Testing - What Happens
What happens - What should you Expect?
The way in which you can expect to be treated in a drug test is largely dependent upon the Collector (person conducting the test) and the Collection Company (sometimes referred to as Collection Agency). The Collector might be a Doctor working on behalf of your Company or a professional testing agency using Trained Collection Staff.The actual test that you are likely to experience is of course also dependent upon the Policy of the Company that you work for (or the one you are applying to work for).
Please note that the following information relates to the way in which our Company conducts testing. This may be different from the testing that you might experience with any other Testing Agency or Doctor.
How will You be Treated?
The approach of the Collector (and Collection Company) will determine the manner of the test that you will experience. In other words will they be professional, courteous, polite, appropriately protect your privacy and empathise with you?
There are currently a large number of Individuals and Collection Agencies conducting drug testing throughout Australia, for which it is impossible to generalise about the manner in which you will be treated.
However, Doctors and professional Collection Companies like ourselves are likely to have an impartial, courteous approach in conducting the test. They should also have strict procedures concerning the way in which testing is conducted and have safeguards to protect your privacy. Our Collection Staff are almost entirely Registered Nurses, with considerable experience in protecting privacy, ensuring hygiene and taking a health oriented approach in conducting our work
If you are tested by our Company, you should expect to be treated with dignity, privacy and courtesy at all times. We would hope that you will treat our Staff in the same manner (we are doing our jobs after all, just like you!). We have strict testing protocols and procedures that we follow in order to ensure that your testing is conducted as accurately and efficiently as possible. As a result, we will not unduly delay the amount of time in finalising your test.
We also use the latest technology available for on-site testing available today for which we are able to allow you to provide a sample in a private location away from your fellow workmates. We go to great lengths to protect your privacy throughout the testing process. In normal circumstances, we do not witness (or physically watch the passing of urine samples) as we have adopted additional technology designed to ensure that the sample is fresh and valid and to detect any masking agents. Naturally, any oral fluid testing can be readily collected on a "witnessed basis", and without the complications of witnessed urine samples. An individual would need to go to extraordinary lengths with random testing to falsify a sample to the extent that it would not be identified by our testing staff. This is of course a contentious issue, one perspective is that witnessed collections avoid substitution of samples, however we do not believe that this is appropriate behaviour in workplace settings under normal circumstances. Various apparatus have been on the market for some years which make even witnessed collections subject to tampering. We would prefer to focus on encouraging individuals to self-manage and change behaviour (through viewing testing as a deterrent) than placing people in embarrassing situations like having someone physically watch you in the toilet.
If you have experienced a test by our Company, and you are not completely satisfied with the way in which you have been treated we encourage you to immediately contact us to discuss the matter. Your contact can be treated in strict confidence if you request this and we will always treat any issue, however small as important.
Company Policy and the "Testing Method"?
The Policy of the company (for which you have been asked to do the test) should determine various aspects like the type of test that you are likely to face (this might be urine, saliva or hair). The most common of these (currently) is urine testing, however saliva testing appears to be becoming more common. It would be very unlikely for example to be faced with a blood test (as part of a workplace drug test). Urine tests are commonly conducted using "instant" screening devices, or packaged and sent to the laboratory. Any samples that are found to be "screen-positive" on-site using a screening device should be sent to an appropriately accredited laboratory for confirmation testing. Professional Collection Companies may also send a number of negative samples to the laboratory for testing (to ensure that their on-site test is performing properly). This is a type of "proficiency testing" and does not mean that your sample is going to undergo some sort of bizarre DNA testing or further testing for any other reason than for the drug testing that you have agreed to undertake.
Drug tests are normally conducted in conjunction with an alcohol test, for which the most common form of test uses a breathalyser (similar to that used by Police forces).
If there is any aspect that you do not understand regarding your Company Policy, you should discuss this with the appropriate person working for your Company, or your Union representative before conducting any test.
The normal steps when facing a test with fit4duty?
If you experience a test with our company, the testing is likely to follow the following process under normal circumstances (please note that these might not be exactly the same as conducted by other Collection Agencies and are subject to change in accordance with the Policy of the Company for which testing is being conducted and/or any relevant Standard):
- The testing procedure will allow for individual privacy.
- You will be asked to complete some paperwork - help will be provided if you require any assistance completing the short form.
