A chain of custody is a series of processes for collecting, documenting, and protecting evidence. In the case of drug screening, the evidence is the samples. It’s critical that the chain of custody is followed and maintained because a non-negative result during a workplace drug screening can have life-changing consequences for the individual.
Due diligence and proper documentation is crucial to prevent mishaps, tampering or lost samples on their way to the laboratory for confirmation of a result.
Collection, Control, Transfer and Analysis
From initial collection of the donor’s sample by whatever means to final analysis at the laboratory, it is crucial that every stage of the test is accurately documented so there are no doubts about who supplied the sample, who handled it on the way to final testing and what the end results were.
Especially in the case of urine drug testing, a non-negative result can be later tampered with to influence the laboratory test, so it’s important the sample is kept safe and unadulterated.
What Can Go Wrong?
By having a professional chain of custody with strict adherence to proper documentation and conduct, you can prevent samples being deemed useless or contaminated and prevent time and money being wasted on re-testing, possibly creating ill will within the workplace.
Several things that can go wrong that you need to be aware of such as broken or missing security seals on samples, the ID number on seal and chain of custody form not matching, incomplete paperwork, missing signatures, and evidence of the sample being left unattended for any length of time.
Who is Affected?
If the chain of custody requirements are not fulfilled, the employer can be held liable and subject to false accusations, and the employee can feel as if their privacy has been invaded and the drug testing wasn’t taken seriously.
Become a Drug and Alcohol Tester
If your business conducts regular drug and alcohol testing, MediNat can train someone in your organisation to become a certified tester with a drug- and alcohol-testing course. The unit 'HLTPAT005 - Collect Specimens for Drugs of Abuse Testing' is a comprehensive pathology based training course provided in layman's terms. The course is available online. For company, group, or individual classroom training, contact us to discuss the best locations.
Drug and Alcohol Training
At MediNat Australia we offer the HLTPAT005 Collect Specimens for Drugs of Abuse Testing training course via distance learning for convenience and flexibility. To help you during the training you will have phone access to a fully qualified drug and alcohol-testing officer.
Call us on 1300 725 520, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us online to speak to one of our team members about drug and alcohol training or to find out more about our urine or saliva drug test kits.