A consortium in drug testing is typically a random testing pool consisting of multiple employers. Each employer member of the consortium adds their employees to the pool. The drug and alcohol random selections are chosen from all members of the pool. Owner operators regulated by any of the Department of Transportation (DOT) agencies must be in a consortium random testing pool.
A stand- alone random pool is just one employer. This is typically for larger companies with 20+ employees.
There is not a minimum or maximum number for a standalone or consortium random testing pool. The only requirement is that owner operators must be in the consortium pool.
National Drug Screenings provides management for stand-alone pools and consortium pools for both DOT regulated employers and Non-DOT regulated employers. Typically, our random testing clients are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrations (FMCSA), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and US Coast Guard (USCG).
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DOT FMCSA Drug Testing Programs – Consortium and Stand Alone Random Testing Programs
Many trucking and bus companies are required to maintain drug and alcohol testing programs including random drug testing. For the owner operators and smaller companies a consortium random testing program is needed. The consortium manages the Department of Transportation (DOT) random testing programs of several employers, including those of owner-operators who are not permitted to manage random testing themselves.
Are you required to have an Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) DOT drug testing programs?
There is one easy way to find out, the DOT offers an interactive web page called “Am I Covered” and you can use this to determine if you are required to have DOT drug & alcohol testing. Even easier, there are three categories of employers who are required to have DOT FMCSA drug & alcohol testing program. The first is do you have CDL drivers operating on public roads operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) at 26,001 pounds or more. The second is do you operate a commercial motor vehicle rate of any size that is used to transport hazardous materials which require the vehicle to be placarded. The third and final is do you operate vehicles that transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver). If you meet any of the three conditions listed above you are required to have a DOT FMCSA drug and alcohol testing program.
How Do You Get DOT Compliant for Drug Testing?
National Drug Screening, Inc (NDS) offers DOT FMCSA drug and alcohol testing programs for small, medium and large trucking companies and bus companies. Programs are offered for owner operators, private fleets, and for hire carriers.
For small companies and owner operators, the consortium program works best and can be set up in two business days. Immediately upon getting set up you will receive a Certificate of Enrollment to verify your compliance with the random drug testing requirements. Random drug and alcohol is conducted quarterly and you will be notified by e-mail and/or phone call of you random selections each quarter. Remember this program is about safety so be sure you are in compliance so that you are in compliance with regulations DOT 49 CFR Part 40 and FMCSA 49 CFR Part 382.
National Drug Screening will assist trucking companies with new entrant examinations and FMCSA audits. Always notify us immediately when you receive a notice of a new entrant examination, safety review or full audit. We can then help you get ready for the audit.
Some of the items that might be required in when you are visited by the FMCSA include:
- Controlled substance testing records for the past 365 days, results and summaries
- Verification of pre-employment negative drug test prior to the driver performing safety sensitive duties
- Verification of enrollment in random testing program either stand-alone or consortium
- Documentation of distribution of driver information materials
- Documentation of required DOT Supervisor Training for Reasonable Suspicion Determinations
- Verification of written DOT drug and alcohol testing policy
DOT random testing consortium programs for owner operators are easy to implement and affordable – less than $100.00 per year. Act now to have a safe organization in compliance and avoid fines of up to $10,000 per violation.