What is your role at First Cohort International Ltd?

I am the founder, owner, and Managing Director of First Cohort. Along with running and building the company, I develop and manage our testing, training, and support programs to provide help to both businesses and individuals.

What does First Cohort International Ltd do?

We do workplace substance abuse testing…. But with a twist.

We offer the full range of testing, policy writing and implementation, awareness training and support.

But the aim of our program is to keep staff employed if they fail. We do this through our bespoke collection procedures and support system that is designed to give maximum support to all parties. Our awareness course supports participants through raising safety and awareness of the consequences of consuming drugs and/or alcohol.

We have had some great successes with this model in other companies.

What gets you out of bed in a morning?

I am in the fantastic position whereby I get to do things I am passionate about. Support companies, make their workplace safer, raise awareness around substance misuse, help individuals who may need support and see first hand all the benefits we offer help businesses grow and excel. That’s what gets me up in the morning.

What makes First Cohort International Ltd different?

We don’t look to test someone for them to fail and lose their job. We believe that this does not help of serve anyone in the long term. We also recognise that inhouse testing comes with a separate set of issues.

No, we are different to other substance abuse companies in the fact that we are a one stop shop if you like, whereby we can address and support all your substance abuse needs.

We have partnered with experts in the fields of both policy writing and addiction support to enhance our testing and awareness support services.

This provides companies and individuals who require our services to receive the best possible expert support, from initial set up through to testing and if required supporting and/or disciplinary action.

What are the businesses greatest strength?

The business has many strengths, knowledge, and experience in the various areas of substance abuse testing. Our flexibility and being based in County Durham allow us to attend premises quickly should the need arise and the range of tests we have access to allows for a greater range of suitable testing.

However, our greatest strength must be our ability to work alongside an employer to listen to their concerns and requirements and put in place a package that best suits their needs whilst protecting their business and employees. Our services also allow for a business to enjoy all the added benefits our services provide. They get expert advice, support and guidance that can cover any eventuality whilst being advised on current trends and concerns. People are always looking for a way to beat a test and our knowledge will allow for the best advice and guidance to support them. It takes away all the stresses and issues with conducting inhouse testing.

What are your primary markets / sectors?

The beauty of the service we offer allows it to seamlessly transition into any sector. Primarily at present, we operate in the construction, manufacturing, and engineering sector. But within each of those respective sectors our services apply to the shop floors, sites, offices, security, and any other area that the company may have a wish to protect and support.

Do you have growth plans for the future?

Yes, our growth plans include working alongside other companies to support and improve how they operate. The testing and support model will be run nationally, and extra services will be added to better support anyone requiring our services.