Skip to the main content.

Drug testing is an essential aspect of maintaining safe and productive workplaces. When conducting lab-based or instant drug testing, employees generally must be physically present at the designated collection facility, clinic, or employment site to participate in testing. However, being physically present for testing can be a difficult, if not impossible, requirement for remote workers or field-based employees who may need to travel long distances to reach a location where specimen collection can occur. This can be a challenging and inconvenient process, especially for those who are unable to take time away from work responsibilities or have limited access to transportation. Additionally, travel expenses and lost productive work time commuting to a collection facility or clinic can add significant costs to substance abuse testing for both employers and their workers.


The Shift to Remote and Nomadic Work

In recent years, there has been a remarkable surge in remote work, aided by advancements in technology, resulting in a significant increase in the number of digital nomads. In fact, there are roughly “35 million digital nomads worldwide” as of 2024, according to Two Tickets Anywhere. These employees incorporate travel into their work life, leveraging technology and the internet to stay connected and productive at work from virtually any location. There is also a trend for remote workers to move from larger, heavily populated cities to smaller, rural towns to pursue a life with a greater work-life balance and to aid in mitigating rising inflation. Workers in field-based positions often perform many, if not all, job duties while away from their employer’s physical office location. While remote work often offers workers flexibility and convenience, it also introduces complexities in monitoring employee behavior, including substance abuse.


Benefits of Proctored Drug Screening

Proctored remote drug testing has emerged as a viable option for conducting employment substance abuse screening via virtual meetings from any location with Wi-Fi connectivity and offers numerous advantages for employers. It allows workers to initiate and schedule screening at a convenient time and location for both employers and employees. For example, if an employer is based in New York but they are hiring a new employee who will work remotely from a rural area in Texas, proctored remote testing enables the new hire to quickly engage in substance abuse testing without the added expense of travel to the nearest collection facility or clinic. Reduced travel time and expense coupled with ease of engagement can lead to expedited time to hire and reduced candidates lost in onboarding processes due to challenging testing requirements.

Proctored drug screening promotes rapid onboarding of remote hires by eliminating the common delays associated with lab scheduling and travel times. Additionally, since a trained proctor supervises the entire collection process with the donor full view throughout, proctored drug testing can also mitigate specimen adulteration concerns. Proctored drug testing also provides a more positive and comfortable employee experience, as oral fluid collection is considered less personally invasive than urine specimen collection, and the donor is able to test in a comfortable location with a higher degree of privacy. By leveraging technology and trained professionals, proctored drug testing is revolutionizing how employers conduct substance abuse screening, making it more accessible, convenient, and efficient for everyone.


How is Proctored Drug Screening Conducted?

Program managers and their support staff (requestors) conveniently invite donors to engage in screening through an intuitive web-based platform. Once the donor receives the invitation, they are instructed to click on a link to schedule their virtual test appointment through an easy-to-navigate online portal. Once the donor schedules and confirms their appointment, they are sent a tamper-evident test kit that includes two devices: an instant oral swab test and a lab-supported sample collection device used for non-negative confirmation testing only. Donors in geographic locations where instant oral fluid testing is subject to legal restrictions are provided with kits containing only the lab-supported sample collection device to ensure compliance with all applicable regulations.

At the scheduled appointment time, the donor logs into their virtual meeting with a trained test proctor who guides them through the oral fluid specimen collection and testing process. The proctor reviews and validates the donor's identification and then obtains electronic, written consent before conducting screening and interpreting the test results. Should the initial instant oral fluid test results indicate the need for laboratory confirmation of a potentially non-negative result, the donor will be guided through a second-stage process with the lab-supported collection device to ensure proper chain of custody in transmitting the oral fluid specimen to a certified laboratory.

The timeline for proctored drug testing, from donor engagement to test completion, typically ranges from 24 to 72 hours, closely resembling the processing timeframe for collection facility/clinic-supported lab-based oral fluid and urine-based testing. As substance abuse testing scheduling is often delayed when the donor is at a remote location or subject to field-based work due to additional planning required to commute to a collection facility or clinic, proctored drug testing can often result in reduced results turnaround times. Appointment scheduling is often greatly expended in proctored drug testing versus collection facility or clinic-based collections, as many facilities only accept appointments for limited hours during normal business days, resulting in improved workflows in addressing a wide variety of substance abuse testing challenges.


Proctored drug screening affords a cost-efficient and reliable solution for employers to achieve risk mitigation goals, enforce uniform policies across various employee populations, and ensure a safe, productive, drug-free workforce. Want to learn more about how proctored drug testing can benefit your organization and further safeguard your business from workplace substance abuse? Email us at for a complimentary program evaluation.