2018 New Version of Canadian Model Coming Into Effect
2018 New Version of Canadian Model Coming Into Effect

2018 New Version of Canadian Model Coming Into Effect

News Red Slashes Jun 20, 2018
By: CannAmm Admin

Today the Construction Owners Association of Canada (COAA) and Energy Safety Canada announced the release of the Canadian Model 6.0. CannAmm Occupational Testing Services is honoured to be among the key stakeholders to be on the model review committee. The complete publication can be found hereCanadian Model for providing a safe workplace

CannAmm’s processes have long adopted the leading practices within the new 2018 version of the model and our clients can rest assured that CannAmm can assist them to be compliant.

What is The Canadian Model?

The purpose of the Canadian Model for Providing a Safe Workplace is to contribute to a safe workplace for all workers by reducing the risks associated with the inappropriate use of alcohol and drugs. It aims to articulate minimum industry expectations for a safe workplace while recognizing that some companies may require higher or alternative standards based on the specific nature of their operations. A number of clauses have been tweaked to improve clarity, many with the advice of the COAA’s panel of medical experts who participated in the 2018 Best Practices Conference.

This newest version is effective July 1, 2018, but it is anticipated that companies and organizations will transition to Version 6.0 over the next few months. Version 5.0 will remain in the COAA Library as a superseded reference document until early 2019.

What Has Changed In This Version?

The COAA recognizes that the Canadian Model must account for new information, technologies, and trends. For this reason, the Canadian Model is periodically reviewed. Here is a brief summary of the most significant changes coming into effect on July 1, 2018:

Drug Panels Expanded to Include Semi-Synthetic Opioids

On January 1, 2018, the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) expanded its drug panel to include semi-synthetic opioids. The Canadian Model has updated drug panels to continue to replicate the USDOT standard. Semi-synthetic opioids that are now tested for include:

  • Hydrocodone
  • Hydromorphone
  • Oxycodone
  • Oxymorphone

For a complete list of the drug panel, along with corresponding cutoff levels, please refer to the published document Section 3. There are tables for both urine and oral fluid drug tests.
Addition of Safety Sensitive Risk Matrix
An appendix has been added to provide guidance and a matrix for identifying safety-sensitive positions. The matrix illustrates a logical methodology. Companies may use other methodologies provided they are equally thoughtful, reasonable and defensible.

You can refer to Appendix C in the published document to access the complete guide.

Re-affirmation of Role of Point of Collection Testing (POCT)
This version of the Canadian Model re-affirms the role of POCT testing. It allows companies to perform an express POCT urine drug test in combination with either a lab-based oral fluid or urine drug test. The express urine device must be Health Canada approved, and Chain of Custody paperwork must be included in the collection process for the express portion of the test.

Due to POCT not being as accurate as laboratory tests, the Canadian Model provides for the use of POCT only for the limited purpose of assessing the risk of returning an employee to work while awaiting the results of a laboratory drug test.

For More Information

  • Canadian Model Version 6.0, Supporting Documents, and Relevant Presentations by the COAA can be found here.

For CannAmm clients wishing to review their account or receive advice, please contact us via our web contact form here, or email us at

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