What is a urine drug test kit?

Urine drug testing kits are single use devices that provide a good indication of the presence or absence of a drug at preset cut-off levels.

In Australia the cut-off levels that apply for urine drug test kits are drawn from the Australian Standard AS/NZS 4308:2008. These levels are different to other countries which means that test kits supplied from outside Australia are likely to provide you with different and potentially conflicting test results to those based on the Australian Standard.

How does a urine drug test kit fit into drug testing?

Urine drug testing is split into two phases - a screening phase and a confirmation phase with different cut-off levels applying to each phase (please refer to AS/NZS 4308:2008 for more details).

A urine drug test kit can perform the screening phase of a drug test and provides a simple pass/ fail result. A fail result should not be interpreted as a "positive" drug test, because all samples falling into this category need to be analysed in an appropriately accredited laboratory to determine a truly "positive" test result. Of course even these confirmed laboratory results can be appealed and lead to further testing of the referee sample. The referee sample is sometimes referred to as a "B" sample where the primary sample is split prior to being sent to the laboratory. An appeal test can be performed either at the same laboratory or another accredited laboratory.

The major function of a urine drug test kit is really therefore to determine negative results. All other samples need to undergo additional testing.

Can urine drug testing kits be accredited?

Urine drug testing kits can obtain accreditation (independent verification against the Standard and acknowledged by the statutory body for testing in Australia; NATA).

Our urine drug testing kits are compliant with the cut-off levels for the urine screening test phase in AS/NZS 4308:2008 (with the exception of synthetic cannabis which is not specifically included in the AS) as reflected in the table below;

Drug Class
Cut-Off Level (ng/mL or ug/L)


How to select a urine drug test kit?

Selecting a urine drug testing kit is relatively straight forward and is really based on who is being tested and exactly what the person is being tested for.

Urine drug testing kits that test for only 1 drug type

A person who has consumed marijuana (and nothing else) and is simply trying to determine if they are likely to be negative at a workplace test could select a single panel urine drug testing kit that only tests for marijuana.

The same applies for a person who has consumed only methamphetamine - they could select a single panel methamphetamine urine drug testing kit.

Urine drug testing kits that test for multiple drug types

Various multiple drug testing kits are available that analyse a sample for a variety of drug types at the same time. These urine drug test kits are usually either flat cassettes or cups.

Cup style urine drug tests are clean and tidy to use because after the sample has been provided, the person performing the test does not need to open the cup at all (with the exception of preparing confirmation samples to a laboratory).

How to use a urine drug test

A flat cassette style urine drug test kit uses the small disposable pipette that is supplied with the kit to transfer a portion of the urine sample onto the drug test kit cassette sample well. This well is usually well marked and conical in shape or otherwise a depression in the cassette to allow the sample to be drawn into the test strips contained within the urine drug test kit.

This sample than travels along the test strip where a series of lines appear. A control line indicates that the sample has travelled to the appropriate point to then read the individual urine drug test kit results. The majority of urine drug test kits operate in a way where the appearance of a line against the specific drug type represents a negative test. The absence of a line indicates a sample that requires further analysis in a laboratory. Although some test kits themselves describe this last type of result as "positive", that is quite misleading as further laboratory analysis could in fact determine that the sample was in fact negative.

Will a urine drug test kit provide an idea of the amount of drug present?

Urine drug test kits do not indicate the amount of drug present in a sample. It will merely indicate either a yes/no style response. It is sometimes argued that a faint line could indicate that a drug was present however close to the cut-off level however this is quite misleading and that style of conclusion should never be assumed or inferred. Where a urine drug test kit uses the presence of a line to indicate a negative test, any line intensity (even faint) should be interpreted as a negative test.

need help selecting a urine drug test kit?

If you would like to discuss your requirements and obtain help selecting a urine drug test kit that suits your needs, please reach out to us - we're happy to help you with your selection