Consortium/Third-Party Administrator (CTPA)

Nationwide Testing Association, Inc., is a Consortium/Third-Party Administrator. Being a C/TPA means that we manage all, or part, of our client’s DOT drug and alcohol testing program. Our goal as a C/TPA is to guide our clients in safety and regulatory compliance.

As a DOT Consortium, we play a unique service agent role for our owner operator and single driver clients. While 40.355 (K) prohibits service agents from serving as “designated employer representatives” (DER), the consortium is authorized to perform a number of employer functions for you. Larger DOT-Regulated employers may choose to be part of our consortium, or request a stand-alone DOT random testing program.

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We are the industry leader for DOT, Department of Transportation, compliant drug and alcohol testing programs, as well as our program administration, and customer service!  Would you like to learn why?

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Medical & Recreational Marijuana in a DOT Regulated Workplace

As more and more states enact laws authorizing the use of medical and recreational marijuana, it is increasingly important for employers to stay informed. We have had several inquires about whether the Department of Transportation would change its longstanding regulation about the use of marijuana by safety-sensitive transportation employees. The Department of Transportation’s regulations impact pilots, school bus drivers, truck drivers, train engineers, subway operators, aircraft maintenance personnel, transit fire-armed security personnel, ship captains, and pipeline emergency response personnel, among others.

 

The Department of Transportation’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulations – 49 CFR Part 40 at 40.151(e) – does not authorize “medical marijuana” under state law to be a valid medical explanation for a transportation employee’s positive drug test result.

 

“40.151 (e) – You must not verify a test negative based on information that a physician recommended that the employee use a drug listed in schedule I of the Controlled Substance Act. (e.g., under a state law that purports to authorize such recommendations, such as the “medical marijuana” laws that some states have adopted.) “

 

Marijuana remains a drug listed in Schedule I of the Controlled Substance Act. It remains unacceptable for any safety-sensitive employee subject to drug testing under the Department of Transportation’s drug testing regulations to use marijuana.

 

The purpose of these regulations is to assure the traveling public that our transportation system is the safest it can possibly be. It continues to be important to educate all of your safety-sensitive employees on the regulations and ensure that you are operating safely.

 

If you would like our help or are interested in talking to us, then contact us. We have been helping companies promote safety for over 38 years!

Understanding The FMCSA Clearinghouse!

In preparation for the upcoming FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse effective January 6, 2020, NTA offers:

  • Updated FMCSA Substance Abuse Policies and Driver Educational Materials to add the new component of FMCSR Part 382.601 (#12). These updates are included in the Annual Management Fee for existing clients.
    • Policies and Educational material can be purchased by non-clients for $50.00.
  • Important: Owner-operators are required to designate a Third Party Administrator (TPA) to manage their clearinghouse processes. Nationwide Testing Association Inc is your Third Party Administrator. If you need help registering and designating us as your TPA, please call our office.
    • Managing the clearinghouse process for owner-operators will be included in your annual management fee.

 

Our clients may choose to add the following package of services to their program. This package may be billed as a monthly, quarterly, or yearly subscription.

  • Full Queries run automatically after the completion of a pre-employment DOT drug test.
  • Annual Limited Queries run automatically on all drivers, either based on a predetermined date or scheduled with your annual MVR with Nationwide Testing Association.
  • Coordination, evaluation, and assistance with all required reporting.
  • Assistance in understanding and interpreting clearinghouse data.

Contact us today for more information!

FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse Services

In preparation for the upcoming FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse effective January 6, 2020, NTA offers:

  • Updated FMCSA Substance Abuse Policies and Driver Educational Materials to add the new component of FMCSR Part 382.601 (#12). These updates are included in the Annual Management Fee for existing clients.
    • Policies and Educational material can be purchased by non-clients for $50.00.
  • Important: Owner-operators are required to designate a Third Party Administrator (TPA) to manage their clearinghouse processes. Nationwide Testing Association is your Third Party Administrator. If you need help registering and designating us as your TPA, please call our office.
    • Managing the clearinghouse process for owner-operators will be included in your annual management fee.

 

Our clients may choose to add the following package of services to their program. This package may be billed as a monthly, quarterly, or yearly subscription.

  • Full Queries run automatically after the completion of a pre-employment DOT drug test.
  • Annual Limited Queries run automatically on all drivers, either based on a predetermined date or scheduled with your annual MVR with Nationwide Testing Association.
  • Coordination, evaluation, and assistance with all required reporting.
  • Assistance in understanding and interpreting clearinghouse data.

 

Contact us for a quote!

What Is A Dilute Drug Test?

Have you ever received a drug test result that said dilute? Applicants and employees who know they are going to test positive may attempt to tamper with their sample to pass the test. The most common way of doing this is by diluting their urine, leading to a dilute drug test result.

Diluting urine means that the donor drinks a significant quantity of water before providing a specimen, and their body is overly hydrated. However, it is possible that a donor doesn’t do this with the intent of cheating the system and simply drinks a lot of water in general.

