The National Drug & Alcohol Screening Association’s national committee’s are the lifeblood of the association. Our tireless volunteers lend their time, energy and expertise to strengthening our association and mission. Here are the highlights of their work in 2020-21 — and a glimpse at what they have planned.
Accreditation Oversight & Review Committee
As a leader in the drug and alcohol testing industry, NDASA formed the Accreditation Committee to develop meaningful accreditation programs that would lend industry credibility to providers of drug and alcohol testing services. The Accreditation Review Board is comprised of industry experts who are TPAs, Collection Sites/Collectors/BATs, DERs, MROs, Attorneys and Consultants. The Committee was challenged with developing accreditation programs that are both in depth and comprehensive, and that are not simply be a “pay to play” exercise. As a result, several components were created for each accreditation to maintain their consistency:
- The Application Process
- The Core Competencies
- The detailed Questionnaire
- The Code of Ethics
The Accreditation Committee has done a phenomenal job and has worked tirelessly to accomplish its goal of developing accreditation programs that truly are the gold standard in the industry. In less than one year, the committee has completed the following Accreditation Programs. To date, many applications have been processed and approved.
- TPA Accreditation
- Collection Site/Mobile Collector Accreditation
- DER Accreditation
- SAP Accreditation
- Consultant Accreditation
- International Accreditation (The committee is also working with the NDASA International Committee to develop and International Accreditation)
- In March of 2020 we held a successful conference & trade show during an uncertain time.
- Since April of 2020, the Conference Committee has planned and executed a live conference with a virtual component to accommodate all our member’s needs. We have created the ONE CONFERENCE TO ATTEND in 2021.
- Moving Forward
- April 2021 Primary Conference Committee met and develop timelines, communication schedules and the theme/artwork for the 2022 conference.
- June the whole Conference Committee will meet to discuss timelines and schedules.
- The RFP will go out late May for 2023 Conference with site visits later in the year. The locations that are under consideration for review are:
- Salt Lake City
- Santa Fe
Employer Rights to Test Committee
The newly formed Employer’s Rights Committee met to discuss our purpose of the committee, what our focus will be and how to communicate within the committee as well as keeping NDASA up to date on what we will be requesting assistance in serving the employers and clients we have within the industry. A couple of threats we discussed were the rapid inclusion of bill introductions and information coming forward by states considering the legalization of ALL drugs. We discussed and feel this is an immediate threat to employers and should be addressed with the possible assistance of the GAC. We have also generated a new format for the NDASA website that contains resources pertaining to state laws and where to find information in a more systematic format. Our meetings will be monthly at this time.
Governmental Affairs Committee Report
The NDASA Governmental Affairs Committee (GAC) has been leading our industry in advocacy efforts. In the past year NDASA’s GAC was able to get our voice heard in several states, at the Federal level with our PAC and had an amazing win, when it comes to our stance on demanding a Safety Carve-out in any drug legalization legislation.
The MORE Act of 2019 (H.R 3884) was passed in The House on December 4th, 2020. In the hours prior to its passage NDASA and our strategic partners were able to get the language changed in the bill so that DOT testing is REQUIRED to test for THC. The bill is now in the Senate and referred to the Committee on Finance. We will keep a close eye on this and GAC will continue advocating for Safety!
The Safe Banking Act (H.R. 1595) (S.910) is also now in the Senate. It passed The House of Representatives on, you guessed it 4-20-2021. We have sent an urgent plea to all Senators to consider the unintended consequence of this bill and to protect public transportation. This bill will cause the same damage for drug testing of Marijuana as the MORE Act had we not gotten the language updated.
With the help of our NDASA members we are receiving local articles and notices of marijuana and Opioid issue across the country. The GAC recently got wind of three senators working together to write separate legislation to outright legalize Cannabis. With the assistance of several GAC members we were able to reach out to these Senators to address the urgency of protecting public safety and the rights of employers.
2020 was an amazing year for the GAC and the NDASA PAC. We were able to contribute to several candidates in last year’s election. Chairman Jim Greer and Vice-Chairman Brian Drew were able to meet via Zoom with each candidate and discuss NDASA’s stance on legalization of marijuana and the need for
legislators to ensure public safety and an employer’s right to choose a drug free workplace. We were met with overwhelming agreement and due to our engagement believe we have easier access to these lawmakers. Each of our chosen candidates won their elections.
