FTA Drug and Alcohol RegulationUpdates
Issue 23, page 3

Service Agent Training Deadlines Near

     The revised 49 CFR Part 40 that became effective on August 1, 2001 specified training requirements for service agents providing testing services under the USDOT drug and alcohol testing program. Service agents with training requirements include urine specimen collectors, breath alcohol technicians, screen test technicians, medical review officers, and substance abuse professionals. The regulation outlined the content of the required training and specified the dates by which the initial training must occur. These deadlines are soon approaching.

     The training requirements for collectors (Part 40.33) states that all collectors must receive qualification training that addresses all steps necessary to complete a collection correctly including problem collections, fatal flaws and corrective actions. Collectors must also demonstrate proficiency by completing five consecutive error-free mock collections—two of which are uneventful, one with insufficient volume, one temperature out of range, and one where the employee refuses to sign. The collector’s demonstration must be monitored and evaluated by a qualified instructor. The rule stipulates that all individuals that served as collectors before August 1, 2001 have until January 31, 2003 to complete the training, while all individuals becoming collectors after August 1, 2001 must receive the training prior to performing collector duties. Thus, by the end of January, all collectors conducting collections under the USDOT rule must have completed the training and be able to provide documentation of the fact.

     Part 40.213 specifies the training requirements for breath alcohol technicians (BAT) and screen test technicians (STT). BATs/STTs must undergo qualification training and demonstrate proficiency prior to conducting any testing under the USDOT regulations. Thus, all BATS and STTs currently performing these duties must have completed the training and be able to provide corresponding documentation. The new rule added a provision that requires all BATs and STTs to complete refresher training every five years. Thus, all BATs and STTs that completed qualification training before January 1, 1998 must complete refresher training by January 31, 2003.

     Medical Review Officers (MRO) are required to take a formal training course and are required to pass an examination administered by a nationally recognized MRO professional certification board (Part 40.121). Individuals that served as MROs prior to August 1, 2001 have until January 31, 2003 to meet the qualification training requirements and pass the examination. Individuals that become MROs after August 1, 2001 are required to meet these requirements prior to performing any MRO functions. Thus, by the end of January, all MROs must have completed the initial qualifications training and passed the exam.

 Substance Abuse Professionals are also required to complete initial qualifications training and successfully complete an examination by a nationally recognized professional organization. The deadline to meet these requirements is December 31, 2003. Even though a year away, this deadline could be problematic as no organization has yet been able to develop a certifiable examination. man and woman standing

      As a recipient of FTA funds, you are responsible for the overall compliance of your drug and alcohol testing program and are responsible for the oversight of service agents. It is your responsibility to ensure these individuals have met the training requirements by the specified deadlines. Part 40 requires that all service agents maintain documentation. This documentation must be provided to DOT agency representatives, employers, and third party administrators upon request. Therefore you may request documentation of compliance for inclusion in your files.

     Since the January 31, 2003 deadline is fast approaching, it is highly recommended that at a minimum you have a dialog with each of your service agents and get an up-to-date assessment of compliance status. Service agents should also be put on notice that individuals not meeting these requirements will no longer be able to provide services under your FTA drug and alcohol testing program. If your service agents are unable or unwilling to comply, you must find alternative ways to meet the testing requirements.

Where To Find?.....

49 CFR Part 40, Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug Testing Programs

December 19, 2000
Federal Register Vol. 65, Pages 79462-79579. Primary Topic: Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Program Revised
Final Rule (49 CFR Part 40)

Technical Amendments: August 1, 2001 Federal Register Vol. 66 Pages 41943-41955
Primary Topic: Clarifications and Collections to Part 40; Common Preamble to Modal Rules

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
September 30, 2002
Federal Register Vol. 67 Pages 61306-61313
Primary Topic: MIS Reporting

HHS Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs Notice of Proposed Rulemaking:
August 21, 2001 Federal Register Vol. 66 Pages 43876-43882
Primary Topic: Validity Testing

The information presented on this page should be used to update Chapter 5 of the revised Implementation Guidelines.

[Previous Page]  [Next Page]