Partial Sample

Last Updated: June 12, 2018

Definition - What does Partial Sample mean?

In drug testing, a partial sample is a urine sample that is not of sufficient volume to be tested. Procedures for handling a partial sample may vary from refusing a partial sample and requiring the employee to test again or saving the partial sample and collecting a second partial sample at a later time. Approximately 45 mls are needed to provide a sufficient sample to meet laboratory testing requirements.

WorkplaceTesting explains Partial Sample

When an employee gives a urine sample that is too small for proper testing, there are several possibilities of how to handle the situation. A company's written drug and alcohol policy should include how to handle partial sample drug testing. Whether it is grounds for a new test, how soon a new sample must be taken, if it is considered a refusal to test or an invalid test, and other possibilities should be spelled out for consistency and to prevent confusion.

In the athletic industry, the World Anti-Doping Agency(WADA) publishes the World Anti-Doping Code International Standard Testing and Investigations guide. This publication sets forth the guidelines for testing athletes for illegal or unauthorized drug use as part of a global anti-doping campaign. Pursuant to these guidelines, permit an athlete who is unable to provide a complete urine sample at the time of testing to preserve a partial sample.

The partial sample is sealed and then securely stored. Additional urine may be provided by the athlete to complete the required sample volume. However, each sample will be stored in a separate container.

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