Qualified DOT collectors have to be knowledgeable about regulations under part 40, DOT guidelines for urine specimen collection, and agency regulations that apply to any employer for whom collections are to be performed. Collectors also have to complete a recognized qualification training course and pass a proficiency demonstration under 49 CFR Part 40.33 (b-c). Once qualified, a collector can work anywhere that urine specimens are collected under the auspices of the DOT – qualification is not site-specific.
Is Certification Necessary?
The DOT does not require formal certification, just completion of the training and proficiency demonstration. Trainers have to base their curriculum on the DOT regulations and the urine specimen collection guidelines. In order to become qualified, the candidate has to demonstrate knowledge as regards to collection procedures under Part 40, be able to complete all the steps necessary for effective collection, be able to handle problems like attempts to foil the test or shy bladder, and be able to properly complete a CCF (Custody Control Form).
Who Can Provide Training?
The trainer can be anyone, or even no one (an example would be a course that is offered via the Internet, like DrugTestingCourses.com). It can be offered in person, online, via computer programs, video, or video conferencing.
However, in order to graduate, the candidate must complete five “mock” collections, under the supervision of a qualified monitor. The collections must include a routine collection, one covering a temperature that’s out of range, one dealing with a quantity of urine that isn’t sufficient, and one in which the person being tested refuses to initial the seal on the bottle and sign the CCF paperwork. The mock collection is done in real time, and the monitor must be a qualified collector who has performed DOT collections for a minimum of one year, done collector training under Part 40 for a year, or completed a “train the trainer” course. The monitor must verify in writing that there were no errors during the mock collections.
Upon graduation, the candidate is provided with a certificate of completion.
What Documentation is Needed?
In order to work as a DOT collector, the candidate has to be able to prove eligibility to any DOT agency that might contract for his or her services to the effect that he or she is qualified and eligible to work as a collector. This could include the certificate of completion. Every five years, a qualified collector must take a refresher course in order to continue to be eligible.
Working as a Collector
As a DOT collector, you will be responsible for growing your own business. The Internet, the yellow pages, and transportation trade shows are all good places to look for DOT-regulated clients. As more and more businesses embrace drug and alcohol testing as a condition of employment, you won’t be limited to DOT-regulated entities. The market for independent drug and alcohol test technicians will continue to grow as increased accountability is demanded in the private sector as well.