+IMPAC partners with InScience for essential Drug and Alcohol Testing Training
24 August, 2023 | Blueprint
At +IMPAC, we only partner with organisations who share our passion and single-minded focus. As such, we’re pleased to recommend the services of industry-leaders in Workplace Drug and Alcohol testing – InScience.
InScience founder and principal Ann-Louise Anderson teaches the latest technical practices (NZQA) in oral fluid and urine, collection, drug screening and confirmation but with a strong focus on sensitivity, people and practicality.
She believes it's critical for service providers and in-house testers to empathetically support workers throughout the process. “10% is performing the actual drug screen onsite analysis and 90% is how you record and get the medicolegal aspects right with professionalism and humanity,” she says.
More companies are embracing doing their own inhouse testing – which she sees as a positive for many organisations. “It can be so much easier to have someone doing the testing in an environment that workers are comfortable with. I think taking some of the stress out of the process is a great benefit that can come with doing your own testing.” This is further reinforced by workplace experiences with performing their own COVID testing.
She believes testers need to be able to understand and communicate well, the meaning and significance of a not negative screen result and that the confirmation process that follows shouldn’t be feared but welcomed and fully supported.
"What’s determined or interpreted by a workplace from initial drug screen results can be quite stressful for a variety of reasons. It's really important that the person being tested is treated in a supportive way by a trained collector through to confirmation. Employers also need to reinforce this by educating their workers not to prejudge and understand the relationship of a drug screen to a confirmed result,” she says.
In her previous roles, including as CEO of a multinational company, she learned first-hand a lot about change management and the importance of supporting and helping those impacted to understand the reasons behind the change. The same applies when setting and carrying out a Workplace Drug Testing policy, where safety and jobs may hang in the balance.
“The consequences of not getting it right can result in workers fearing, challenging the process or avoiding being tested.” Ann-Louise says. A poor policy can make it hard for safety critical industries and businesses to fulfil their obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.
“It’s a critical part of a health and safety program. One that has a cost to doing it, but it has an even higher cost of not doing it.”
Ann-Louise is well-recognised for her expertise across Australasia, her involvement in developing NZ's technical standards, board level participation in the Industry group and her passion for teaching. “I came to being a NZQA trainer late in my career but really love what I have learnt from both training course design and conducting training and the people I meet along the way,” she comments.
Students can expect engaging and thought-provoking anecdotes from Ann-Louise’ personal and very relatable experience in addition to learning about the importance of process, understanding compliance, legal obligations, common law and relevant industry examples.
“In addition to creating safer workplaces, I think if you can identify someone as early as possible, with a drug or alcohol issue that compromises safety, you're doing them and their whanau a favour. Workplace testing can be a major influence for change. If a worker is impaired by a substance knowingly or unknowingly, that can have catastrophic implications not just for their workplace, workmates and community but also for themselves.”
Find out more about InScience' upcoming training courses here.