US Department of transportation

What to Look for in a DOT Qualified SAP

Who is a DOT Qualified SAP?

SAP stands for Substance Abuse Professional and they do what the name dictates. They are professionals who evaluate people who have previously tested positive for drug abuse and prepare them for duty. An SAP will help an employee get the treatment, counseling and aftercare needed to prepare them for return to work. The Department of Transportation (DOT) has set qualifications that must be met by an SAP for their report to be considered valid. It is important to note that DOT does not certify or license SAPs. As an employer, you need to find an SAP who is qualified and who will provide you with an accurate report about your employees. This applies to employees working in the transportation industry ranging from drivers to conductors to plane and ship captains. You will find a comprehensive list of employees who need to take the DOT drug test regularly at US Department of transportation.

What DOT Requires

DOT has stringent requirements that must be met for one to qualify as an SAP. A DOT qualified SAP must be a licensed physician, licensed/certified psychologist or social worker, an employee assistant professional who is licensed or certified or a licensed/certified marriage and family therapist (MFT). Even the National Board of Certified Counsellors approved drug abuse counsellors qualify. However, if one only has state qualification, he/she does not qualify to be an SAP. Not everyone in the above professions can become an SAP. According to DOT regulations, an SAP must have experience in treating drug abuse cases and have specific training on this. Dot Rule 49 CFR Part 40 Section 40.281 explains all the qualifications that qualify one as an SAP.

It is Easy to Find an SAP in Your City

With so many qualifications to look for, it may not be easy to find an SAP when you need one. You may not know who qualifies and who does not. You could ask for referrals but finding the right one may take too long. Luckily, some online directories have made finding the right DOT qualified SAP very easy. A good example is SAP directory. Here you will only be required to provide your zip code and you will receive a list of qualified SAPs in your area. Choose one and get in touch!

Will the Employer or Employee Pay for the SAP services?

The services of an SAP are required by employees who have positive for controlled substances or have alcohol levels 0.04 or more, but who will pay for these services? DOT does not determine this but leaves it to the two parties to decide. The employer may pay for the services or only refer the employee to a qualified SAP. Remember that failing a drug test is enough reason to terminate an employee from work and the employer is at liberty to do this. The only role an employer is obligated with is providing the employee with a list of qualified SAPs with their addresses and contact details. This means that in most cases the employees pay for these services. After the SAP treatment and evaluation, it is up to the employer to determine if the employee is to be retained in the job or not.

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