There are two new sub-committees that came out of the GAC. The National Opioids Epidemic Committee, being chaired by Rob Parsons is the first. The second is The Employer’s Rights Committee, chaired by Chuck Marting. Both will be very active and will provide great resources to our membership.
The Governmental Affairs Committee will continue working to advocate for our industry and continue to engage our legislators to ensure public safety remains a priority of our lawmakers. Our meetings are open discussions about what issues are out at the Federal and State level needing addressed as well as where and what NDASA should do in response to these issues as they evolve. We invite you to join the NDASA Governmental Affairs Committee and participate in the fight for public safety.
Membership Committee Report
The NDASA Membership rolls doubled since the 2020 Conference took place. The membership committee had a great year! We set goals for each quarter and meet monthly to review/update the progress. Each quarter has at least two goals with strategies for achievement. In the past 12 months the committee partnered with other committees to achieve particular projects. Some of our projects include:
- Targeted membership discounts around monthly holidays
- NDASA buck for referrals for new members
- Created the Mentorship program as an Ad Hoc Committee
- Affiliated program discounts for members
- The committee also obtained prospective member lists, making personal calls/emails regarding membership
Mentorship Committee (Ad Hoc)
The Mentor Committee is an ad-hoc committee whose mission is to develop mentoring programs that are based on industry best practices and standards. Our aim is to help our NDASA members improve individual and business performance, provide industry guidance and recommend strategic industry methods that are focused on achieving optimum personal and business excellence. We created this ad-hoc committee mid-year and in that time have created the first program offering:
Our committee of dedicated members and industry professionals identified the need for mentoring among our collectors and collection sites as the first program. Mastering the collection process provides
the fundamentals for all other business lines within our industry. It also provides for a successful collections business.
The committee spent each month developing the following in preparation for our annual Conference:
- Framework for a Mentor program for Collectors
- Designed an Ultimate Guide 3-ring binder to be offered for any Mentor program in the future
- Crafted the inserts of the Guide section-by-section
- Surveyed key members for pricing out the product, services and bundled offerings including training discounts for multiple purchases
- Scripted and created Collector’s program commercial, web pages and marketing brochures
Under current construction: Developing a mentor agreement that includes criteria for becoming a volunteer Mentor that meets NDASA’s standards. Future programs include the Ultimate Guide for TPAs and the Ultimate Guide for DERs. Other ideas are on the horizon.
The committee is seeking additional members to help with the creation and execution of future programs. We are also seeking experienced industry professional to volunteer mentor hours for our members that wish to purchase hours. The Mentor Program went from zero to our first program roll-out in 8 months, during COVID and a hectic holiday season. Our dedicated committee members did a great job and we look forward to the success of this first program, and many more to come.
International Committee Report
The international committee for NDASA has consisted of four members; three from New Zealand and one from South America. As the year progressed, we have been able to recruit another person to assist in the wider international focus. Nadine Wentzell from Canada accepted the offer to provide key input into NDASA via the International Committee.
The international committee for NDASA currently consists of four members. Current status is two from New Zealand, one from Canada, one from Chile and one from Portugal.
As the year progressed, we have been able to recruit another person to assist in the wider international focus. Dr. Jose Restolho from Portugal has accepted an offer to participate in International matters.
We have completed the formal strategic plan for the International committee and have commenced work in relation to that plan.
Nearing completion on the documents to support an international accreditation work. Final reviews completed of:
- Code of ethics for an international entity
- Core competencies
- Request form
Once complete, then the International Committee can embark on a recruitment campaign to increase international membership via an accreditation programme.
Glenn Dobson has worked with Jo McGuire to introduce a conflict mitigation training package that assists operators in managing all aspects of conflict that may arise. This product is offered as part of the suite of products sold by NDASA.
Southeast Asia and Pacific:
The illicit drug market in Southeast Asia is undergoing a profound change associated with a steep increase in the manufacture of synthetic drugs especially methamphetamine, particularly in northern Myanmar. Organized crime groups operating in the region are manufacturing and trafficking both crystalline and tablet methamphetamine for East and Southeast Asia and the Pacific, and increasingly South Asia. Seizures of both forms of the drug are being made in quantities unimaginable a decade ago, with 126 tons seized in 2018 in Southeast Asia and its neighbouring East Asia, making the region as the largest methamphetamine market in the world.
