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Controlled drugs accountable officer notifications

  • Organisations we regulate

Using the notification forms

Who needs to send us a notification form?

The web-based notification forms are password protected. Please email us at, quoting your name, role and organisation, and we will email the password to you.

Please complete either:

1. The Controlled Drugs Accountable officer (CDAO) notification web form to register your accountable officer.


2. The CDAO exemption web form if your designated body fulfils the exemption criteria detailed below.

If you are unable to access the web forms or have difficulty in completing them, please let us know by emailing

Our response

After you have submitted your completed form, you will receive an email from us that includes a copy of the form (in PDF format) containing the information you have submitted. If you do not receive it within 48 hours of submitting your form to us, please email

Keep us informed of changes

Appointment and removal of a controlled drugs accountable officer (CDAO)

Regulations require you to inform us in writing if you change your controlled drugs accountable officer (CDAO). This should be done using the online notification web form.

Regulations require a designated body or a group of designated bodies that has nominated and appointed an accountable officer  to inform the CQC of both the appointment and removal of the CDAO. Therefore, when you remove a CDAO, you need to inform us of the replacement appointment, whether permanent or temporary, so that the position remains filled at all times. You then need only notify us of the details of the new CDAO.

If you do not receive an email from us within 48 hours of submitting your notification of a new CDAO, please email

Changes to your controlled drugs accountable officer's contact details

Please ensure you inform us of changes to the contact details (phone number or email address) of your controlled drugs accountable officer as soon as possible by emailing us at

You will need to provide:

  • the name of the accountable officer.
  • the name of the organisation.
  • amended details.

Their information will appear in the next update of the register.

Please note: We can only accept contact detail changes via this mailbox, a notification must be submitted to inform us of a change of accountable officer.

Exceptions to the requirement to appoint an accountable officer

Exemptions to the requirement to appoint an accountable officer apply if:

  • fewer than 10 individuals work at the hospital.
  • the need to appoint an accountable officer would give rise to difficulties disproportionate to the benefits of such an appointment, taking into account the number of employees, level of activities provided and in identifying a suitable individual to act as an accountable officer.

Designated bodies that fulfil the exemption criteria must notify us of their exemption using the exemption notification web form.

Where an exemption is received on the basis of less than 10 staff, the organisation will be removed from the accountable officer register and will not be required to submit further notifications unless their situation changes.

Where CQC grants an exemption applied for on the basis that to appoint or nominate an accountable officer would give rise to difficulties that would be disproportionate to the benefits to be derived from the appointment, it will be for a period of up to one year ending on 31 December each year.

A new exemption notification must then be submitted within one month of its expiry in order to renew the exemption.

The CQC can rescind the exemption at any time but will give reasonable notice before doing so.

In the case that an exemption applied for is declined by CQC, or where an exemption is rescinded, the provider may appeal the decision in writing within one month of the date of the letter informing them of the decision.

Find out more about the Controlled drug designated body exemption appeal process.

Last updated:
23 May 2017