Network Rail Drug and Alcohol Testing

Employees in the UK rail industry must be free from the effects of alcohol or drugs whilst at work. This applies to employees in safety critical roles or who hold PTS (Personal Track Safety) cards.
Crystal Health Group can help you achieve this important responsibility. We provide drug and alcohol testing services to Network Rail and subcontractors. This is undertaken under the official Rail Industry Supplier Qualification Scheme (RISQS). By way of annual external audit, we are an approved supplier under the scheme. Our supplier number is 5663. View the certificate here.

The Testing Process

A Collection Officer will collect a urine sample from the identified test donor. Also, the collection and storage of a ‘B’ urine sample is undertaken. To ensure compliance to Network Rail standards, strict chain of custody protocols are in place. At the RISQS approved laboratory, samples undergo an initial screen. All negative screens are a ‘PASS’ and uploaded to Sentinel.
Non-negative screens will proceed to a confirmation testing phase. At this stage, we can differentiate between illicit drugs and prescription medication. A review is undertaken of all positive confirmation results by a Medical Review Officer (MRO). An MRO is a trained professional, working in the Occupational Health sector. They are responsible for reviewing and evaluating positive results, and their possible explanations.


As required, we test the following drug groups for Network Rail:

  • Amphetamines
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Cannabis
  • Cocaine
  • Methadone
  • Opiates
  • Propoxyphene
  • MDMA (Ecstasy)



A Home Office approved Breath Alcohol device screens for ethanol. The alcohol cut-off level of 14 as required by Network Rail protocols. The Railway Group Standard defines a positive alcohol result as being over 13μg of alcohol per 100ml of breath.

Test Results

We upload all Network Rail drug and alcohol results to the Sentinel system. Sentinel is a safety system used across the rail industry. Our service is currently available for Pre-employment and periodic tests. Also, we can provide ‘Rail Standard’ testing for non-Sentinel purposes. For example, we provide drug and alcohol testing services for Euro Star contractors. But, this does not fall under the remit of Network Rail. Even so, we provide the ‘Rail Standard’ test to maintain a level of consistency and compliance.
Benefits of using Crystal Health Group for your Network Rail Drug and Alcohol testing:

  • A network of drug testing clinics and sample collection officers throughout the UK
  • Certified sample collection officers. Adhering to strict chain of custody protocols and RISQS audit guidelines
  • UKAS 17025 accredited Laboratory facilities
  • Donor Advice information provided to each sample donor
  • A Home Office approved Breath Alcohol device
  • Robust tamper evident and adulteration protocols in place
  • Instant alcohol screen results
  • Urine screen results reported within 2 working days of sample collection
  • Efficient paperless reporting system with results uploaded to the Network Rail Sentinel system
  • Medical Review Service to confirm positive drug test results. Extra costs may apply
  • Rail Safety Critical Medical Assessments available at selected centres throughout the UK
Network Rail drug and alcohol test appointment
Quote for drug and alcohol testing

Call 0800 988 7107 today for a competitive quotation and appointment availability.