What does CCDAPP Certification mean?

The Certification Commission for Drug and Alcohol Program Professionals (CCDAPP) is a national certifying body that provides credentials for drug and alcohol specialists through national examinations for Drug and Alcohol Program Administrators (DAPAs) and similar occupations. CCDAPP develops the specialized knowledge and skill sets of drug and alcohol program professionals. Passing the CCDAPP certification examination confirms DAPA knowledge and skill competency in relation to federal regulations.

Although certification is voluntary for drug and alcohol program administrators, there are definite advantages for the employee in completing the process including:

  1. A recognized acknowledgment of competency in the profession, including peer and public recognition.
  2. Significant opportunities for career growth and increased earning potential.
  3. An independent third-party endorsement of the employee's qualifications.


There are also several advantages for employers offering support for their drug and alcohol program staff CCDAPP certification. By supporting certification, an employer demonstrates:

  1. Tangible support of their staff and drug and alcohol administration.
  2. The promotion of positive internal and external perceptions of the drug and alcohol program.
  3. The organization’s commitment to employee qualifications and professional development.

Who is eligible to be certified?


Two main areas of competency and experience must be accomplished before a certifying examination can take place. Those seeking certification must meet the following benchmarks before taking the exam:

  1. 16 hours of substance abuse training within the last five years
  2. 4,000 hours (two years of work equivalency) experience as a drug and alcohol program administrator with some form of responsibility in three of the following seven areas:
    1. Policy and procedure development
    2. Random drug testing and alcohol testing administration
    3. Interaction with medical review officers
    4. Supervision or performance of the specimen collection process
    5. Preparation or delivery of employee training
    6. Interaction with substance abuse professionals
    7. Activity involving compliance with state or federal law

Certified individuals are required to re-certify their status with CDAPAA every three years. Recertification is offered without examination if the application accompanies proof of at least 12 hours of approved continuing education including courses, training, or seminars through in-person or online study.

CCDAPP certification is important


CCDAPP certification is the highest credential available for drug and alcohol administrative professionals and is the most recognized authority in the field. CCDAPP certification provides a sense of confidence to both internal and external stakeholders and offers a means of verifying the qualifications of drug and alcohol administrative professionals.

The administrative requirements of a top-notch drug and alcohol abuse program continue to grow in complexity, alongside evolving regulations, synthetic drug (such as synthetic opioids and synthetic cannabinoids) and ways to avoid positive testing. (Learn more in How To Avoid Adulteration In Employee Drug Testing). The CCDAPP certification process is one of the few recognized avenues that enables drug and alcohol administrative professionals to keep pace with the ever-changing demands of this work.

In conclusion, if drug and alcohol program administration is essential to your company, then it is crucial to ensure those that are responsible for the program are CCDAPP certified.