Table of contents

Voluntary drug testing policy


This policy covers access to a range of government assets at risk from a wide range of national security threats. These threats may be related to terrorism, espionage, sabotage, or serious organised crime. Vulnerabilities may also arise from disaffected employees (known as “insiders”) who could seek to exploit their level of access.

This policy should be read in conjunction with the Voluntary Drug Testing Policy Procedures.


Substance misuse threatens the efficiency and delivery of business. It might impair judgement and affect an employee’s ability to carry out their role and responsibilities effectively and to the standard expected from HMG and the public.

Additionally, it might make an individual vulnerable by leaving them open to pressure, inducement, or blackmail. It might also affect their suitability to continue to hold security clearance.

This policy sets out the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) approach to voluntary drug testing which is used as a risk management tool for personnel security. It helps identify potential risks and vulnerabilities to national security and allows them to be managed appropriately and proportionately.

Specifically, it seeks to:

  • Minimise the likelihood of existing employees becoming a security concern.
  • Implement security measures in a way that is proportionate to the risk.

Government Functional Standard Outcomes

The Government Functional Standard - GovS 007: Security states personnel assurance is fundamental to good security. It demands that Government organisations delivers the appropriate combination of recruitment checks, vetting, and on-going personnel security management. This allows them to be assured about their people and to mitigate risks from well-placed insiders.

Policy Statement

To achieve this security outcome, the following shall be followed by the MoJ.

  • Determine the need for voluntary drug testing using a threat and risk management approach, based on evidence supplied throughout the National Security Vetting (NSV) process.
  • Individuals should co-operate fully with any request to provide a voluntary sample collection for drug testing.
  • Confirmation of test results, and any subsequent decision making made, shall be held on the individual’s vetting file, and stored in accordance with the organisation’s retention periods.
  • Test results shall not be used for any other purpose than deciding suitability to hold NSV. Exceptions to this include legal obligations (for example Court order, or Police warrant), or the transfer of records to another Vetting Authority, as part of clearance confirmation procedures, or where there is an overriding corporate duty of care to the vetting subject.
  • Any new information or concerns affecting the reliability of an individual shall be reported to, and dealt with by, MoJ Group Security, in conjunction with the Senior Security Advisor.