Controlled drugs accountable officers (CDAOs) are responsible for all aspects of controlled drugs management within their organisation.
The roles and responsibilities of CDAOs, and the requirement to appoint them, are governed by the Controlled Drugs (Supervision of Management and Use) Regulations 2013.
Who can be a CDAO
A CDAO must:
- be a senior manager of their organisation
- not routinely supply or handle controlled drugs themselves as part of their duties as an employee or officer
Organisations that must appoint a CDAO
These organisations are designated bodies. They must appoint a CDAO and register that person's details with us:
- NHS trusts
- Independent hospitals in England
- NHS England Local Area Teams
- Headquarters in England of regular or reserved Armed Forces
A group of designated bodies of the same type can jointly nominate and appoint a CDAO. Each designated body within the group must notify us of the CDAO.
Social enterprise organisations (SEOs) and Community Interest Companies (CICs) must appoint a CDAO for locations that the regulations defined as a 'hospital'. In other cases they could appoint a lead to ensure controlled drug governance arrangements are in place.
Some organisations can apply to be exempt from the requirement to appoint a CDAO.
Self assessment tools
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