Pre-employment Drug and Alcohol Testing

  • Hair, nail, urine and oral fluid testing available
  • Fastest lab confirmations
  • Test and confirm a wide range of drugs and their metabolites
  • Bespoke testing solutions to meet your requirements
  • Samples collected at a location of your choice, or book an appointment at one of our nationwide walk-in centres – perfect for pre-employment testing

What is pre-employment drug and alcohol testing?

Pre-employment drug and alcohol testing – also known as ‘pre-appointment’ testing – is increasingly playing a vital role in the recruitment process.

AlphaBiolabs can test for drugs and alcohol using the following methods:

  • Hair
  • Oral fluid (saliva)
  • Urine
  • Nails

Research shows that substance misuse has a knock-on effect across all areas of business including productivity, staff morale, and financial loss due to sickness absence.

By implementing pre-employment screening, you can guard your business against the impact of substance misuse, safeguard current employees, and protect your company’s reputation.

Get a quote online now or contact our Workplace team today on 0333 600 1300 (select option 2) or email to discuss your bespoke testing package

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What are the benefits of pre-employment drug and alcohol testing?

Pre-appointment drug and alcohol screening can help you protect your existing employees and ensure you are employing the right people.

It can also help make the company’s stance on drugs and alcohol clear to any new or potential employees.

Other benefits of pre-employment drug and alcohol testing include:

  • Demonstrating your commitment as a responsible employer
  • Deterring prospective employees who are currently misusing drugs or alcohol
  • Fulfilling your commitment to health and safety regulations
  • Long-term cost savings (reduced absenteeism and increased productivity)
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A third of adults aged 16-59 have taken drugs at some point during their lifetime (ONS)

Is pre-employment testing legal?

It is completely legal in the UK to invite a candidate to take a drug and/or alcohol test as part of the recruitment process, and is most useful for safety critical industries, where health and safety on the job is paramount.

However, the candidate must consent to testing, and has the right to refuse a test if they wish.

Similarly, as an employer, you have the right not to proceed with a candidate’s application if pre-employment screening is part of your company’s policy, and the candidate refuses to participate in testing.

Before implementing pre-employment drug and alcohol testing, you must therefore have a robust substance misuse policy in place, which sets out the company’s approach to testing, including pre-employment/pre-appointment screening.

A drug and alcohol policy is a formal corporate document that:

  • Defines the company’s stance on drugs and alcohol
  • Ensures employees are kept informed on testing methods
  • Outlines the frequency and grounds for testing
  • Makes it clear how substance misuse issues will be handled

Having a substance misuse policy, along with back-to-lab confirmation of any non-negative test results, helps ensure that your testing is legally compliant.

Our Workplace team can help you create a drug and alcohol policy to suit the needs of your business or review an existing policy to ensure it is legally sound.

Contact us today for support with Drug & Alcohol Testing Policies.

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Testing methods

We offer a variety of testing methods and solutions to suit all budgets, including testing devices from leading brands.

Each testing method offers a different detection window depending on your requirements, from ‘short window’ drug testing (oral fluid and urine) to a ‘wide window’ of detection (hair and nails), providing up to a 12-month overview of drug or alcohol consumption.

The table below outlines the recommended drug and alcohol testing methods for pre-employment screening, along with their detection windows – the period during which substances remain detectable by a drug or alcohol test.

Type of test Tests for Detection window
Oral fluid Drugs Up to 48 hours
Urine Drugs Up to 4 days
Nails Drugs and alcohol 6-month overview (fingernail clippings)
12-month overview (toenail clippings)
Hair Drugs and alcohol Up to 12 months
(overview analysis or month-by-month segmented analysis)

Demonstrate your commitment as a responsible employer with pre-employment screening

Sample collection options

Our drug and alcohol testing has been designed to run as smoothly as possible, from sample collection to the analysis of samples at our laboratory, and the rapid delivery of results.

We have a nationwide network of professional clinicians, who are fully qualified to collect samples 24/7, 365 days of the year.*

We also follow strict chain of custody procedures for sample collections, to ensure our drug and alcohol testing is legally defensible should an employee dispute the results for any reason.

Choose to book your sample collection with us:

  • at a location of your choice, with one of our expertly-trained sample collectors
  • at one of our nationwide walk-in centres – perfect for pre-employment screening

We also understand that some companies may prefer to collect their own samples in-house rather than use an external sample collector.

We have therefore designed our sample collection training specifically for this purpose, so you can be confident that your staff are fully equipped to collect a variety of samples for drug and alcohol testing.

Choose from in-person training, or online training followed by an in-person, practical assessment.

For more information on our sample collection training, call our Workplace team on 0333 600 1300 or email

 *Subject to contract.

Get in touch today

Get in touch with one of our workplace testing experts today for a no obligation quote

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Exceptional service

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

We are hugely impressed with the brilliant customer service provided by AlphaBiolabs. We’ve had exceptional service throughout our time working together, and the account team is always on hand whenever we need them.

I would happily recommend their services to others.

Operations Director
Acorn Occupational Health

Happy to recommend them

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

We looked at lots of suppliers, but AlphaBiolabs’ customer-focused approach is what really appealed to us. They have been a great partner to work with; their knowledge of testing protocols is second to none, as is the common-sense approach of their sample collectors. They were also forthcoming with best practice guidance on which testing solutions would best suit our needs. We would be happy to recommend them to other organisations.

Head of People
Specialist Aviation Services Ltd

The best

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Excellent service with a fast response.

I have used others, but AlphaBiolabs are the best.

Safety Officer
Rail Track

Friendly and professional

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Our staff feedback has always been very positive, and mentions in particular how friendly and professional everyone is at AlphaBiolabs. A BIG thank you for making the process as smooth as possible for both myself and our staff.

Security and Compliance Manager
Restore Digital