A Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who helps DOT regulated employees return to work after a DOT violation has occurred, such as a failed drug and/or alcohol test or a refusal to test. As described in the DOT employee handbook (DOT, 2019a), SAPs are the “gatekeepers to the re-entry program”. They determine when a safety-sensitive employee is prepared to return to work safely.
Why do I need a SAP?
SAPs act as a neutral party and do not decide if an employee should be terminated or re-hired. Those decisions are up to the employer and their company policy. A SAP’s job is to clinically assess and evaluate to provide a personalized treatment and/or education plan for each individual in alignment with DOT protocol. In DOT cases, public safety is the mission and the primary client. SAPs conduct evaluations to approve employees to return to safety-sensitive duties. Temporary Guidance on face-to face evaluations has been issued during COVID-19 (DOT, 2019c).
Qualified DOT SAPs need to maintain specific qualifications mandated by the DOT under 49CFR Part 40. The ASAP Credentialing Team ensures documentation of updated licensure/certification, qualification training, examination and continuing education for all ASAP providers