This page is intended for physicians and nurse practitioners who are registered in the POATSP education and training pathway to prescribe opioid agonist treatment (OAT) medications.

For registered nurses (RNs) or registered psychiatric nurses (RPNs) authorized to prescribe OAT medications, information about the RN and RPN education and training pathway is here.

×

Changes to the education and training pathway for nurse practitioner prescribing of buprenorphine/naloxone

As of April 22, 2022, nurse practitioners are no longer required to complete the education and training pathway to prescribe buprenorphine/naloxone. Learning opportunities will continue to be offered for nurse practitioners for prescribing buprenorphine/naloxone, including online education and in-person preceptorships; however, this is optional.

The BCCSU conducted a review of the nurse practitioner education and training pathway for buprenorphine/naloxone prescribing and consulted with key stakeholders. This confirmed that removing this education and training pathway requirement may better support the expansion of buprenorphine/naloxone treatment, particularly in rural and remote communities.

Note that nurse practitioners still have the same education and training requirements for all other oral OAT medications (see details below).

The education and training pathway

There are three components to the education and training pathway for prescribing OAT medications (the POATSP Online Course, workbook, preceptorship)

1. Provincial Opioid Addiction Treatment Support Program Online Course

The POATSP Online Course consists of 25 modules based on the provincial guideline for opioid use disorder, A Guideline for the Clinical Management of Opioid Use Disorder, to provide education on the key elements of opioid use disorder care. Developed by the BCCSU and the University of British Columbia’s Division of Continuing Professional Development (UBC CPD).

There are 4 different streams available in the POATSP Online Course:

  • Buprenorphine/naloxone
  • Oral OAT (community settings)
  • Oral OAT (acute care settings)
  • Injectable OAT

Start the POATSP Online Course.

2. Workbook

The workbook contains case scenarios and questions to apply learnings from the POATSP Online Course.

There are 3 workbooks available, depending on stream:

  • Community workbook
  • Acute care settings workbook
  • Injectable OAT workbook

To access the workbooks, see the resources page.

3. In-person preceptorship

The preceptorship is in-person education with an experienced prescriber. During the preceptorship, the completed workbook will be reviewed. It is an opportunity to apply the learnings from the POATSP Online Course and workbook in clinical practice.

Education and training pathway streams

The education and training pathways are tailored according to the OAT medication and setting:

  • Buprenorphine/naloxone only
  • All oral OAT in community settings
  • All oral OAT in acute care settings
  • Injectable OAT

Note: Physicians and nurse practitioners are not required to complete the education and training pathway in order to prescribe buprenorphine/naloxone for opioid use disorder. However, physicians and nurse practitioners are strongly encouraged to take the POATSP Online Course to learn the latest evidence-based guidance for prescribing this medication and for more information about induction protocols.

The education and training pathway: step-by-step guide

  1. Complete the required modules in the POATSP Online Course
  2. Obtain a Certificate of Completion in the online platform
    • Upon obtaining this certificate, the following information is provided:
      • A list of approved preceptors
      • Where to access the workbooks
  3. Select an approved preceptor
  4. Contact the preceptor to schedule a preceptorship
    • Note that the preceptorship must be with a preceptor approved by the BCCSU
  5. Complete the appropriate workbook either on paper or electronically
  6. Bring the completed workbook to the preceptorship
  7. Attend the in-person preceptorship
    • Reminder: Complete the Preceptorship Form before attending the preceptorship, as outlined in step 5
  8. Complete any additional learning at the discretion of the preceptor
  9. Sign the Safe Prescribing Agreement (found in the workbook) with the preceptor
  10. Complete the online Preceptorship Form (found in the workbook)
    • The Preceptorship Form is an online form to report that the preceptorship has been scheduled

 

Once these steps above are completed, the preceptor will need to:

  • Complete Preceptor Review Form (sent to the preceptor via email) and submit to the BCCSU
After the education and training pathway has been completed

For oral OAT education and training pathways

  • The BCCSU will issue a Proof of Completion letter, which is sent via email to both:
    • The prescriber
    • The College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC (physicians only)

After obtaining the Proof of Completion letter, prescribers may continue prescribing OAT medications in perpetuity as the letter does not expire (excluding direct follow up or disciplinary action from the relevant College).

 

For the iOAT education and training pathway

  • The BCCSU will then send the preceptee the Collaborative Prescribing Agreement: Hydromorphone 50mg/mL Injection for Opioid Agonist Treatment (CPA)
  • The preceptee will then:
    • Complete and sign the CPA
    • Return to the BCCSU for signatures
  • The BCCSU will:
    • Authorize
    • Send the CPA to the Ministry of Health for PharmaNet activation
  • Once this process is completed, the BCCSU will send a fully executed copy and confirmation email to the applicant
×

Return the completed CPA to BCCSU

The completed CPA must be returned to the BCCSU ([email protected]).

Returning this document elsewhere will cause a delay in iOAT prescribing, where iOAT medications will remain inactivated in PharmaNet. Prescriptions for iOAT will not be dispensed until this form is returned to the BCCSU.

Renewal process and continuing education

There are no further educational or administrative requirements for OAT prescribing; however, as with all medical care, prescribers are expected to continue their medical education and stay up to date on best practices and clinical guidelines.

The BCCSU will send all trained prescribers who opt-in a monthly Prescriber Blast featuring systems-level changes relevant to prescribers in BC and updated clinical guidance from the BCCSU.

Copyright © 2021, 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].