DATIA Launches International Standards Program

"This has been a serious problem for organizations operating outside the United States who want to ensure their workplace is drug free by testing applicants and employee," said Patricio Labatut and Brian Drew, co-chairmen of the association's International Committee.

The Drug & Alcohol Testing Industry Association has launched an international standards program for drug- and alcohol-free workplace programs to support effective programs on a global level. The benefits of such a program were established by a recent study conducted by DATIA and the Society for Human Resource Management, the association said in its Jan. 11 announcement.

"This is something we have been working on for years," said Dr. David Martin, DATIA's chairman. "It was a difficult task, but our International and Education/Standards Committees have laid the foundation for what we hope will be the beginning of a global set of standards."

No international standards or accreditation programs now exist for drug testing policies or programs, according to DATIA, and variations in international laws have made standardization difficult. But with drug abuse now recognized as a significant cost center to businesses, more and more organizations require drug testing of employees. "This has been a serious problem for organizations operating outside the United States who want to ensure their workplace is drug free by testing applicants and employees," said Patricio Labatut and Brian Drew, co-chairmen of the International Committee. "Without an international standard, some companies have been testing incorrectly and missing substance abusers, costing their companies in the end."

"What is most significant about this new international program for DATIA is that we took the combined and vast experience of our leadership to develop the program. What resulted," said Executive Director Laura Shelton, "is an exceptional program that our leadership continues to work on to provide international organizations with not only standards, but also suggested best practices to follow when applicable by international laws and policies. Our recent study on the efficacy of drug testing shows how organizations benefit significantly from such programs and we hope to share this knowledge globally to allow organizations in other countries to realize these financial and social benefits."

President Ronald Regan required in an Executive Order that federal agencies implement drug- and alcohol-free workplace programs. The first programs were launched in 1988, which means drug testing in the United States has some 20 years of administrative, technical, and legal experience. Through the iDATIA accreditation program, DATIA hopes to share this experience with other countries that are developing programs and help international organizations that need drug and alcohol testing in their operations worldwide.

For more information or an application, contact Shelton at 800-355-1257 ext. 40 or email lshelton@datia.org.

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