AP 766: Substance - Abuse, Prevention and Reporting

Health & Safety


The Superintendent is committed to the health and safety of all employees. This procedure communicates the expectations and guidelines surrounding the use, misuse or abuse of non- prescribed medications, illicit substances or alcohol.


1. Consistent expectations apply to employees and management alike while conducting work on behalf of the Division, whether on or off Division property:

1.1. An employee shall arrive to work in a manner fit for duty and in full ability to safely and effectively perform all expected duties to standard and remain fit for duty for the duration of the shift;

1.2. An employee shall be strictly prohibited from the use, possession, distribution or sale of illicit substances, non-prescribed medications or alcohol during work hours, including during paid and unpaid breaks;

1.3. An employee shall be prohibited from reporting to work while under the influence of illicit substances, non-prescribed drugs or alcohol; and

1.4. An employee utilizing prescription medication shall communicate, to management, any potential risk, limitation, or restriction requiring modification of duties or temporary reassignment.

2. The Superintendent or designate shall ensure that Divisional processes exist to clearly communicate prevention expectations with respect to illicit substances, non-prescribed medications or alcohol.

3. Individuals operating in a management capacity shall:

3.1.  Ensure that their work environment is safe;

3.2.  Identify any situations that may cause concern regarding an employee’s ability to safely perform any job function;

3.3.  Ensure that any employee who asks for help due to a substance dependency shall be provided with the appropriate support, including accommodation, and shall not be disciplined for doing so, and

3.4.  Maintain confidentiality and employee privacy.

4. Employees shall fully abide by the provisions of this procedure and be aware of their responsibilities with respect to substance use; to this end, employees shall:

4.1.  Arrive to work fit for duty and remain as such for the duration of the shift;

4.2.  Perform work in a safe manner in accordance with established safe work practices;

4.3.  Avoid the consumption, possession, sale, or distribution of non-prescribed medications, illicit substances or alcohol on Division property and during working hours, regardless of location;

4.4.  When off duty, refuse a request to come into work if unfit for duty;

4.5.  Report limitations and required modifications as a result of prescription medication;

4.6.  Report unfit co-workers to management;

4.7.  Seek advice and/or appropriate treatment, where required;

4.8.  Communicate dependency or emerging dependency; and

4.9.  Follow the after-care program, where established.

With respect to a suspicion of impairment

5. Individuals shall adhere to the following procedures when there is credible, reasonable belief that an employee demonstrates impairment during work:

5.1.  If possible, the employee's site supervisor (Principal/Director/etc.) shall first seek another manager/supervisor's opinion to confirm the employee's status;

5.2.  Next, the site supervisor shall consult privately with the employee to determine the cause of the observation, including whether substance abuse has occurred:

5.2.1. Suspicions of an employee's ability to function safely may be based on specific personal observations;

5.2.2. If the employee exhibits unusual behaviour that may include, but not limited to, slurred speech, difficulty with balance, watery and/or red eyes, dilated pupils, and/or there is an odour of alcohol or nauseous substance, the employee should not be permitted to return to their assigned duties in order to ensure their safety and the safety of other employees, students or visitors; and

5.2.3. If an employee is considered impaired and deemed "unfit for work" this decision is made based on the best judgment of two members in a supervisory capacity and DOES NOT require a breathalyzer or blood test.

5.3.  The employee shall be advised that the site supervisor has arranged a taxi or shuttle service to safely transport them to their home address or to a medical facility, depending on the determination of the observed impairment.

5.4.  The employee may be accompanied by a site supervisor or another employee if necessary.

5.5.  An impaired employee shall not be allowed to drive:

5.5.1. The employee shall be advised that any refusal of organized transportation, for the purpose of driving a personal vehicle, shall result in the immediate obligation by the supervisor to inform the police of the employee’s choice.

5.6. A meeting shall be scheduled for the following work day to review the incident and determine a course of action which may include a monitored referral program as part of a treatment plan.




Date Approved: January 30, 2020 

Reference: Education Act: 33, 35.1, 196-197, 222

Reviewed or Revised:
Executive: January, 2020

References shall be updated as required and do not require additional approval.