National Management of the Road Traffic Toxicology Marketplace following the trigger of the National Contingency Plan (Op Sourberry and Op Talla) continues with limited available capacity, causing backlogs to grow within Forces and Supplier Work in Progress (WIP) full.

Currently, via Op Talla Silver Group, caps/quotas are agreed and set every 6 weeks, which and can increase or decrease depending upon available capacity within our Forensic Providers. However this is inefficient for both Policing and Forensic Service Provider (FSP). 

Consequently, through Op Talla Gold Group, it has been agreed that a fair model of allocation needs to be put in place for all Forces to enable the effective ongoing management of access to Toxicology Services.

FCN Commercial continue to work with FSP’s to access additional capacity and any that is made available to us (FCN) is allocated to those forces with the biggest and oldest held in force backlogs (mitigating the risk of missing STL’s). To assist in the ongoing management of this, Forces have also been asked to consider prioritising submissions according to risk.

In order to deliver a fair and proportionate approach to the allocation of available capacity to policing, it is now necessary to ‘reset’ this baseline submission figures to achieve a fixed, minimum, stable cap/quota to allow Forces and Police Roads Traffic Leads to plan and work together and manage service delivery expectation, given the current climate.

When a sustainable increase in capacity is available in the marketplace, the apportionment of cap/quotas will be reviewed and increased accordingly.

Following the Op Talla (Forensics) Gold Group meeting on 24th September 2020, a briefing paper was presented, proposing two models for Road Traffic Toxicology allocation, which would allow forces to work with a fixed/stable capacity figure within the current limited Road Traffic Toxicology marketplace. 

The Op Talla (Forensic) Gold Group have recognised that whilst no one model will achieve an equitable distribution on an individual force basis, an alternative approach is crucial if we are to ensure effective access to services for all.

We are sharing the principle of these models to enable you to make consideration of the fairest approach and once a model is agreed work will be undertaken to provide detailed force allocations.

Therefore, we are seeking your views on your preferred model, that would be best suited moving forwards, ensuring continued supply of Toxicology services by the national marketplace whilst enabling Force and Road Traffic leads to work and plan within their minimum quota/allocation.

The two Model Options are:

3j – (Combo) Combination of the Apportionment Hybrid Funding Formula + two years’ previous submission data, pre-Sourberry, then averaged

The Apportionment part is based on the Net Revenue Budgets of each Party (force) as a percentage of the total Net Revenue Budgets of the parties.  There are some parties that do not require all or part of their percentage allocation, so this has, with the agreement of that party, been reallocated to other Forces identified to have greatest additional need (Apportionment Hybrid)

The two-year pre- Sourberry data refers to submissions received by the FSPs from April 2017 to March 2019 inclusive.

  • An element of historic data takes into consideration any backlogs that had built prior to Sourberry
  • Historic data can be flawed
  • Road traffic toxicology utilised differently (2017-2019) than now (i.e. as an OCG disruptive method)
  • Historic data reflects policy and initiatives at that time

3k – Apportionment Hybrid model

This is based solely on the Apportionment funding formula, which is the Net Revenue Budget of each Party, as a percentage of the total Net revenue Budgets of the Parties.  The Hybrid element is the reallocation of those percentages that some parties have agreed they do not require, either in part or whole.  It is to be noted that two larger Forces have ‘offered’ some of their % allocation to assist the national road traffic toxicology marketplace.

  • Resets the baseline without the use of any historic data
  • No consideration of past submission profile or policy


Please submit your response by Friday 23rd October.

The feedback received will be collated and a briefing provided to Op Talla (Forensic) Gold for consideration and decision and subsequent communication to forces and FSP’s, as soon as is possible. 

Many thanks for your anticipated ongoing support.