Drug testing compliance is often poorly understood in Australia. Correct accredited training is an important building block towards compliance, however there are a number of additional requirements which need to be considered.

It is also prudent to review your drug & alcohol policy & related procedures to ensure that the content and practices are current, compliant & technically correct.

Some industries specifically require compliance with certain drug & alcohol related legislation (such as in the mining, rail and aviation sectors). Virtually all “Policies” and “Procedures” in Australia specifically include requirements to comply with Australian Standards – if they do not include this requirement; then if challenged – you might need to explain why you do not comply (bearing in mind that the Company hosting the testing [the “Requesting Authority”] is responsible for ensuring that the drug testing program is compliant.

We continue to be surprised at the number of Policies & Procedures we review that contain massive technical errors, including;

  • Referring to screening test results as “positive” (in breach of Australian Standards).
  • Basing a policy/ procedure on “impairment” or relying on terms such as “under the influence”.
  • Relying on the incorrect cut-off level tables (eg 50mg/mL is NOT the confirmatory cut-off level for Cannabis in urine) – the urine cut-off levels are not the same as the saliva cut-off levels either.
  • Engaging Collection Agencies who are not NATA accredited to perform on-site screening. Any claim of compliance must be verifiable which can easily be achieved by reviewing the NATA web site.
  • Having trained Collectors alone – does not meet full compliance in the Australian Standards – additional required compliance aspects includes – participation in relevant Quality Assurance Programs, running positive and negative controls, achieving NATA accreditation as a Collection Agency (this is not solely reserved for Laboratory Confirmations).
  • Applying procedures that do not protect the privacy of Donors – testing people in groups and as part of pre-starts is in breach of Privacy Legislation (not to mention the two Australian Drug Testing Standards).

If you would like an independent opinion on the compliance of your policy/ procedure please feel free to contact us.