If you work with scheduled medicines and poisons, you should read the Medicines and Poisons Substance Management Plan - SMP  [2.70.13], to acquire information on:

  • procurement
  • storage
  • use
  • disposal
  • record keeping.

Scheduled substances

The manufacturing, packaging, labelling, storage, prescription, dispensing, sale and supply, use and disposal of scheduled medicines and poisons is regulated by the Medicines and Poisons Act 2019 and Therapeutic Goods Regulation 2021 (Qld) with the following subordinate instruments:

Substances are assigned to 10 schedules in accordance with the Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons (SUSMP), also known as the Poisons Standard. To determine the category or schedule of a drug or poison, consult the current Poisons Standard (SUSMP).

The Regulations apply to all UQ workers and students (including affiliates, visitors, controlled entities staff, contractors and others) undertaking research or teaching involving scheduled substances. The full provisions of the legislation are complex. You should consult the Medicines and Poisons Substance Management Plan - SMP  [2.70.13], the HSW Division or your area's Drugs and Poisons Officer for key requirements that apply to such teaching and research activities (regulated activities with poisons - buy, possess, apply, supply and dispose).

Medicine or poison? 

  • A substance applied to a person or animal for therapy is a medicine, usually in UQ Health Clinics, remote clinics, by clinicians, dentists, etc., or by veterinary activities/applications.
  • A substance used in research or teaching is a poison – for example, in animal trials, surgery training at BRF, research laboratories (using antibiotics in cell culture or cloning, or using scheduled substances in chemistry), or teaching of optometry or dentistry in a teaching space.

Approval to work with scheduled substances

To use scheduled medicines or poisons for research or teaching purposes, you must obtain approval from the UQ HSW Division. You are encouraged to have your application reviewed by your area's Drugs and Poisons Officer (DO) before submission. 

Approval applications are expected from individual workers, research groups or Organisational Units and are finalised when recorded in UQSafe. Available forms are:

UQ workers must also ensure that any additional required permits (including ChemCert Accreditation or an Agricultural Chemicals Distribution Control Licence) are obtained prior to using regulated poisons as required in the MP Regulation.

Appendix A (PDF, 113.7 KB) referred to in the SMP have the list of UQ regulated places where approvals under the SMP apply for working with scheduled substances. Appendix B (PDF, 107.9 KB) lists UQ regulated places where approvals from the HSWD does not apply, because they are managed by Approved Persons under the Medicines and Poisons (Medicines) Regulation 2021. Appendix D (PDF, 117.8 KB) summarises the requirements for approvals, disposals, and audits in table format.

Approval process

Eligible Persons (except undergraduates), or Organisational Units for low-risk poisons, may seek approval to handle scheduled substances following the steps below: 

  1. Complete the Chemical Safety online training and any other requirements (refer to application form). 
  2. Complete the relevant application form SMP USER or GL CI or ORG UNIT or DO Approval Application.
  3. Review the application with the local DO (if available) or, if there is not one available, the HSW Division. 
  4. Submit the application for consideration of approval to the HSW Division.  
  5. The HSW Division will: 
    • check that the requirements for approval are met, and liaise further with relevant DO if necessary; and
    • record and save the approval in UQSafe; and
    • return electronically a copy of the issued, unique identified and recorded approval to the Eligible Person, or the Organisational Unit, including the relevant DO; and
    • seek corrections or reject the approval if requirements of approval are not met.
  6. Eligible Person should provide copies of all recorded approvals to the HSW Manager or WHSC (as determined by the local Organisational Unit).

Approval to purchase scheduled substances

Until the implementation of the Medicines and Poisons SMP (26 September 2022), only the Vice-Chancellor or their appropriately qualified delegate is authorised to obtain, possess or give a restricted drug or Schedule 2 or 3 poison to faculty or staff members for the purposes of teaching or research.

If you need to purchase a Schedule 4 drug/poison or a Schedule 2 or 3 poison before 26 September 2022, the Vice-Chancellor's delegate must:

For more information about the roles and responsibilities of delegates, read the:

From 26 September 2022, approved persons can purchase Schedule 4 (non-restricted), 2 and 3 poisons via UniFi. A copy of UQ’s Qld Health General Approval will be available from your DO if required by the supplier. 

If you need to purchase other scheduled substances, such as Restricted Schedule 7 poisons and all Schedule 8, 9 or 10 poisons, contact your area's Drugs and Poisons Officer.

Usage logs

You must keep usage records for all scheduled substances to record the amounts of drugs received and used.