Setback For Oral Drug Tests

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Setback For Oral Drug Tests

27/11/2013

The National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) has withdrawn accreditation for onsite drug testing by oral fluid.

The decision by NATA follows an announcement earlier this year that it would withdraw accreditation for onsite initial drug testing of oral fluid under the Australian Standard 4760:2006 due to "significant technical issues".

"It may be difficult to withstand a challenge to any enforcement of a procedure based on onsite saliva testing, until NATA approve a suitable oral test.

NATA is the authority responsible for the accreditation of laboratories, inspection bodies, calibration services, producers of certified reference materials and proficiency testing scheme providers throughout Australia.

The move by NATA comes after a recent decision by the Fair Work Commission in Endeavour Energy v CEPU & Ors, which determined that drug and alcohol procedures should provide for saliva testing rather than urine testing.

A key reason for the Commission’s decision was the availability of onsite oral fluid testing devices which provided a quick, less invasive method of determining whether an employee had recently used a drug.

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