It was in 1991 when the United States Department of Transportation launched the act known as Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing. This is an act that requires alcohol testing as well as drug testing for transportation employees. The list includes industries such as aviation, railroads, trucking, pipelines and mass transit.
In this regard, the DOT is also responsible for publishing rules on how the drug and alcohol testing process will be conducted. The department also provides a list of the procedure types to be used during the testing process. Although the department does not require one to become a DOT certified collector (as mentioned by DOT’s Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance), it pays to know how you can be one.
1. You should have knowledge of certain regulations. This would include DOT agency regulations, Part 40 regulations and Urine Specimen Collection Procedural Guidelines. Make sure that you keep up-to-date records of these materials. See to it that you know how to apply each regulation depending on the employer for whom collection should be made.
2. You must also pass the qualification training program given by the department. The DOT does not have any curriculum-specific standards in the conduct of this training but it requires trainers to base their curriculum on the latest DOT Urine Specimen Collection Procedural Guidelines and DOT agency regulations. The training should specifically include the following though: (a) Part 40 collection procedures; (b) steps that will help in the administration of proper collection; (c) learning how to fill-up the Custody and Control Form or simply the federal collection form; and (d) steps on how you can handle problems associated with collection such as tampering of the test and shy bladder.
3. You must also pass the DOT’s proficiency demonstration. This one has been required by DOT effective August 1, 2001 and comes next after you have successfully completed the qualification training program. The proficiency demonstration is a process wherein you, as a soon-to-be DOT certified collector, should complete mock collections. These collections should be error-free and should be made under the care of a qualified monitor. These mock collections are usually made to help you feel how it is to be in real-life situations once you will become a DOT certified collector.
These collections should be recorded and observed by the instructor in real-time. Add to that, a check list may also be made. Usually, the instructor to this program has passed the requirements for a DOT certified collector and has experienced conducting his own DOT-related collections for more than a year already.
After successfully passing all the requirements of becoming a DOT certified collector, trainers would usually provide you with a certificate. This is proof that you have undergone training and that you are ready to conduct DOT drug and alcohol testing for employers who need one.
This Article is written by Lena Butler, contributor of Health & Drug Testing Information Center.