DOT Drug & Alcohol Testing – Error Correction Training

This blog post will cover:

What is Error Correction Training

The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) drug and alcohol testing program requires error correction training when there is a fatal flaw in the specimen collection for a drug test or the performance of an alcohol test.

We define error correction training as training provided to BATs, collectors, and screening test technicians (STTs) following an error that resulted in the cancellation of a drug or alcohol test. Error correction training must be provided in person or by a means that provides real‐time observation and interaction between the instructor and trainee.

Labs reject specimens for drug testing then there is a fatal flaw. If the reason for rejecting the test was a collector error, when a test is canceled by the MRO, the collector who collected the specimen will need to go through an error correction training process within 30 days addressing the specific problem that caused the specimen to be canceled.

For alcohol testing, If the alcohol technician makes a mistake in the alcohol testing process that causes a test to be canceled (i.e., a fatal or uncorrected flaw), the alcohol technician must undergo error correction training. This training must occur within 30 days of the date the alcohol technician is notified of the error that led to the need for retraining.

The collector or alcohol testing technician does not have to stop DOT specimen collections or alcohol testing during the 30 days. The error correction training is required to cover only the subject matter area(s) in which the error that caused the test to be canceled occurred.

As part of the error correction training, the collector must demonstrate proficiency in the collection or alcohol test procedures by completing three consecutive error-free mock collections. The mock collections must include one uneventful scenario and two scenarios related to the area(s) in which your error(s) occurred. The person providing the training must monitor and evaluate performance in real-time and attest in writing that the mock collections or mock alcohol tests were “error-free.”

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Why Would a Collector Need Error Correction Training

Error correction training is required when a collector or alcohol technician makes a mistake in the testing or collection process that causes a test to be canceled (i.e., a fatal or uncorrected flaw), the collector or alcohol technician must undergo error correction training. This training must occur within 30 days of the date the specimen collector or alcohol technician is notified of the error that led to the need for retraining.

If the collector or alcohol technician did not complete error-correction training within 30 days of being notified that error-correction training was required, he/she is not qualified to act as a collector or alcohol technician. This collector or alcohol technician should not be performing any drug testing or alcohol testing until such time as the error correction training and proficiency demonstration is completed.

An employer should notify collectors and alcohol technicians of the need for error correction training and should not use these folks for services until the error correction training is complete.

What are Fatal Flaws

The following errors or omissions are considered “fatal flaws” according to the Department of Transportation for drug testing. These errors or omissions will result in a rejection of a specimen or a canceled test.

When the laboratory discovers a “fatal flaw” during its processing of incoming specimens the laboratory will report that the specimen has been “Rejected for Testing” (with the reason stated). The MRO must always cancel such a test.

The following are fatal flaws in the DOT alcohol testing process, DOT 49 CFR Part 40 Section 40.267:

Where Can I Get Error Correction Training

The best resources we have found for error correction training and proficiency demonstration are:

  1. National Drug Screening, call Char Clark at 844-276-6641 or e-mail: orders@nationaldrugscreening.com
    Order Now ERROR CORRECTION TRAINING & MOCKS
  2. National Drug and Alcohol Screening Association (NDASA), course titled: ERROR CORRECTION TRAINING FOR CANCELED TESTS: LIVE INSTRUCTION
error correction instructor
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