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11th Annual FTA Drug and Alcohol Program National Conference Sessions Synopses

Beginner Drug and Alcohol Program Manager (DAPM) Training
Speakers: Diana Byrnes and Leila Procopio-Makuh
Session Description: This all-day class is designed for the true beginner where he/she can learn about the history of drug and alcohol testing in the transit industry, the basic requirements of the federal rules, and DAPM/DER responsibilities under 49 CFR Part 655 and Part 40. Step by step, the speakers will guide the participants through the building blocks that make up a compliant FTA program. Through discussion of “best practices,” the participant will learn efficient and effective methods used by covered employers to comply with the regulations. Other topics include: policy and training requirements, categories of testing, testing procedures, responsibilities of service agents, recordkeeping and DAMIS reporting.
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Experienced Drug and Alcohol Program Manager Training (DAPM) Training
Speakers: Michael Redington and Lori DeCoste
Session Description: Explore advanced program topics with two senior FTA drug and alcohol auditors. In addition to hearing about key technical issues and interpretations, attendees will be able to discuss their own questions with the auditors and their peers in an open-forum format. Note: This class is for DAPMs with over 2 years of experience in their position.
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Reasonable Suspicion Training
Speaker: Lisa Shields
Session Description:This three hour session covers the requirements for Supervisor Reasonable Suspicion Training per 49 CFR Part 655.14(b)(2). These requirements include training on the physical, behavioral, and performance indicators of probable drug use, as well as the physical, behavioral, performance, and speech indicators of probable alcohol misuse.
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Emerging Drugs of Abuse
Speaker: Sean Oswald
Session Description: New drugs and drug use trends often rapidly appear within our communities. These emerging drugs and drug use trends are a major concern for transit system safety and workforce well-being. However, the majority of these emerging drugs are not included in the five classes of drugs covered by the USDOT drug testing program. Ongoing awareness and education about emerging drugs and trends can have a substantial impact on transit system safety and the health of your safety-sensitive employees. This session will explore these emerging drugs, and drug use trends, and will discuss how transit DAPMs can approach this important safety topic as a vital supplement to their USDOT substance abuse program.
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Networking Sessions for Like Sized Systems
Moderator: Craig McNulty
Session Description: In this open-format networking session, attendees will be able to identify and interact with their counterparts from similarly-sized agencies and companies throughout the country. An FTA auditor will be on hand to promote and support conversation. Bring your business cards to share with your peers!

