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 face-to-face 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.