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Which licensed professionals are eligible for DOT SAP qualification?October 11, 2012
Karen A Smith
As of September 22nd, 2006 the US Department of Transportation has adopted regulations to implement legislation passed in 2005 adding state-licensed or certified marriage and family therapists to the list of credentialed professionals eligible to serve as substance abuse professionals (SAPs). This is an extraordinary development for the profession because, since SAPs were first utilized in 1994, only licensed physicians, licensed or certified social workers, licensed or certified psychologists, licensed or certified employee assistance professionals, and ICRC member certified drug and alcohol counselors have been allowed to be SAPs.
The Department of Transportation employs over 60,000 individuals across the United States in agencies such as the Federal Aviation Administration; the Federal Highway Administration; the Federal Railway Administration; and, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and uses SAPs to evaluate, refer, and monitor transportation employees who have engaged in prohibited drug and alcohol related conduct. SAPs also play an important role in process of deciding whether such employees can be returned to safety-sensitive duties, all of which protects employees, employers, and the public. Interested members should note that DOT Substance Abuse Professional qualification is often recognized by private payers and other federal programs so additional professional opportunities may evolve out of this qualification.
To become a SAP qualified to provide evaluations under U.S.Department of Transportation drug and alcohol programs, in general, eligible licensed professionals (identified above) must have knowledge of and clinical experience in the diagnosis and treatment of substance-abuse related disorders; knowledge of applicable regulations and guidelines; complete mandatory training; pass a qualifying examination; and fulfill an on-going continuing education requirement. Please understand that the Department of Transportation does not qualify SAPs; rather individual practitioners qualify themselves by complying with applicable requirements and maintaining the proof of their qualification (training completion and examination documentation).
Members who are interested in becoming DOT SAPs should click on the link below to read the new Rule or to find information on SAP coursework providers: Program Services Continuing Education is proud to offer the US DOT Substance Abuse Professional Qualification Training and National Exam by home study or by 24-hour access online course. Also available are the US DOT Substance Abuse Professional 12-CE Credit renewal courses which have to be completed every 36 months.