As a service agent, National Drug Screening (NDS) provides a variety of services for our clients to maintain a defensible and compliant drug and alcohol testing program. NDS offers a full and complete package as well as à la carte services. Initial consultation with an employer is always available at no cost for an evaluation of what services the client may need.
As a Consortium/Third Party Administrator (C/TPA), National Drug Screening provides services for several thousand employers throughout the nation. The Consortium refers to groups of employers who join together to administer, as a single entity, the drug and alcohol testing programs of its members – primarily the random testing. This mainly involves employers entering employees into a group testing program for random selections and most often managed by a TPA or C/TPA.
Consortium services are provided for DOT regulated companies. These are companies regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Association (FMCSA), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Federal Transit Administration (FTA), and Federal Transit Administration (FTA).
FMCSA regulated trucking and bus companies. These types of companies with less then 40 drivers typically almost always use a Consortium/Third Party Administrator (C/TPA) to help manage the FMCSA required drug and alcohol testing program. FMCSA owner operators are required to participant in a consortium program for required random drug and alcohol programs. Larger trucking and bus companies with 40+ drivers typically operate with a stand-alone random drug and alcohol testing program. The stand-alone program is when the random pool consists of just the drivers of the one employer. The consortium random pool consists of the drivers of many companies. For companies with less then 40 drivers it is more efficient and more affordable to join the consortium program.
What Do Consortium Services Cost?
At National Drug Screening, our DOT consortium services are the most popular. There are various programs available depending on the number of employees in your company who will join the consortium. Check out the different package deals so you save money. For owner operators there is basically one choice with is very affordable and offers complete compliance – Owner Operator DOT Consortium Package: Includes Consortium & Pre-employment Test.
All our random consortium programs are priced at per driver per year for the random consortium. This great deal includes all random drug and alcohol tests. One price per driver per year guarantees random compliance and no extra costs for unlimited random drug and alcohol tests.
For larger companies with more than 40 drivers, we recommend a stand-alone random testing pool of just your own drivers. In these stand-alone random testing pools the fees are typically based on the cost of the tests that are conducted, plus typically a random management annual fee. We have programs available that include only the drug and alcohol testing and we have programs offering a complete DOT compliance package. Check out these consortium programs and the standard program for stand-alone random testing:
Setting Up New Drug Testing Employer Accounts
Access to Employee Assistance Programs (EAP). Many employers have an in-house EAP or it is part of the employee health insurance program. When there is no EAP, one can be easily implemented with a resource file of organizations that can help employees. Substance abuse treatment and rehabilitation programs are available. For DOT regulated employees, there is an additional requirement that may be coordinated by the EAP program, or the applicant/employee goes direct to a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP).
The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare. This is mandatory for positives or refusals on DOT drug or alcohol tests – employees or applicants.
Drug and Alcohol Testing
To set up the drug testing process for employers, we coordinate a collection facility or in some cases multiple collection facilities. These collection facilities collect the specimens for the drug test. Then an account is set up with a SAMHSA certified lab for the testing. Initial testing is performed with immunoassay technology. Screening technology is non-specific in that it does not differentiate among the drug class. Non-negative specimens then go through a confirmation testing process called mass spectrometry (GC/MS or LC-MS/MS).
LCMS (Liquid Chromatography coupled to Mass Spectrometry) and LCMS (Liquid Chromatography coupled to Mass Spectrometry) are procedures that can pinpoint the exact metabolite of the drug found in the urine being tested. This process is called the gold standard in drug testing.
Drug and alcohol tests can be ordered online with a web-based portal that manages the drug testing program. The traditional paper custody and control forms (CCF) are being faded out in favor of electronic custody and control forms (e-CCF).
What Else Does a TPA Do?
There are many other functions of a third-party administrator (TPA) or a Consortium/Third Party Administrator (TPA). Below is a list of TPA functions identified at the offices of National Drug Screening: