Independent expert Professor Olaf Drummer from Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine provided a Report - Testing for impairing substances in health care professionals (below) to ensure the approach to biological testing in the National Scheme was evidence based and up-to-date. This report has informed the development of the Ahpra Drug and Alcohol Screening Protocol.
Following recommendations from the expert report from Professor Drummer, Ahpra has engaged a single collection and pathology service that tests at the cut-off limits set by Ahpra rather than those set by the individual laboratories used in each state and territory.
The national pathology service provider, Scientific Diagnostic Services have collection arrangements in each state and territory.
To help us manage risk and ensure we are using the most up-to-date approaches for testing for drug and alcohol misuse, an expert panel has been established. The panel provides ongoing expert advice on the biological assessment, testing and monitoring of applicants and registrants with drug and/or alcohol misuse, including impairment.
The panel consists of experts in the treatment of drug and alcohol disorders, toxicology and forensic testing of biological samples. It provides advice on the Ahpra drug and alcohol screening protocol, testing methodologies, the schedule of drugs to be tested for, cut-off limits for testing and any necessary additions to the schedule.
Registrants are responsible for the purchase of an approved breath testing device from the list below. Please use the links to the manufacturers’ websites to purchase the model that best suits your needs.
To maintain the accuracy and reliability of the breath testing device, the instrument must be recalibrated by the manufacturer at the interval for the device as specified by the manufacturer.
The registrant is responsible for meeting the cost of instrument calibration. Registrants may contact the relevant manufacturer to discuss whether loan units are available while calibration of their instrument is completed. If the registrant is not able to make alternate arrangements for breath testing whilst their approved device is undergoing calibration, they must not practise.
Board approved breath test supervisors are to use the Ahpra breath testing logbooks to record all tests undertaken and actual hours worked as part of the registrant’s requirements. It is the responsibility of the registrant to ensure the logbook is submitted to Ahpra to confirm compliance.