CDSA & NSAA e-Learning Module

Last updated: March 2024

The Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) and Narcotics Safety and Awareness Act (NSAA) e-Learning Module is one in a series of learning modules that the College is introducing. It is an overview of key principles in the CDSA and its related regulations, as well as the NSAA and its regulations. We recommend that you view this module and refer to the CDSA and NSAA legislation as required, as well as the practice policies and guidelines applicable to these pieces of legislation.

The estimated running time is approximately two to three hours but will depend on your individual pace.

CDSA & NSAA Module


Please note that the CDSA and NSAA Learning Module is only a tool to support learning the CDSA and NSAA and its regulations and is not a comprehensive study resource. It is important to refer to the official legislation for more detailed and current information.


March 26, 2020:
Health Canada has issued pharmacists a Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) Subsection 56(1) Class Exemption for Patients, Practitioners and Pharmacists Prescribing and Providing Controlled Substances in Canada during the Coronavirus Pandemic from the provisions of:

  • Subsection 31(1), and section 37 of the Narcotic Control Regulations (NCR)
  • Sections G.03.002 and G.03.006 of Part G of the Food and Drug Regulations (FDR)
  • Paragraphs 52 (c) and (d), subsection 54(1) of the Benzodiazepines and Other Targeted Substances Regulations.

The module does not reflect these changes but makes note of this exemption on slide 1.6 and in footnotes on other slides where applicable. For information on how to apply the CDSA s.56(1) exemption in practice, please refer to the E-learning module – Application in Practice: The Controlled Drugs and Substances Act Subsection 56(1) Class Exemption.

Practice Policies and Guidelines

Pharmacy practice policies and guidelines were developed to support the CDSA and NSAA and its regulations. Please refer to the policies and guidelines that are applicable to the CDSA and NSAA to support your understanding of the legislation.