The DOT-Qualified Substance Abuse Professional (SAP): Roles and Responsibilities
Speaker: William “Reggie” Smith
Session Description: When it comes to the DOT Return-to-Duty process, roles and responsibilities can be blurred. Bring your questions as we focus on the responsibilities and limitations of employers, employees, qualified SAPs and those who hope to be. Attendees will learn answers to these questions and more: Who is a qualified SAP? How to evaluate an SAP? What is the employer role in the referral and return-to-duty process? What is the value in a comprehensive monitoring program?
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Common Drug and Alcohol Program Manager (DAPM) Mistakes and How to Correct Them
Speaker: Robbie Sarles
Session Description: What do you do if you fail to conduct a pre-employment test? A return-to-duty test? You completed an accident report, but it wasn’t required. What now? This session goes beyond the common audit findings and regulation requirements to address the day-to-day errors that will inevitably happen in the best of programs and provide you with the tools to correct them.
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How Rural/Very Small Systems Keep in Compliance
Speakers: Linda De Herrera
Session Description: Although 5311 recipients generally have limited resources, personnel and service vendor options they are responsible for the same level of compliance as their Urban counterparts when it comes to the FTA drug and alcohol testing regulations. Join this session to discuss best practices and practical solutions to the “Too many hats” syndrome. We will provide solutions that have worked for other 5311 recipients in the same situation you are in. Service vendor issues will be discussed as well as record keeping tips to make your life easier. We are planning to have the time to brainstorm your particular compliance challenges at the end of the session.
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FTA vs. FMCSA: A Regulatory Comparison
Speakers: Iyon Rosario, John Spelman, and Juan Moya
Session Description: Learn from key oversight personnel about the important commonalities and differences in FMCSA and FTA testing regulations. Topics will include safety-sensitive personnel designations, testing category overlaps and separations, and best practices for dual-program management.
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Alcohol Counter Measures
Speaker: Ed Conde
Session Description: This session covers easy fixes that will ensure that positive test results can withstand legal challenges. Topics include Model Specifications, Conforming Products Lists, Quality Assurance Plans, Operating Manuals, Calibration and Verification Logs, Calibration versus Calibration Check, Expiration Dates, Technician Training, Calibration and verification Training, EBT service requirements, Fuel Cells, pre-test and post-test verifications, waiting periods, signs of a failing fuel cell, documenting errors, and agreement between screening tests and confirmation tests.
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Prescription and Over-the-Counter (Rx/OTC) Medications
Speaker: Robbie Sarles
Session Description: In a society where billions of prescriptions are filled each year, and millions spent on over-the-counter medications, the concern for how prescription and over-the-counter (RX/OTC) medication use impacts transit system safety remains a concern. This session will continue the discussion of how transit systems are meeting this very real safety issue within their overall drug and alcohol programs.
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Techniques for Training: 60 Minute Employee Drug Awareness and Reasonable Suspicion Determination
Speaker: Diana Byrnes
Session Description: This session will begin by identifying the FTA education and training requirements for all safety-sensitive employees and supervisory personnel (49 CFR Part 655.14). Attendees will learn the best methods for delivering effective and compliant training and will also be provided with resources for low-cost and even no-cost training aids!
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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Annual MIS Reporting
Speaker: Michael Redington
Session Description: This session will provide guidance and answer commonly asked questions about how to quickly and accurately complete the annual FTA/DOT reporting requirement. In addition to reviewing regulatory requirements and responsibilities, the presentation will detail tips and best practices and review how to best navigate the online DAMIS reporting application. In addition, the session will look at interesting trends and testing results compiled from nationwide and multi-modal results submitted over the last several years.
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Peer Networks – You Can Benefit, Too!
Speakers: Lori Jones and Christine DiRito
Session Description: As a drug and alcohol professional in the transit industry, have you ever wished to connect with others in your field, sharing ideas and best practices, discussing trends, common problems, and the truly odd situations, while seeking solutions together? Come learn how Pacific NW transit system DAPMs have successfully developed an extensive collaborative network and support system. Lori and Christine will discuss how you can build and foster a trusted community of DAPMs in your local area. You will also learn how such a network can bolster your drug and alcohol program compliance as well as rejuvenate your commitment to your profession.
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Essentials for Safety-Sensitive Employee Onboarding
Speakers: Joe Lofgren and Phyllis Walker
Session Description: In th In this session, review the central elements of hiring and onboarding safety-sensitive employees. You will learn the basic requirements for FTA pre-employment testing, training, and previous-employer checks, as well as some best-practices and common pitfalls associated with the requirements of Parts 655 and 40. The session will also examine FTA pre-employment testing in the context of general employee hiring and leave-management processes.
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Post-Accident Thresholds and Scenarios
Speaker: Leila Procopio-Makuh
Session Description: Puzzl Puzzled and confused about whether or not to send your employee for testing after a vehicle accident? If so, then this session is for you. The speaker will explain the FTA definition of “accident” and discuss the circumstances when FTA post-accident testing is required. In addition, session participants will be presented with a variety of real-life accident scenarios in the transit world. Participants may even want to bring their own scenarios for group discussion.
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FTA Training Games
Speakers: Lori DeCoste and Felicity Shanahan
Session Description: TBD
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Transition Planning for DAPMs
Speaker: Sean Oswald
Session Description: Successful drug a Successful drug and alcohol programs live and die by their DAPMs. But, what happens when your DAPM leaves? What steps have you taken to ensure a successful transfer of his or her knowledge in order to avoid mistakes and maintain a compliant drug and alcohol program? Learn how taking time now to document your DAPM’s program responsibilities and establishing a training plan can save time later and ensure a smooth transition for your overall program.
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How to Deal with Collection Site Problems
Speaker: Lorri Smith
Session Description: The collection site is The collection site is an integral part of a compliant drug and alcohol testing program. However, when issues surface, knowing how to handle them swiftly and appropriately is vital. Being proactive can diminish errors and eliminate testing headaches. This session will assist program managers in identifying common and not so common collection site problems and how to address them.
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Q&A with the Experts: FTA, FMCSA, ODAPC, and FTA Auditor
Speakers: Iyon Rosario, Juan Moya Mark Snider, and Joe Lofgren (FTA Auditor)
Session Description: This session will provide an open forum for asking questions of several DOT drug and alcohol industry experts.

What You Should Expect from Your Medical Review Officer (MRO)
Speaker: Dr. Donald Jacob
Session Description: Learn about the importa Learn about the important role the Medical Review Officer plays in your drug and alcohol testing program. This session will discuss in detail the regulated services you should - and should not - expect from your Medical Review Officer. The session will include examples of what DOT requires of MROs and of what FTA requires of you, the transit DAPM, with regard to your MRO.
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The Importance of Contractor Oversight
Speakers: George Gilpatrick and Lori Jones
Session Description: This session will explo This session will explore the role of the FTA grantee in maintaining responsibility for their covered contractors’ compliance with the requirements of Part 655. Learn about the minimum requirements for oversight, and about numerous best practices used throughout the transit industry.
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Drug Testing Trends
Speaker: Barry Sample
Session Description: TBD
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What You Need to Know about Public Interest Exclusions (PIEs)
Speakers: Patrice Kelly and Mark Snider
Session Description: The DOT Agencies, DOT’s Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance, and employers all want the same thing from a service agent – COMPLIANCE. When a service agent’s actions constitute serious noncompliance, there is a tool for addressing this: the DOT Public Interest Exclusion (PIE) process under 49 CFR Part 40. Learn about what triggers a PIE and what you, as an employer, need to know about the process and what to expect when a service agent is issued a PIE. The PIE process has been used by the DOT Agencies for more than 15 years as an effective means of obtaining compliance. In addition, our speakers will address what a service agent needs to know about how to avoid being issued a Notice of Corrective Action and, if one is issued, learn about the ways some service agents have addressed the concerns to avoid the process going further. Hear about the PIEs that have been issued so far.

Updated: Tuesday, August 30, 2016
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