Franchise of the Day - Australian Drug Detection Agency

From forestry and fishing, to airlines, education, and manufacturing - this business is helping make a difference and saving lives in the process.

Standing relaxed and smiling in a beautiful forestry setting, seemingly far away from his day-to-day world, you wouldn’t suspect Kirk Hardy is a man who knows more about drugs and their effects than your average criminal.

CEO and Founder of the International Drug Detection Agency

Kirk, CEO and Founder of the International Drug Detection Agency (global franchisor for the Australian Drug Detection Agency), lives with a passion rooted in the desire to help others; and it explains why they aim to be one of the fastest growing franchises in the southern hemisphere.

Kirk explains, “I’ve seen firsthand the negative effect of drugs in the workplace, they destroy businesses and rip families apart.”

With the DDA group I saw an opportunity to help organisations and individuals within these organisations to reduce their lost moments in life and revenue because of alcohol and drugs; and to help make a difference.

In 2007, the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation published research which stated illicit drug use was costing Australian businesses $3.3 billion a year in lost productivity, absenteeism and injury. Nine years earlier Kirk Hardy had recognized this and started the New Zealand Drug Detection Agency (NZDDA) as a way to make a positive difference to society and help reduce the harm in that country.

Natural expansion into nearby Australia led to the formation of the Australian Drug Detection Agency (ADDA), which was officially established in 2011 with its first State master franchisee in Queensland starting in 2012. Since then, Queensland now have seven regional franchisees with the New South Wales master franchisee starting in 2013 and actively marketing for franchisees throughout the State.

Glenn Dobson, the International Franchise and Business Development Manager, says they are really keen to develop franchisees who have integrity, are passionate about what they do, and follow best practice in this fast growing and vital area of health and safety.

He adds, “One of the great parts of the business is that no two days are the same. The day-to-day business could include employee drug testing at a workplace, a pre-employment hair test at the office or a methamphetamine property inspection for a client prior to them purchasing a house. It could also include speaking at industry forums, delivering education seminars to workplace employees or training senior managers in how to deal with drug effected employees in the workplace.”


Alongside the technical testing processes, ADDA train all team members in the knowledge of the impact drugs have on workplace safety, individual performance, productivity and company culture.

Glenn explains, “ADDA is all about safety in the workplace, but it also goes a lot further than that. The group’s vision is: “using the power of the brand to enhance peoples lives.” We see our services as not only making the workplace a safer place to be, but also making a positive change on people’s personal lives, their families and their friends.

“Some time ago we conducted a standard drug screen test on a worker at his workplace, and he returned a positive test for cannabis. Our technician discussed the result with his employer and as part of his employment contract, they put him through a rehab programme.

“He was tested by our same technician about six months later and he passed 100% clean. But that’s not all, he then told us how he had undertaken the rehab course and stopped taking drugs. Several weeks into his rehab, his grandchildren came to his house on a Saturday morning and he played ball with them at the park for an hour or two.

“He then went back home and told his wife that it was the best time he had ever spent with his grandchildren and wondered why they had never asked him to play ball with him previously. His wife then revealed to him they had frequently come around in the past to play but he had been too wasted to know what was going on, leading them to leave disappointed.

“The intervention of our drug detection services not only prevented him from a possible work accident but secondly allowed him to break the cycle and enjoy his grandchildren again. This was a story he was really proud to tell, and one that we’re  really pleased to have been a part of. It really sums up what we’re trying to achieve.”


ADDA has an extensive commitment to developing and maintaining superior methodology. They want their people to be leading the competition on all levels; Kirk explains “R&D is a key driver for us. We were the first to the market with testing for synthetic cannabis in Australasia and continually strive to be proactive around drug trends and changes.

Australian Drug Detection Agency (ADDA)

“As part of our drive to ensure we are always up to date with technology and to provide the best service to our clients, we are about to release two Drug Detection Agency apps across Apple and Android smartphones. These apps have been 12 months in the making and will give our franchisees, their clients and the public the ability to access relevant drug detection information and tools to deal with drug and alcohol related issues in the workplace and community It’s also worth noting Kirk is on the DATIA (Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association) General Board of Directors. This is an international drug testing association based in the US which assists in keeping ADDA abreast with local and international trends in the drug and alcohol
testing industry.


Central to the on-going operation of ADDA is the support for regional franchisees provided through the State Master Franchisees out of the State Support Office. This includes day-to-day operational advice, support with State, national and  international clients, technical advice and IT systems, complimented by the support of the global franchisor (the International Drug Detection Agency) through brand and IP protection as well as drug industry knowledge and R&D. In conjunction with this ADDA have updated franchisee training to include a comprehensive induction programme to ensure all new franchisees have all the technical and business skills they need.

Another key element of ADDA’s continued success is the passion of the existing team. Kirk in particular highlights the importance of each franchisee’s values, “we can teach business skills, we can teach people about the processes and what drugs do and what the emerging technology is, however we can’t teach honesty and integrity. This is DNA and you can’t change that. You either have it or you don’t.

“What makes our organisation so special is the people and why we do what we do, why I still get out of bed in the morning and continue to work 11 plus hour days.

“I truly love what we do and what differences we make out there, that is why qualities like empathy, integrity and clearly passion for making a difference in our communities is so important for us and what the Australian Drug Detection Agency stands for.”

For more information on franchise opportunities with ADDA contact Glenn Dobson: