Royal Canadian Mounted Police

RCMP substance use policy

On this page

  1. Fit for duty
  2. Safety-sensitive positions

The RCMP's substance use policy took effect on October 17, 2018. This policy was reviewed and subsequently updated on January 10, 2024.

Fit for duty

All RCMP employees must be fit for duty when reporting for work, which includes not being impaired by alcohol or drugs. The policy reflects the duty of care the RCMP has for its members and the communities it serves.

Safety-sensitive positions

The RCMP reviewed all aspects of its operations as to make this policy decision. RCMP members work across Canada in a unique operating environment, as first responders, in rural and remote communities, and can be called back for duty at any time. The RCMP focuses on the safety of its 18,000 police officers and that of the public in the 700 communities it serves. The RCMP has an average of 2.7 million calls for service from the public annually.

Safety-sensitive position is defined as one that, if not performed in a safe manner, can cause direct and significant damage to property, and/or injury to the employee, others around them, the public and/or the immediate environment.

Canadian Human Rights Commission

Substance use can adversely affect job performance, conduct, the work environment, and the well-being of the user and of others, and can compromise the safety and security of policing services.

With respect to the use of impairing substances (for example cannabis), the risk of impairment varies with user characteristics, use patterns, and product quality; therefore, it may differ from one user to another, and from one use episode to another. The most effective way to avoid any safety risk is to abstain from use.

All employees must be fit to perform their duties and carry out their responsibilities, and must not be impaired by drugs, alcohol, or other substances when on duty or at work.