Certified Training Solutions assists chiropractic offices in setting up their DOT alcohol and drug testing programs from start to finish. We provide initial free consultation and coaching by telephone and email, including guidance on everything from laboratory set-up to equipment purchase and training.
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Chiropractors: It Makes Business $ense to Add Drug and Alcohol Testing to Your PracticeAs a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC), you are in a unique position to offer drug and alcohol testing services to your clients. This is especially true if you are a Certified Medical Examiner. See: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/medical/driver-medical-requirements/national-registry-certified-medical-examiners
As a Medical Examiner, you already have a built-in pool of clients that will be thrilled if you start offering drug and alcohol testing services. You will now be your clients’ one-stop-shop for DOT testing and exams!
If you already have a clinic or staff, adding drug collections and/or alcohol testing services adds only an inconsequential amount to your monthly expenditures for a worthwhile financial return. Of course, money and profit are not the only reasons you should consider adding drug and alcohol testing to your services. Providing Federal drug collection and alcohol testing services allows you to play a very important role in our nation’s transportation safety industry.
Department of Transportation (DOT) Rules require drug and alcohol testing for various reasons including: pre-employment, random, post-accident, reasonable suspicion, follow-up, and return-to-duty. In fact, pre-employment drug testing is required for every employee (new hire or transfer) into a safety-sensitive position. There are roughly 12 million “safety sensitive” employees in the U.S. that are covered by the DOT rules. Random drug testing is mandated by every DOT Operating Agency and the U.S. Coast Guard. Random alcohol testing is required by 4 of the 5 DOT Agencies (the FMCSA, FRA, FAA, and FRA all require random alcohol testing; only the PHMSA does not allow for random alcohol testing). However, every DOT Agency requires both drug and alcohol testing for reasonable suspicion, post-accident, return-to-duty, and follow-up.
The largest of the DOT Operating Agencies is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Employees covered by the FMCSA will likely make up the majority of your business for drug and alcohol testing. The FMCSA oversees those who drive commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), such as semi-trucks. The FMCSA also covers most school bus drivers and drivers of hazardous materials-placarded vehicles.
What Type of Training is Required?
Every person at your facility that will conduct urine collections for DOT drug testing or use an evidential breath tester for alcohol testing MUST have training, according to the Federal Rules (49 CFR Part 40). The training for both Specimen Collectors and Breath Alcohol Technicians (BATs) requires two components.
Component 1 is called the “procedures training”. This is mostly the rules and regulations (the ‘how to’) in great detail. This is the only part of the training that you may complete independently or by self-study (say, online). Note: Certified Training Solutions offers convenient online procedures training for both BATs and Collectors.
Component 2 of the DOT-required training is called the “proficiency training”. This is the hands-on part of your training, and it must be conducted in a way that allows for real-time interaction between the BAT or Collector student and their Qualified Trainer. Note: Certified Training Solutions offers proficiency training either live or by webcam for both Collectors and BATs (on select devices).
Important: Both components of the training must be completed before the BAT or Collector is “legal” to perform DOT collections or testing. Fines & penalties can be steep for conducting Federal tests or collections without proper (and documentable) training — Don’t risk it!
Specimen Collectors are allowed to collect urine specimens only (no other types of specimens are currently allowed by the Federal Rules for drug tests). BATs must use an approved Evidential Breath Tester (EBT) for alcohol tests, and they must be trained/certified on the specific make and model of EBT that they will use to test safety-sensitive employees.
How Much Will it Cost?
For urine/drug testing collections, you will need split specimen collection kits and Federal Custody and Control Forms from your laboratory. These supplies are typically free; however, some labs may charge a set-up fee. You must send your specimens to an approved laboratory (instant testing for DOT is not allowed).
To find an HHS-Accredited Lab, go to: https://www.samhsa.gov/workplace/lab-list
To start DOT collections (for drug testing), your minimum investment is going to be about $350 to $450 for the initial training, per person. However, by DOT rules, the Certification/training is good for 5 years. Example: If you have Certified Training Solutions train just one Collector at your clinic to do all of your collections, the cost is about $440 (this includes the online procedures training and the live/webcam proficiency training). This amounts to just over $7.00 per month for their training. The profit you will make on your first collection/drug test each month will more than cover this training/certification fee. If we train 2 or more collectors at your clinic during the same webcam session, the per-person cost goes down (around $340 each for the 5-year Certification).
Your larger investment is going to be in purchasing an approved alcohol testing device. Testing instruments start at around $1,200 and may cost upwards of $6,000; depending on the manufacturer and features/options you choose.
See our newsletter article regarding how to choose the appropriate breath testing device here: https://certifiedtrainingsolutions.com/choosing-a-breath-alcohol-testing-instrument.html
Training costs for BATs may vary widely depending on which device you choose (some device manufacturers place more restrictions on their training and trainers, hence, the training on certain devices may cost more). On average, expect to pay around $300 to $500 per person for a 5-year BAT training/certification.
How Long Will It Take to Get “Up and Running”?
You could be ready to start testing for your customers in as little as two weeks, possibly sooner. It’s really up to you as to how quickly you want to start and complete your training. The most important item is going to be ordering your supplies in advance to ensure that you receive them by the time you plan to start testing. We can help you with this – Just Ask!
Certified Training Solutions has assisted many providers, including numerous chiropractors, in getting started with their drug and alcohol testing program. We offer everything YOU need to get up and rolling – Training, instruments, advice, and ongoing support. That’s right, we continue to work with you – we don’t forget about ‘after the sale’!
Ask us about our special PACKAGES and pricing for chiropractors!
You may reach us by email at: Admin@CertifiedTrainingSolutions.com
Or by telephone at: 307-640-5859 or 213-308-7630
The information presented here is meant to provide general information and guidance. Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Legal advice must be provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship specifically with reference to all the facts of the particular situation under consideration. Such is not the case here, and accordingly, the information presented here must not be relied on as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a licensed attorney and/or the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of the General Counsel. When in doubt, check with your corporate legal counsel and/or the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of the General Counsel or an agent of the operating agency that covers your industry. Certified Training Solutions is not responsible or liable for any loss or damage relating to the use of the information in this article. Before relying on the material in any important matter, users should carefully evaluate its accuracy, currency, completeness and relevance for their purposes, and should obtain any appropriate professional advice relevant to their particular circumstances.