Chain of Custody (CoC)

Definition - What does Chain of Custody (CoC) mean?

Chain of custody, within the context of drug testing, is the chronological documentation of the control and storage of a human specimen from the point of collection to the final test result for the purposes of drug testing. The documentation details the collection, transfer, receipt, analysis, storage, and disposal of physical and electronic evidence of a drug test. It is used to safeguard the rights of the donor by showing that the specimen remained under the control and supervision of the authorized testing personnel.

WorkplaceTesting explains Chain of Custody (CoC)

The chain of custody process and documentation is used to ensure that the integrity and validity of drug test results used as evidence are not called into question in a court of law. Complying with chain of custody procedures helps to ensure valid results and legal reliability.

A typical chain of custody procedure is as follows:

- The donor is supervised during specimen donation

- The specimen is delivered directly to the supervising personnel and is sealed immediately

- The collector and the donor initial the container holding the specimen

- A form is maintained listing the people involved in accessing the specimen and is kept with the container

- The specimen is stored securely while awaiting testing

- Testing is performed in a secure location to avoid potential misplacement among other specimens

-The specimen is properly labelled and packaged for transfer between locations


This definition was written in the context of Drug Testing
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