FAQs for SAPs
To become a SAP, the DOT requires you to complete 12 hours of initial training and pass a SAP exam before they start providing SAP services.
To maintain your active SAP status, you must complete 12 hours of training and take a SAP exam every three years.
After you have completed your SAP qualification training and taken the initial exam, you must do 12 hours of continuing education training every 3 years. SAPlist continuing education making it easy to fulfill this requirement.
Yes. If you took your initial SAP qualification training before August 1st, 2001, you must complete qualification training under the revised rules, which went into effect in 2001. You cannot fulfill this requirement with SAP continuing ed training or quiz.
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.
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! DOT drug and alcohol regulations cover over 12 million employees working in the transportation industry. Eleven million of these employees are truck drivers, who are subject to random testing for drugs at a rate of 50% annually. That means that potentially more than 5 million drug tests are conducted in a year. The trucking industry is currently experiencing a positive drug test rate of more than 1%, which translates annually to over 50,000 truck drivers nationwide who must complete a SAP process before they can be considered for return to safety-sensitive functions. These employees are subject to other DOT-required testing as well, which increases the need for SAP assessments.
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.