It is widely known that some donors try to dilute their urine because they consumed drugs and are trying to flush out their system. This practice will result in a dilute drug test result.

What can be done?

A dilute drug test result can still be used. If it is positive dilute, then it is positive and the employer should proceed accordingly. However, If it is negative, the employer does have a few options to help in making the best determination.

An employer can require that anyone who has a negative dilute drug test be retested. The employer can specify that the donor retest via another urine drug test or can choose another testing method that may be harder to cheat. Keep in mind that when testing a DOT donor, it may be necessary to retest that donor under a Non-DOT policy if choosing another testing method. This would mean that the test, if positive, would not report to the clearinghouse as DOT only allows for DOT urine samples. The employer can choose other options like a hair follicle or saliva drug test, which are both conducted under direct observation. Contact our office for help in developing a testing protocol for a dilute drug test.

Illicit drug users who test negative dilute often slip through the system and get hired more often than one would think. Sometimes, these users will get caught through random testing or reasonable suspicion testing. Don’t risk it! The safety of the workplace should come first! We are here to help provide the resources needed to promote safety in the workplace. Contact us for answers to any questions!

What you need to know about DOT Drug & Alcohol Testing

What is a DOT drug test?

A DOT Drug test is a drug test that is regulated by the Department of Transportation (DOT).

In 1991, the U.S. Congress passed the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act when they recognized the need for a drug and alcohol-free transportation industry. This act requires that DOT regulated employers implement a drug and alcohol testing program for their safety-sensitive employees.

The DOT regulations and procedures are listed as 49 CFR Part 40. These rules are published by the Office of Drug & Alcohol Policy & Compliance (ODAPC). The Office of Drug & Alcohol Policy & Compliance publishes and provides authoritative interpretations of these rules. Each DOT agency and the U.S. Coast Guard write industry-specific regulations, spelling out who is subject to testing, when, and in what situation.

Who is required to get DOT drug & alcohol tests?

Anyone designated in the DOT regulations as a “safety-sensitive” employee is subject to DOT drug and alcohol testing. A safety-sensitive employee is someone who holds a job that can impact both their safety and the safety of the public.

These are some of the DOT regulations on who is subject to testing:

Aviation (FAA) Flight crews, flight attendants, flight instructors, air traffic controllers at facilities not operated by the FAA or under contract to the U.S. military, aircraft dispatchers, aircraft maintenance or preventative maintenance personnel, ground security coordinators and aviation screeners. Direct or contract employees of 14 CFR Part 121 or 135 certificate holders, Section 91.147 operators and air traffic control facilities not operated by the FAA or under contract to the US Military. See FAA regulations at 14 CFR Part 120.

Commercial Motor Carriers (FMCSA) Commercial Drivers License (CDL) holders who operate Commercial Motor Vehicles, 26,001 lbs. GVWR. Or greater, or operate a vehicle that carries 16 passengers or more including the driver, or required to display a DOT placard in the transportation of hazardous material.1 1 In some instances, states allow waivers from this qualification, such as operators of fire trucks and some farm equipment. Check with your state department of motor vehicles for more information. See FMCSA regulation at 49 CFR Part 382.

Maritime (USCG) An agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Crewmembers operating a commercial vessel. See USCG regulations at 46 CFR Parts 4 & 16.

Pipeline (PHMSA) Operations, maintenance and emergency response. See PHMSA regulations at 49 CFR Part 199.

Railroad (FRA) Hours of Service Act personnel, engine & train, signal service or train dispatchers. See FRA regulations at 49 CFR Part 219.

Transit (FTA) Vehicle operators, controllers, mechanics and armed security. See FTA regulations at 49 CFR Part 655.

What do DOT drug tests test for?

All DOT drug tests test for the following:

*Specimens collected for testing are:
Drug: Urine
Alcohol: Breath & Saliva

* The FRA requires blood specimens as part of their Post-Accident testing.

When are safety-sensitive employees required to get a DOT drug test?

DOT drug tests are required in the following situations:

  • Pre-Employment: prior to starting your job responsibilities.
  • Reasonable Suspicion: when a trained supervisor has a reasonable suspicion that changes in appearance, behavior, or Job performance may indicate drug or alcohol use.
  • Return-To-Duty: after a violation of drug and alcohol testing rules. Prior to returning to any DOT-regulated work function.
  • Follow up: takes place after a return-to-duty test. A Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) will determine how many tests you will have and when, with a minimum of 6 tests within the first 12 months.
  • Post-Accident: If you are involved in an event (accident, crash, etc.) meeting specific criteria of the DOT agency. Contact us to determine if the accident meets the requirements for a DOT drug test.

What happens if I fail my DOT drug test?

If you fail your DOT drug test, your employer will immediately remove you from performing any DOT safety-sensitive job. For more information check out our article on “My Driver Failed A Drug Test, What Now?”

Nationwide Testing Associations experts stay -up-to-date on DOT regulations and are here to assist you. If you’re interested in using Nationwide Testing Association, Inc., contact us today!