FAQs for SAPs
To become a SAP, you must complete a Qualification Training and satisfactorily complete a SAP Exam. As a SAP, you should have only one Qualification Training date and one SAP Exam date.
In order to maintain your SAP qualification, you must complete 12 continuing education hours during every 3-year period following the date of your SAP Exam.
DOT requires 12 hours of continuing education during each 3-year period following the date of your SAP Exam. Think of your SAP Exam as your “SAP birthday”, every 3 years. You can obtain your 12 hours in 2 or 3 courses during that 3-year period. You could also obtain your 12 hours by completing a 12-hour course or training.
SAPlist U makes it easy to fulfill this requirement.
The DOT does not certify, license, or approve individual SAPs. Following a qualification training, the most you can say is that you meet the qualifications and that you have been trained. Nobody can call themselves a “certified SAP” or “approved SAP.”
DOT requires a qualification training to provide instruction on the following subjects: [49 CFR Part 40.281(c)]
- Background, rationale, and coverage of the DOTs drug and alcohol testing program
- 49 CFR Part 40 rules, and the drug and alcohol testing rules of the six operating administrations. (each agency has its own rules)
- Key DOT drug testing requirements, including collections, laboratory testing, MRO review, and problems in drug testing
- Key alcohol testing requirements, including the testing process, the role of BATs and STTs, and problems in alcohol testing
- SAP qualifications, and SAP prohibitions
- The role of the SAP in the return-to-duty process, including the initial employee evaluation, referrals for education and/or treatment, monitoring during treatment/education, the follow-up evaluation, the follow-up testing plan, and setting up an aftercare program;
- SAP consultation communication with employers, MROs, treatment providers, and other service agents;
- Reporting and recordkeeping requirements;
- Issues that SAPs confront in carrying out their duties under the program.
No. the DOT’s role is limited to making the rules. Be wary of qualification trainings or continuing ed training that claims to be DOT-approved or endorsed. The DOT does not approve or endorse trainers or programs. It is possible, however, that DOT might review training programs for accuracy and compliance.
“Self-study” is defined in this context as reading and studying the DOT regulations, without formal instruction. Self-study is not acceptable to the DOT. To legally serve as a SAP, you must first take a formal SAP qualification training. Classroom training, use of a structured workbook, and Internet training would all be acceptable to DOT.
Providers of Qualification Training and continuing education, as found on DOT’s website: https://www.transportation.
This isn’t a good idea. When you complete your qualification training, you will receive a certificate verifying that you were in attendance. An employer, or a service agent, or a DOT auditor/inspector may request copies of your training and exam documentation, and you are required, under DOT rule 40.281(e), to provide that documentation.
No. The SAP qualification process required under DOT rules differs from standard chemical use assessments. The SAP process falls under federal laws, and as such, it’s important that you understand these laws completely before you put yourself, your career, and the employers that you work for in a position of liability by providing incomplete or non-compliant services.
To serve as a SAP, you must complete a qualification training and exam.
Yes, you can work as a SAP independently. You can also be an affiliate SAP for a large EAP, or for a SAP network/broker, working with employees in your area who require a SAP assessment before they can be considered for return to safety-sensitive duties.