breathalysers-australia transparent logo
truck-icon-red-banner

Same day local dispatch

australia-icon-red-banner

Australian owned

Breathalysers

1-3 year warranty

breathalyser

Australia's industry specialist

AS NZS 4308 2008: Purpose, Scope, and Procedures

04 March, 2024

A person in corporate attire holding a drug testing sign

The Australian Standard and New Zealand Standard are jointly developed technical standards and specifications. AS/NZS 4308:2008 establishes standardised procedures for urine drug testing. It covers specimen collection, storage, and testing methods. The standard requires collecting specimens in sterile containers, labelling them correctly, and transporting them to a lab for analysis. Its goal is to offer a structured and consistent approach to urine drug testing. Through the standard, industries can rely on accurate, and safe processes of testing individuals.

Alcohol and drug testing is a common practice, especially in high-risk industries. It helps to identify workers who may be under the influence of impairing substances or have an addiction problem. Hence, organisations invest in these tests to eliminate the safety hazards of impaired employees. One of the most efficient methods is urine testing. This article will present the purpose, scope, and procedures of AS/NZS 4308 2008.

Purpose of AS/NZS 4308:2008

AS/NZS 4308:2008 serves as a crucial guideline for specimen collection in drug testing procedures. Its purpose is to establish standardised drug test procedures and protocols that ensure accurate and reliable collection of specimens. By providing clear guidelines, this standard aims to minimise errors and inconsistencies that could potentially compromise the drug testing process.

In addition, the standard focuses on providing methods for the detection of drugs of abuse. It outlines the appropriate techniques and technologies testing officers should use to identify various substances in the specimens. By adhering to these methods, drug testing labs can maintain consistency and enhance the reliability of their results.

Another significant purpose of this standard is to ensure the overall quality and reliability of drug testing. It sets out strict requirements for laboratory facilities, equipment, and personnel competence. It emphasises the need for appropriate training, accreditation, and ongoing quality assurance measures to guarantee reliable drug testing outcomes. By enforcing these standards, AS/NZS 4308 2008 promotes the confidence and trustworthiness of drug testing processes.

Cut-Off Levels

The national standard establishes cut-off concentration levels to decide the significant presence or amount of substances in the sample. The threshold is expressed in nanograms (ng) per millilitre (mL). It is based on the amount of drug and its biological effects.

Immunoassay Screen Cut-off Level:

  • Amphetamine: 300ng/ml
  • Benzodiazepines: 200ng/ml
  • Cannabis: 50ng/ml
  • Cocaine: 150ng/ml
  • Opiates: 300ng/ml

Laboratory Cut-off Level for Confirmation Testing:

  • Amphetamines (Methylamphetamine, Methylenedioxy-methylamphetamine, Methylenedioxy-amphetamine): 150ng/ml
  • Benzylpiperazine, Phentermine, Ephedrine, Pseudoephedrine: 500ng/ml
  • Diazepam, Nordizepam, Oxazepam, Temazepam: 100ng/ml
  • α-hydroxy-alprazolam, 7-amino-clonazepam, 7-amino-flunitrazepam, 7-amino-nitrazepam: 100ng/ml
  • 11-nor-delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol-9-Carboxylic acid: 15ng/ml
  • Benzoylecgonine, Ecgonine methyl ester: 100ng/ml
  • Codeine, Morphine: 300ng/ml
  • 6-Acetylmorphine: 10ng/ml

A female laboratory technician holding a container of urine, gesturing an "OK" sign

Scope of AS/NZS 4308:2008

AS/NZS 4308:2008 outlines the process for urine testing, particularly for situations like legal matters, workplace regulations, or court-directed needs. To start, it emphasises meticulous specimen collection and storage practices. Accredited collectors need to wear gloves and utilise clean, sterile containers to prevent any form of contamination. They must also properly label each container and accompany it with comprehensive documentation, including date, time, and signature.

In terms of testing methods, the standard outlines two specific approaches. The first method employs the immunoassay technique for initial screening. This technique enables rapid detection of substances such as amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, opiates, and benzodiazepines. It yields results within minutes, facilitating swift assessment of the presence of these substances in urine samples.

After obtaining a non-negative result during the initial screening, the standard recommends using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) for confirmation purposes. This secondary method validates the preliminary findings and ensures accuracy in identifying the specific substances present in the urine sample. By adhering to the prescribed testing methods outlined in the standard, stakeholders can uphold rigorous standards in urine testing processes.

