 101 sessions hosted by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC will be replaced with the BCCSU’s online education modules.
No. A temporary exemption, which is non-renewable and valid for 60 days, is available for methadone maintenance and re-ordering only.

At this time, an exemption is not required to prescribe buprenorphine/naloxone. Providers interested in prescribing buprenorphine/naloxone are strongly encouraged to complete the modules pertaining to this medication (CME accredited) before starting to prescribe. In addition to the online modules, the RACE line is also available to provide additional addiction medicine expert support.

We will be offering NP-specific modules in the coming year, however, the available modules are applicable and relevant to all prescribers.
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