- You will need to show some photo ID to the Collector - if this is not available your Supervisor can verify your identity to the Collector.
- You can ask any "drug or alcohol testing" related questions to the Collector. If we don't know the answer to your question, we will let you know and advise you that we will source the answer to your question and let you know in confidence (if you are able to leave contact details with the Collector).
- An alcohol test will normally be conducted using a calibrated, high quality fuel-cell based Breath Alcohol testing unit. Our units are the same type as those used by many Police forces in Australia. This process will be repeated in the event that an unusual result is obtained on the first test, normally several times within an hour of the initial test.
- You will then be asked to provide the relevant sample, which might be either tested immediately using a variety of adulteration/ masking agent screening tests (if required) and a drug screening device, or the sample might be packaged and sent off to the relevant laboratory without using a drug screening test kit (however this may be the case only after an adulteration/ masking agent test has been used if the sample being evaluated is urine).
- The sample will be both tested on-site and sent to the relevant laboratory in the event that your sample returned an unusual result on any of the screening equipment or if your sample is to be used as part of proficiency testing of the equipment used by our Company [as a check to ensure that the test kits continue to perform accurately]. Please note that any results obtained from the proficiency testing conducted by our Company, where a screen negative sample obtained on-site is contradicted in the laboratory (as positive) are used for evaluating the quality of on-site testing processes only, and all links to the identification of the Donor are removed (with proficiency testing even if the sample was found to be positive in the laboratory, there would be no way of working out the identity of the person that provided the sample).
- If your test involves on-site screening equipment, it is quite easy to interpret the results and you will be able to readily see the results on the equipment used (since the process is conducted directly in front of you). We might also fully repeat the screening test using another device (for which you might be asked to choose the kit from the range available) prior to sending any samples that have returned a "positive" screen result to a laboratory. If this is the case, and the second screening test returns a "negative" result, the test will be declared "negative" on the form.
- Please note that you may be asked to provide an additional sample in the event that the Collector has any concerns regarding the first sample that you have provided (as part of the masking agent/ adulteration testing) or visual inspection of the sample, prior to the Collector conducting drug screening using on-site drug testing kits as described above. The first sample that you provided would also be sent to the laboratory to analyse any masking agents/ adulterants if this was the concern of the Collector with the initial sample.
- You need to stay with the Collector throughout the collection procedure (including any packaging if required). You will be offered a copy of the form that you have completed for your own records if you wish.
- That is the end of the on-site testing procedure under normal circumstances, pending the return of any results from the laboratory (following any screen positive results obtained through on-site testing kits).
- The results of the initial test (s) that have been noted on the Chain of Custody/ Consent Form are then reported to the relevant nominated company representatives (provided that this is accommodated by the Policy of the Company for which testing is being conducted). We cannot talk with any other person regarding your result without your permission.
|MYTH : If I do a urine drug test it will show a positive test for a joint I smoked a month ago|
Light/ Casual users of marijuana should only show a positive test for 1 to 2 days, however chronic use might show a positive result for 30 days. We've heard reports of 42 days, however these may have been caused through re-use.
|MYTH : You can get a positive drug test from passive smoking|
Not under normal conditions. One study performed under unrealistic conditions did return positive results
|MYTH : Masking agents cannot be detected|
All commercial masking agents can be easily detected by a trained Collector
|MYTH : If I do a urine drug test I will need to be watched when providing the sample.|
Some Agencies and GP's conduct witnessed Tests, we include additional technology in our random testing designed to avoid the need for witnessing samples under normal circumstances
|MYTH : Drug Testing will pick up all of your Medications|
This is not correct, a small number of prescriptions, very similar to the drugs being tested for might present positive. A recent test of over 100 males, 70% taking a variety of medications returned only 1 medication positive.
|MYTH : Drug Testing samples are used for DNA Testing back at the Lab|
Laboratories are engaged to analyse samples forwarded to them for drug content - no additional testing could be conducted without your permission, but regardless - this does not occur with the Labs that we deal with.
|MYTH : Even Panadol will show a positive result in a drug test|
Panadol containing only paracetamol will not show a positive drug test. Codeine on the other hand might show a positive opiate test. However if this is reported, an accredited lab might provide an applicable comment.