Susan Nolan MSc.(Hons), MNZIC, PG.Dip.Bus.


Sue has been a forensic toxicologist and drug testing expert since 1974. Until she established her own company, DrugFree Sites, in 2007 she was employed by ESR (formerly DSIR). As well as police forensic activities, Sue is experienced in sports drug testing and has been an advisor to the World Antidoping Agency (WADA). She attended the 2000 Sydney and 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games as an auditor of the drug testing processes. In 1994 she established the New Zealand horse dope testing facility. 

In 1992, Sue initiated the development of workplace drug testing analytical and consulting services within ESR. This involved establishing quality laboratory services to conduct workplace drug testing to the international guideline & standard requirements and developing an expertise in policy advice for New Zealand companies wanting to introduce legally robust workplace drug and alcohol (D&A) policies and procedures. To support the implementation of a company’s D&A policy and programme, educational programmes were also developed for staff and managers. Sue has provided these policy advice and training services to over 2000 New Zealand and global companies over 25+ years. 

In 2019, she developed an E-Learning module for staff awareness training which can be customised to meet  a company’s specific branding and requirements. The E-Learning courses are available for purchase on this website.

Sue is a board member of the International Forum for Drug and Alcohol Testing (IFDAT) which focuses on globalisation of workplace drug and alcohol policies and programmes. 

She has gained a significant international reputation, published papers, co-authored books and regularly presented papers at both New Zealand and International Conferences. A list of these publications is available.

Sue has regularly been an expert witness in both criminal and employment courts of law.

Drug Testing Standards and Training

Since 1994, Sue has been a member of the Australian/New Zealand standard’s (AS/NZS) technical committees responsible for publishing both: 

  • AS/NZS 4308:2008 “Procedures for specimen collection and the detection and quantitation of drugs of abuse in urine” (and its two predecessors).
  • AS/NZS 4760: 2019 “Procedure for specimen collection and the detection and quantification of drugs in oral fluid.” 

Sue regularly runs NZQA certification programmes for qualifying collecting facility staff and company personnel to conduct urine collection and “on-site” drug screening (US 25458 & 25511) and also oral fluid collection and “on-site” drug screening (US 32327 & 32328).

Sue works closely with facilities which provide drug testing services compliant with AS/NZS 4308:2008 and AS/NZS 4760:2019, ie collectors, on-site screening agencies and IANZ accredited laboratory. She also works alongside Medical Review Officers and providers of substance abuse rehabilitation programmes.

“We have appreciated Sue’s vast knowledge of this area and her experience has been pivotal to the Department maintaining a robust system to ensure our employees (current and future) are able to work in a safe, drug free environment.”

Phil Garrett, Safety and Wellbeing Advisor, Department of Conservation

“Sue’s ability to deliver the message in an informative, interesting and entertaining manner is very effective and gains great engagement from those attending her courses.”

Greg Johansson, Chief Operating Officer, Sanford Ltd

Sue’s knowledge and experience was crucial to bringing our policy and supporting processes, including managers’ training, up to date.”

Bryn Jones, New Zealand Customs