Updated ODAPC Guidance and Extended Timeframes for DOT Statement of Enforcement Discretion for Substance Abuse Professionals and Service Agents

September 23, 2020

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Updated ODAPC Guidance and Extended Timeframes for DOT Statement of Enforcement Discretion for Substance Abuse Professionals and Service Agents

The Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance has updated its Statement of Enforcement Discretion for Substance Abuse Professionals and Service Agents guidance document to reflect that the guidance timeframe has been extended from September 30, 2020 and is now effective until December 31, 2020.

The updated guidance can be found at:


https://www.transportation.gov/odapc/Statement_of_Enforcement_Discretion_SAPs_and_Service_Agents

Please note the guidance includes the following parameters for SAPs conducting assessments/evaluations remotely:

  1.  The technology you use should permit a real-time two-way audio and visual communication and interaction between you and the employee.
  2. You should determine if the quality of the technology (e.g., speed of the internet connection, clarity of the display, application being used, etc.) is sufficient for you to gather all the visual (e.g., non-verbal physical cues) and audible information you would normally observe in an in-person face-to-face interaction.
  3. You may only utilize the technology if your State-issued license authorizes you to do so and within the parameters of that authority.

The Guidance also extends the Re-Qualification timelines for Certain Service Agents as follows:

Under 49 CFR §§ 40.33(e), 40.121(d), 40.213(e), and 40.281(d), collectors, MROs, STT/BATs, and SAPs are required to maintain their DOT required qualifications to continue to act as service agents in the DOT drug and alcohol testing program. Specifically, collectors and STT/BATs must complete refresher training every five years, MROs must complete requalification training every five years, and SAPs must complete 12 professional development hours every three years.

DOT realizes that during the COVID-19 public health emergency, these service agents may find it difficult to find the necessary resources (e.g., exam location or personnel to conduct mock collections, etc.) to meet their re-qualification requirements. If a service agent is unable to meet their re-qualification due date while this statement of enforcement discretion is in effect, DOT will not consider it a non-compliance for purposes of starting a public interest exclusion proceeding against the service agent. DOT is providing this flexibility for service agents who cannot meet their re-qualification requirements by their respective due dates due to restrictions imposed by Federal, State and local authorities, and health agencies related to the COVID-19 public health emergency (e.g., facility closures, State or locally imposed quarantine requirements, or other impediments). DOT will consider these service agents qualified per Part 40 to continue providing the Part 40 required services while this policy is in effect.

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