Exemption to appoint a controlled drugs accountable officer (CDAO) - notification form

Page last updated: 13 November 2023

Some organisations are not required to appoint a controlled drugs accountable officer (CDAO). Find out about these exemptions and how to notify us.

How to notify us

After you have submitted your completed form, we will email a PDF copy of the form to you containing the information you have submitted. If you do not receive this within 48 hours of submitting your form, or you have difficulty accessing or completing the form, please email enquiries@cqc.org.uk.

When you can apply for an exception to the requirement to appoint a CDAO

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. This takes into account the number of employees, level of activities provided and difficulties identifying a suitable individual

If an exemption is received on the basis of less than 10 staff, the organisation:

  • will be removed from the CDAO register
  • is not required to submit further notifications unless the situation changes

If we grant an exemption because appointing a CDAO would be disproportionate:

  • it will be for a period of up to one year ending on 31 December each year
  • you must submit a notification to renew the exemption within one month of its expiry

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

If we decline an application or rescind an exemption, you may appeal the decision. This must be in writing within one month of the date of our letter informing you of the decision.

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