Is training required for specimen collection personnel?

Q:

Is training required for specimen collection personnel?

A:

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has developed rule 49 CFR part 40. This covers all the regulations for drug and alcohol testing within the federally regulated transportation industry. This rule includes the specific procedures that urine specimen collectors must follow for DOT drug testing.

"Certification" is not required for DOT urine specimen collection personnel. However, personnel should become "qualified" by carrying out an appropriate qualification training program. DOT does not provide this training nor have a specific curriculum that must be followed. However, they do have specific procedures to which specimen collection personnel must adhere. This is to ensure integrity of the urine specimen and collection process.

Subpart C of 49 CFR part 40 covers the required procedures for urine collection personnel. As per 40.33 of this rule, specimen collection personnel must meet the following requirements:

  1. Obtain sufficient knowledge of rule 49 CFR part 40, current DOT urine specimen collection procedures and the relevant DOT agency regulations.
  2. Receive qualification training that provides instruction on the steps to complete a collection, how to properly fill out a federal collection form (CCF/eCCF), what to do when "problems" arise (e.g. shy bladder procedure), possible flaws and how to correct them, and other collection responsibilities such as specimen security and integrity, and employee privacy.
  3. Demonstrate proficiency as a collector through five consecutive, error-free mock collections.
  4. Complete refresher training that meets the requirements a minimum of once every 5 years.
  5. Complete error correction training if a mistake is made in the collection process that causes a test to be cancelled.
  6. Maintain documentation that shows you meet the training requirements.

The training required for proficiency in these procedures is offered through a number of drug testing companies. Non DOT urine specimen collectors should choose a training program that adheres to state or federal laws.

The majority of drug tests are carried out via urine testing. Where oral fluid drug testing or hair specimen collection is used, training requirements will be based on the specific regulations of and procedures used by the laboratory that is processing the specimen samples.

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Written by John Hawes
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John Hawes is the CCO and co-founder at SureHire Occupational Health Testing. John graduated in 2001 from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Science degree in physical therapy. As a former physical therapist, John uses his knowledge of physical therapy and interest in ergonomics and biomechanics to devise fit for work testing.

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