A new version of this course, based on updates to A Guideline for the Clinical Management of Opioid Use Disorder (2017), is anticipated in Fall 2023.


  • Learner progress will not be transferred from this course to the new course.
  • In-progress learners will be given 4 weeks’ notice to complete POATSP prior to the launch of the revised content to avoid losing progress.

If you have completed the POATSP online course and received your certificate before the updated course launches, you can proceed through the POATSP education and training pathway as normal (including appropriate workbook and preceptorship).

For prescribers that have completed POATSP previously, you will not be required to re-register for the course; however, all OAT prescribers should review A Guideline for the Clinical Management of Opioid Use Disorder when it is updated. To receive updates on the new guidance please sign up here.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we update the guideline and POATSP courses.

Sign up below to receive updates on the upcoming opioid use disorder clinical guidance.

RN/RPN Certified Practice Update

September 21, 2023: New and amended standards, limits, and conditions to create a new designation of certified practice for opioid use disorder (OUD) for RNs and RPNs have been approved by the BC College of Nurses & Midwives (BCCNM), effective November 1, 2023.

OUD certified practice RNs and RPNs will be able to diagnose and prescribe controlled drugs for the treatment of OUD. Nurses who currently diagnose and treat OUD and want to maintain this ability must transition to this new class of certified practice by December 1, 2023.

BCCSU will maintain responsibility for training RNs and RPNs under the new standards.

For more information about these amendments, please visit the BCCNM website.

POATSP Education and Training Pathway

The BC Centre on Substance Use’s (BCCSU) comprehensive education and training program provides the tools for prescribing oral opioid agonist treatment (buprenorphine/naloxone, methadone, and slow-release oral morphine) and injectable opioid agonist treatment (hydromorphone and diacetylmorphine).

A detailed review of the program’s impacts can be found in the BCCSU Annual Education Report.


In June 2017, the BC Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU) became responsible for the education and training pathway for the prescribing of OAT.

While the BCCSU is mandated to provide the education and training pathway for prescribing OAT and clinical care guidance for prescribers, the Colleges continue to regulate health care professionals to ensure patient safety.

The education and training pathway

There are three components to the education and training pathway for prescribing opioid agonist treatment (OAT) medications:

For further discipline-specific information about the education and training pathway to prescribe OAT medications, visit:

  • Physicians and nurse practitioners’ education and training pathway
  • Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses’ education and training pathway

General learners

The online component is free and available to anyone interested in learning about opioid use disorder care. For general learners, it is not necessary to complete the workbook and preceptorship.

There are two online courses:


Completing either of these online courses alone will not enable you to prescribe OAT medications. For discipline-specific information about the education and training pathways to prescribe OAT medications, see the links above.

BC Centre on Substance Use

400-1045 Howe St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2A9

E: [email protected] | T: (778) 945-7616 | F: (604) 428-5183

24/7 Addiction Clinician Support Line: (778) 945-7619

Online Addiction Medicine Diploma: [email protected].

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