Free SRA authorised CPD training

The Forensic Testing Service is an authorised external CPD course provider

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Who are the Forensic Testing Service

FTS are a specialist drug and alcohol testing laboratory servicing law firms and courts around the country. The Forensic Testing Service laboratory is fully accredited to the International Standard ISO/IEC 17025:2005 by UKAS, number 7550. However, FTS are more than a testing laboratory and have extensive experience and expertise in the reliable identification and assessment of drug and alcohol misuse and its application to child care. FTS work closely with all parties involved in proceeding and pre-proceedings to achieve the best possible outcome and the majority of FTS’s work is funded by the LAA.

Background

It is not well understood that testing and test results, are only one component of many, required to find a reliable answer to the above question.

There is considerable confusion and misunderstanding with regards to drug and alcohol testing, particularly in child care proceedings. This has been exacerbated over recent years due to pressure from the LAA on costs and the consequential eagerness of testing laboratories to sell cheap tests, resulting in it being oversimplified and inappropriately used.

Tests are frequently not fit for purpose and the resulting reports are not providing reliable answers or in many cases they just provide results with no clear opinion as to what the results mean. Increasingly this is having serious consequences, misleading the courts and leading to miscarriages of justice.

Typically it is the process used, to obtain evidence relating to drug and alcohol misuse, in care proceedings, that is failing. When Drugs and or Alcohol are suspected to present a likely risk to a child, FTS have fundamentally changed this process. In collaboration with all parties involved in the care process, FTS have developed a process to ensure that if testing for substance misuse is used, then it has the best opportunity to lead to a reliable answer to the above question.

This process starts even before testing has been decided, provides the most reliable and cost effective route to getting the right answer in the shortest time scale and is already proving to be very successful in many parts of the country.

Course aims and intended learning outcomes

There is considerable confusion and misunderstanding with regards to how drug and alcohol testing can be used to obtain reliable and relevant evidence, particularly in child care proceedings. This has been exacerbated over recent years due to the eagerness of testing laboratories to sell testing, which has resulted in it being oversimplified and inappropriately used. The perceived pressure from the LAA on budgets often means solicitors and local authorities are demanding the cheapest tests, resulting in tests that are not fit for purpose and testing laboratories taking shortcuts, with serious consequences.

  • To understand how to obtain reliable evidence from testing that helps the decision making process.
  • To demonstrate that testing represents a significant challenge to the experts in this field and understandably, is outside the skill and expertise of the LAA, courts, solicitors and social services - it is not a commodity product.
  • To understand that test results alone are meaningless unless the test profile was fit for purpose, they are in context of all influencing factors and each case is investigated thoroughly and interpreted by an expert with experience in the application of testing in child care proceedings.
  • To have a clear understanding of how and when to engage with experts.
  • To have a better understanding of the most appropriate test profiles required in cases.
  • To attain a better understanding of the limitations of testing in child cases.

Our course is designed to provide an introduction including confirmation of the latest LAA guidelines and the LAA’s position on drug and alcohol testing, an overview of the complex issue of testing and the need to engage with experts.

Course length: either 1 or 2 hours depending on your requirements, we provide training on two topics:

  • Drug testing, using case studies including group discussion and Q & A.
  • Alcohol testing, using case studies including group discussion and Q & A.

Forensic Testing Service is authorised by the SRA under SRA reference FPL/FTSL to provide accredited CPD courses.

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