DOT CFR Part 40

Department of Transportation Substance Abuse Professional (DOT SAP)

Many providers have wondered whether courses meet the requirements established by the Department of Transportation. Following contact with the DOT*, and a thorough review of the guidelines here is the interpretation:

As you are aware, DOT/SAP CFR Part 40 requires the SAP to recommend education and/or treatment as part of the Return to Duty Process. Listed below are the specific guidelines which pertain to, and support, the use courses:

CFR 40.293:

As a SAP, for every employee who comes to you following a DOT drug and alcohol regulation violation, you must accomplish the following:

(2) You must make a recommendation for education and/or treatment that will, to the greatest extent possible, protect public safety in the event that the employee returns to the performance of safety-sensitive functions.

(2c)  Appropriate education may include, but is not limited to, self-help groups (e.g., Alcoholics Anonymous) and community lectures, where attendance can be independently verified, and bona fide drug and alcohol education courses.

CFR 40.301:

(b) As the SAP making the follow-up evaluation determination, you must:

(1) Confer with or obtain appropriate documentation from the appropriate education and/or treatment program professionals where the employee was referred. courses meet this requirement. Based on how the bona fide courses are set up, the clients must complete the course and pass an examination prior to receiving the certificate of completion. The certificate provides a form of verification in compliance with the intent of the DOT SAP guidelines.

We understand that providers may want additional verification.  Verification can be done in a number of ways.  Here are two examples which are in keeping with the DOT:  A proctor can be used and the SAP can directly ask for verification that, in fact, the client was the person taking the test.  (This is in keeping with the ways of verification for AA/community lectures as documented in the DOT FAQs.)  The SAP can provide a computer for the client to complete the education in his/her office for direct verification.  The separation exists as the SAP has no financial incentive yet makes an appropriate referral for education and with his/her own eyes sees that it is, in fact, the client taking the course.

*Compliance reconfirmed via contact with Mark Snider, DOT analyst, on 2/20/2014:

“The DOT does not define for the SAP what a ‘bona fide drug and alcohol education course’ is.  That is left up to the SAP to determine.

The DOT leaves it up to the SAP’s discretion as to what constitutes independent verification.”

When specific ways were listed to verify, to include those listed on our website along with others,  the information was that each is in keeping with the intent of the DOT.