Apply to run a supervised consumption site: What you need before you start

Step 2. What you need before you start

What information do you need to submit?

This page lists the:

  • information we’re asking for in the application form
  • additional documents you will need to provide

If you are applying to run a new site, you must provide all the information and documents listed here.

If you are renewing an application, you must include:

  • applicant information
  • responsible person in charge information (if changed)
  • any new information (like results of consultations) or any documents that have changed (like policies or procedures) since you submitted your last application.

1. Applicant information

  • Contact information
  • Description of services currently offered by the organization(s)

2. Description of proposed site

  • Current services (if any) offered at the site
  • Proposed services to be offered at the site (e.g. supervised injection, inhalation, intranasal and oral consumption, drug checking, etc.)
  • Other proposed services or partnerships for relevant offsite services
  • Proposed hours of operation
  • Description of the flow of the site
  • Method(s) of drug checking and procedures (if applicable)
  • If the site is a mobile unit, locations of stops to be made along the route and where the mobile unit will be parked outside operation hours

Include with the application:

Site floor plan

The site floor plan should clearly demonstrate the layout of the site and identify the storage area for unidentified substances left behind and any security features such as cameras, motion detectors, locks, etc.

Floor plans do not have to be architectural blue prints – a simple diagram will be sufficient. This information is useful to Health Canada as it helps application reviewers visualize the proposed space.

3. Description of local conditions

  • Description of target client population
  • Number of drug-related overdoses and deaths in local area
  • Intended health and safety impact of site on target population, general public and local area

4. Policies and procedures

  • Confirmation that policies are in place
  • Statement of whether provincial or territorial guidance was taken into consideration (if available)
  • Description of records maintained at site:
    • Staff training log
    • Client or visitor entry and exit log
    • Record-keeping form for unidentified substances left behind

Include with the application:

Roles and responsibilities of staff members and their training requirements

Site policies and procedures should clearly indicate who will be responsible for supervising consumption at the site. The site is required to have a Responsible Person in Charge (RPIC). The RPIC is responsible for the site and activities at the site during operational hours. The RPIC is not required to be in the consumption area, but must be located within the same building and on the same floor as the SCS during operating hours. When the RPIC is not on site during operating hours, an Alternate Responsible Person in Charge (A/RPIC) assumes the responsibilities of the RPIC. Please note that you may have more than one A/RPIC, so these personnel may be assigned as appropriate for your particular site needs and operational model.

The organization must inform and train the RPIC, A/RPIC(s), key staff members and all staff members on their roles and responsibilities. You will need to maintain a training log that indicates who has been trained and when the training has been completed. If the persons supervising consumption are not regulated health professionals (e.g., nurse, doctor, paramedic, etc.), please provide details regarding any extra training that will be required of these personnel. This should include a description of the overdose training that must be taken by non-medical staff involved in consumption supervision.

Addressing unidentified substances left behind

A site-specific policy with procedures on how to deal with unidentified substances left behind at the site should be provided. These should include a description of who is responsible for the substances, how they will be handled, where they will be stored (in a locked location such as a safe, lockbox, double-locked drawer, etc.), and guidance for staff on how to appropriately transfer substances to law enforcement. Records for any unidentified substance found at the site are required to be maintained at the site and include the following information:

  1. the date the substance was found;
  2. the location where the substance was found;
  3. the name of the staff member who packaged and stored the substance;
  4. the date the local Police were contacted to request removal of the substance;
  5. the name and signature of the officer who removed the substance; and
  6. the date the substance was removed from the site

The policies and procedures to address unidentified substances left behind submitted to the Office of Controlled Substances (OCS) must include either a copy of the record-keeping form or reference to the logbook (and the tracked information) that will be used by staff in such instances.

Loss or theft of unidentified substances left behind

The site should have policies and procedures in place to prevent the loss or theft of unidentified substances left behind at the site, which includes record-keeping requirements. Please note that loss or theft of any unidentified substance left behind should be reported to police immediately and to the OCS within 24 hours. You may use the Health Canada loss or theft report form or if you prefer, you may create your own form.

Loss or theft report forms may be submitted by email to:

The policies and procedures to address the loss or theft of unidentified substances left behind submitted to OCS in your application must include either a copy of the reporting form that will be used by staff in such instances, whether it is a copy of your own site’s form or a copy of (or hyperlink to) the standard loss/theft form from Health Canada.

Security measures taken to minimize risks

The SCS should have a main door that locks. With respect to the SCS space, there are no prescribed physical or security specifications that need to be met. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that adequate measures are in place at the site for the security of staff and clients at all times. Security features and physical layout may be designed in a manner that is appropriate for your particular site needs and operational model. Examples of security measures that have been used in SCSs include:

  • video surveillance
  • restricted or controlled access areas
  • locked or unidirectional doors separating rooms within the facility
  • keycard/keypad/fob/key access within the site
  • panic alarms
  • security alarms
  • security personnel on site

In addition, there should be a system in place for keeping records of the entry and exit of clients and visitors from the consumption area of the site.

Site policies and procedures should clearly indicate the person (or job title) who will be responsible for the distribution of site security elements (e.g. keys, fobs) used for access control.  This would include confirmation that records will be kept regarding security element distribution, as well as the circumstances whereby security elements would be changed (e.g. locks changed or fobs deactivated if they are lost or stolen).

5. Personnel

We require a criminal record check and resume for the responsible person in charge.

  • Contact information
  • Professional designation and regulatory body licence number (if applicable)
  • Proposed schedule

Include with the application:


The resume should include relevant education and training.

Criminal record check

Note: Because criminal record check can take time, you can submit your application while you wait for the check to be completed.

The criminal record check must:

  • be issued by a Canadian police force
  • state whether in the past 10 years, the person was convicted as an adult for:
    • a designated substance offence; or
    • a designated criminal offence.

For someone who has resided in a country outside of Canada in the past 10 years, you must include a document issued by the police force of that country. It must:

  • state whether in the past 10 years, the person was convicted as an adult for an offence committed in that country that, if committed in Canada, would constitute:
    • a designated substance offence; or
    • a designated criminal offence.

6. Consultation report and letter of opinion

Documents to include with the application:

Community consultation report and related documents

The consultation report must include a description of consultation activities that were undertaken for the proposed site. Results from the consultations, including all feedback and comments that were received, should be provided. Any advertising materials, forms or documents used for collecting opinions may be included as supporting documentation. Examples of consultation tools include:

  • open house
  • online survey
  • general email account
  • SCS website
  • information meetings
  • presenting at community association meetings
  • flyers
  • door-to-door canvassing

You should include a description of measures to address concerns that were raised during the community consultation.

We need this information to understand the efforts that have been made to engage with the community to inform them of the proposal and ensure that the voices of community members have been heard.

Letter of opinion from the relevant provincial/territorial minister

A letter of opinion from the provincial or territorial Minister of Health is an item for consideration when rendering a decision on an SCS application. A letter of opinion would be additional supporting information for your application but is not mandatory.

7. Financial plan

Description of the financial plan and funding that will be in place

Documents to include with the application:

Supporting documents for the financial plan

This information should help Health Canada understand whether the site has the resources needed to operate safely and effectively.

Supporting documents could include:

  • Financial statements or audits for the organization(s) applying
  • Documentation confirming sources of funds (private or public)
  • Confirmation of funding commitments
  • Budget proposals
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