Specimen Types Accepted for Testing

This AS/NZS 4308 2008 standard primarily focuses on urine samples. Urine testing is one of the most efficient methods of detecting common drugs of abuse. It can trace substances for a longer period than blood tests and oral fluid testing. The average detection window of illegal drugs in a standard urine screening is one to three days.

However, several factors influence the duration drugs stay detectable in urine. These include body weight, hydration level, and urine acidity, The weight can affect drug metabolism and elimination rates. Meanwhile, being well-hydrated may dilute drug concentrations in urine. Moreover, urine acidity can influence how quickly drugs are excreted.

A testing strip alongside two containers of urine samples

AS/NZS 4308:2008 – Procedures for Specimen Collection

The procedures in AS/NZS 4308:2008 begin with the collection of a urine sample at a designated collection centre. The testing facility will provide the individual with a sterile container and instructions on collecting the sample. Healthcare providers or collection centre staff often ensure the individual does not tamper with the sample.

Once collected, personnel send the urine sample to a laboratory for testing. The laboratory technician will conduct various tests to detect the presence and quantitation of drugs in the urine. This may include initial screening tests to identify detectable drugs and confirmatory testing to provide more accurate results.

After completing the testing, the laboratory will report the results to the requesting party or healthcare provider of the donor. The provider will review the results and discuss them with the individual. If necessary, they may offer guidance and support for further actions or treatments based on the test results. Overall, these are the essential collection procedures involved in urine drug testing.

Requirements for Collection Containers

The collection containers must be leak-proof to prevent any spills or contamination during transportation. They should also have tight-fitting lids to secure the contents and prevent any unwanted access. Additionally, these containers must be made of durable materials capable of withstanding the rigours of handling and transportation.

Moreover, the containers must have unique identifiers for accurate sample tracking. They should also be of sufficient size to accommodate the required volume of urine for testing. Furthermore, the containers must have a wide enough opening to facilitate easy and hygienic collection. Overall, these requirements ensure that urine samples remain pure and unaltered throughout the testing process.

Conclusion

AS/NZS 4308:2008 sets the rules for collecting and testing urine samples in drug testing. It aims to make sure that specimens are collected properly to prevent mistakes. The standard also tells labs how to test for drugs like cocaine and marijuana using specific methods. These methods help to quickly find out if drugs are present. If a test shows drugs might be there, another test is done to confirm it. Following these rules ensures accurate and reliable drug testing.

Collection centres provide sterile containers and guidance to testees, while strict measures prevent tampering. Laboratories conduct thorough testing, with initial screenings and confirmatory tests for precise results. Leak-proof, secure containers are crucial, with unique identifiers for tracking and ample size for adequate samples. These measures guarantee the integrity of urine samples during transportation and testing. Healthcare providers review results with individuals, offering support and guidance as needed.

0
    Shopping Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop
      Calculate Shipping
      Shipping options will be updated during checkout.

      Your Perfect Match

      Also Recommended

      Why upgrade?

      Your Perfect Match

      Why upgrade?

      Your Perfect Match

      Why upgrade?

      Your Perfect Match

      Also Recommended

      Why upgrade?

      Your Perfect Match

      Also Recommended

      Why upgrade?

      Your Perfect Match

      Also Recommended

      Why upgrade?

      Your Perfect Match

      Also Recommended

      Why upgrade?

      Your Perfect Match

      Also Recommended

      Why upgrade?

      Your Perfect Match

      Also Recommended

      Why upgrade?

      Is Device Size Important?

      Is Device Size Important?

      Is Device Size Important?

      Driving Restrictions? (P Platers, Zero Tolerance etc)

      Your Perfect Match

      Also Recommended

      Why upgrade?

      Your Perfect Match

      Also Recommended

      Why upgrade?

      Your Perfect Match

      Key Benefits

      Your Perfect Match

      Key Benefits

      A person in corporate attire holding a drug testing sign

      Would you like extra mouthpieces?

      Your Perfect Match

      Why upgrade?

      Your Perfect Match

      Also Recommended

      Why upgrade?

      Your Perfect Match

      Also Recommended

      Why upgrade?

      You may be interested in…

      Thank you for registering your breathalyser.

      Our system will now automatically send you a notification when your calibration is due.

      Your Perfect Match

      Also Recommended

      Why upgrade?

      Are you Testing Employees?