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Pre-Employment Drug Testing Program


​The safety of employees, the public, property and the environment is a priority in delivering services to Calgarians. An external candidate who applies for a safety sensitive position must pass a pre-employment drug test before they can be employed with The City.

A safety sensitive position is one where impaired performance could result in a significant incident affecting the health and safety of employees, the public, property and/or the environment. There are hundreds of positions at The City that have been identified as safety sensitive positions.

Who is required to take a pre-employment drug test?

Applicants to safety sensitive positions who:

  • are not currently employed with The City, and
  • have been identified as the top candidate through the recruitment process,
  • are individuals who have rehire rights.*

*Note: Employees who have obtained recall rights are not required to take a pre-employment drug test.

Does this apply to all competitions for safety sensitive positions?

Applicants who apply for positions which require a polygraph test, such as some members of the Calgary Police Service, Public Safety & Communications and the Calgary Fire Department, are not required to take a pre-employment drug test.

How does it work?

All job postings for safety sensitive positions will clearly state that successful applicants must pass a pre-employment drug test before they can be employed.

As part of the recruitment process, the applicant will be required to complete a prescreening questionnaire. There is a question specific to an applicant’s willingness to complete a PEDT. If an applicant is not willing to complete a PEDT for a safety sensitive position the applicant will not be considered for it.

During the employment interview, if you are not currently employed with The City, hiring managers will re-state that a pre-employment drug test must be successfully completed by the successful applicant.

A third-party vendor administers the pre-employment drug testing program on behalf of The City of Calgary. Once the successful applicant passes their pre-employment drug test, a final offer of employment can be made.​

What does an applicant require to complete a pre-employment drug test?

  • The applicant is required to provide their primary phone number and email address on their resume or application so they can be contacted by the third-party vendor to schedule the PEDT appointment.
  • To complete the PEDT itself, the applicant is required to have at least one piece of government issued photo identification when they are at the appointment.
  •  If the applicant is under the age of 18, they will be provided with a Parental Consent Form which must be completed prior to attending the PEDT appointment.

What does an applicant need to know regarding the pre-employment drug test?

  • The third-party vendor will contact the applicant at the primary phone number listed on the resume or application, so, it is important that the correct phone number is provided.
  • If the third-party vendor is unable to get a hold of the applicant after the first two attempts, a mandated scheduled appointment is made for the applicant.
  • It is the responsibility of the applicant to make themselves available to complete the test within a 72-hour window once they are contacted by the third-party vendor.
  • Most of the testing is completed during the work week in Calgary during normal business hours; however, it is possible to be tested elsewhere in other locations in Canada. It is possible that a PEDT appointment could be scheduled for a weekend although that would be a special case as determined by the employer.
  • The third-party vendor will provide specific instructions to the applicant to follow prior to attending the PEDT appointment. It is important that the applicant adhere to these instructions to complete the test.

Where can I find more information?

For more information about the Pre-Employment Drug Testing Program (PEDT) or PEDT requirements, please contact HR Support Services at (403) 268-5800.

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