The Advantages of Joining a Drug Testing Consortium

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A drug testing consortium is one random drug testing program consisting of many employers. Consortia are usually offered to employers regulated under the Department of Transportation. Applying them to the general workplace also has its advantages. 

FYI, consortia are the plural form of consortium. Administering a drug testing program can be complex and requires a dedicated staff. If you're managing hundreds of employees and applicants this makes it even harder. It's overwhelming for any business. Thanks to drug testing consortia, it doesn’t have to be.

We’re big on simplifying employment screening. A drug testing consortium is a great way to do it. Here’s why we recommend that small and medium-sized businesses should join a drug testing consortium. 

It Lowers Your Costs

Joining a drug testing consortium can lower your direct costs. How does this work? Well, most providers have volume-tiered price models. So, the more testing you perform the lower per unit cost. A small business contracting with a lab won't get the best rates for drug testing services. If you contract through a consortium, you’ll receive discounted pricing with economies of scale.

Also, your company won't have to test as many participants. For example, let's say your company's random testing rate is 50%. You have 10 employees. You're required to test 5 employees. Now, let's put your 10 employees in a consortium with 100 others. The whole consortium has to meet the 50% rate. This reduces the chances of selecting your employees. That means less testing for you. You're reducing your company’s random testing rates while still remaining in compliance. It's almost like cheating the system. 

Joining a drug testing consortium can also lower your indirect costs. There are a lot of service agents involved with drug testing. Employment drug testing includes laboratories, MRO’s, and collection sites. You could receive up to three bills for one drug test. A drug testing consortium can combine services and merge your bills. This will give your accounts payable department some relief. 

You Get Expert Support

The federal and state drug and alcohol testing regulations can be complex. There will be situations when it may not be clear what action you should take. A drug testing consortium gives you access to knowledgeable and experienced individuals. They can assist you in making tough decisions. 

To put in place a complete drug program from scratch can be quite an undertaking. A drug testing consortium gives you a jump start. Your business can implement existing workplace drug testing programs that are already in place. 

It Reduces Your Administrative Burden

Like I mentioned before, there are a lot of service agents involved with the drug testing process. Contracting with laboratories, MRO’s, and collection sites requires a large coordinated effort. It's even harder if you're a multi-location employer. A well-organized drug testing consortium will have existing service agent networks in place. Your business can enroll without taking the time to execute contracts with each one. 

There are also other administrative requirements for maintaining your drug testing program. These include quality control, filing, and record keeping. Drug testing consortiums should take on these responsibilities on your behalf. This will free up your staff's time.

Technology also plays a big role in reducing the administrative burden. You have to maintain thousands of records. These include drug test results, alcohol test results, employee records, and forms. This can be a mess. Be sure your service provider can provide a technology solution. It should help you locate records by storing forms electronically and are eCCF integrated. "eCCF" is short for "electronic chain of custody". This will save you time so you're not looking for test records and keeping track of forms. 

So, you see the advantages of joining a drug testing consortium. It's offered to the Department of Transportation (DOT) regulated and general workplace employers. The advantages include lowering your costs, providing expert support, and reducing the administrative burden. 

Ready to join a drug testing consortium? Contact us and we'll help get you started.

30277 Last modified on Wednesday, 21 February 2018
Hagen DeRouen

Co-founder & CEO at Screensoft. 10+ years of experience with employment screening program management and guidance. Certifications including FCRA basic, MRO assistant, and professional collector trainer.