What Are The Top 10 Mistakes Made During Specimen Collection?

We often hear about mistakes in the urine specimen collection process for drug testing.  It is important that your drug testing operation perform collections without mistakes. The Drug & Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA) recently published the top 10 mistakes that are often found. Be sure your specimen collection staff is not guilty of any of the items listed below.


  1. CCFs received by MROs and employers are illegible.
  2. Donor instructions not provided – collector not pointing out the instructions on the back of the CCF. 
  3. Incomplete bathroom inspections – collector not inspecting the bathroom before and after each collection. 
  4. Privacy not protected – collectors not preventing unauthorized access to the collection site during the collection. 
  5. Monitored collections – allowing opposite gender monitors without a medical license to remain in a multi-stalled restroom during the collection.
  6. Marking as complete steps on the CCF before they occur – dating bottle seals while still attached to CCF – Completing Step 4 while the donor is in the bathroom.
  7. Shy bladder documentation – collectors not documenting the required information during the shy bladder procedure. 
  8. Confusing DOT and non-DOT collections – collectors confusing the procedures and paperwork for DOT vs. Non-DOT collections. 
  9. Specimen handling after refusal – donor provides a specimen with temperature out of range, then refuses to submit a second specimen under direct observation and the collector sends the first specimen to the laboratory. 
  10. Incomplete documentation with change of collectors – if a collector must leave during a shy bladder procedure with a donor, the new collector does not properly document the change in personnel.

If you or your staff is in need of urine specimen collector training – DOT and Non-DOT – please take a moment to view our current online training programs.

Top 10 Mistakes Made During Specimen Collection - Joe Reilly

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