The European Convention on Human Rights guarantees the right to personal privacy, but waives it for cases involving public safety, the prevention of disorder and crime, or the protection of health and morals – among others. Further directives state that employers have a duty to ensure the health and safety of workers (at the employer’s cost), and they must consult workers on questions related to health and safety at work. Employees, meanwhile, are obliged to inform their employers of any serious and immediate danger to safety and health in the workplace – including their own.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is likely to have an impact on all workplace testing across Europe, relating to drug use. Data cannot be collected from an individual without consent or purpose. This means that employee consent for use of personal data by an employer is inappropriate, as the employer is in a position of power over the employee. Workplace safety may well be appropriate under a legitimate interest clause.
Marketing & Communications Committee Report
- Quarterly Newsletter: “New Voice”
- Completed the new NDASA Website
- Social Media: increased posts, connections and impressions
- Monthly Webinars
- Weekly Town Hall Meetings
- Weekly Podcast: NDASA Member’s Memo
- Annual Survey revealed positive feedback on education, Town Halls and Webinars
- Continue to work with the Membership Committee to increase membership
- Communicate new program offerings to members
- Communicate aggressively to promote the NDASA training program
National Opioids Crises Task Force Committee
This committee was activated as an Ad Hoc Committee under the auspices of the Governmental Affairs Committee to create a formal, action-oriented response to our nation’s opioid epidemic. The committee has created mission, vision, and purpose statements along with a set of stated goals:
- Educate employers on flexible workplace drug and alcohol testing programs to allow for second-chance policies if/when employees cooperate with a SAP evaluation and follow-up program to identify and/or treat a substance use disorder.
- Identify SAPs from mainstream treatment facilities nationwide who are willing to become DOT qualified and work with employers in an affordable manner.
- Partner with sober living facilities to create return-to-work programs using the SOAP model (Stability, Opportunity, Accountability, Productivity) through creating:
- Stable living environments via sober living facilities
- Financial security while actively in recovery
- Meaningful employment and training
- Personal support and accountability through business mentorship
- Providing options for employees who want to return to work after a positive via a network in the business community willing to hire those with previous testing violations.
- Provide a community-based model for a vetting service/option for employers that allows some security when they re-employ individuals who have had prior testing violations.
State Affiliates Caucus
The State Affiliates Caucus members are the ambassadors of the association. There are currently Affiliates in 35 states with open seats in 15 states (Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Washington D.C.)
This past year the Affiliates met monthly and worked with the Governmental Affairs Committee on a variety of issues pertaining to protecting employer’s rights to test in states with changing laws. Affiliates were very active in the weekly Town Halls and engaged in providing expertise and resources.
The next year will bring to fruition exciting new projects and goals as the Affiliates look forward to the possibility of once again planning regional training events.
Training and Certification Committee Report
It was an active and exciting year for the Training and Certification Committee. Our already-popular trainings continued to deliver new rounds of professional development with our highly successful Reasonable Suspicion Training and our industry-leading Collector Training. We welcomed numerous new trainers to our ranks, issuing certificates to newly trained members from around the country and beyond.
The committee responded to the membership and produced what we think is the best Train-the-Trainer program out there. Our regulatory-based training lets experienced collectors have professionally standardized tools to help them provide their staff, clients, and industry peers with meaningful and lasting collector training.
Our new Conflict Mitigation Training for collection site staff has received overwhelmingly positive reviews and sets the procedural standards for unregulated areas of the collection process, providing clear protocols for problems relating to customers at collection sites. NDASA has decided to offer this as both a stand-alone component and an integral part of Collector Training.
With the help of the some of the country’s leading Medical Review Officers, the MRO Assistant (MRO-A) Training has fully professionalized the MRO staff role and includes not only regulatory oversight, but industry ethics and procedural guidelines.
The Committee is hard at work with the first universal approach to Hair Testing, with a training program that provides certification for Hair Test Collectors for all Laboratories. This certification will be updated regularly and current with all laboratory changes.
NDASA is preparing a white-label training course re-sell option that will include our entire on-line training portal. This opportunity will enhance our members’ business and training offerings. Announcements on this exciting new training feature will be forthcoming soon!