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What is a DER or Designated Employer Representative?

The DER is a term used in DOT drug and alcohol testing programs and recently also becoming popular for non-DOT drug and alcohol testing programs. 

The DER or primary contact person is the employer representative for the drug and alcohol testing program. It doesn’t matter the title of the person but what is important is that the primary contact person or the DER has the authority to manage the program, make decisions, answer questions and take care of problems.  Today many non-DOT companies are starting also to use the term DER. For the purpose of this manual we will use the term DER as the primary contact person (DOT or Non-DOT) who has the authority to manage the drug and alcohol testing program, make decisions, answer questions and take care of problems.

For every client, the C/TPA should immediately request the employer to assign a Designated Employer Representative (DER). This simple step can save the C/TPA tremendous grief later on if there is confusion as to any issues of how the C/TPA services are being administered for that particular company.  It is also important that the employees of a company have knowledge of who is in charge of drug and alcohol testing in the event they have questions.

A best practice is during the initial stages of contracting with the employer that the DER be identified and communicated with as part of the onboarding process.

An employer cannot outsource the function of the DER.  An exception to this is when the employer is an owner operator and the C/TPA assumes some of the DER responsibilities.

A DER has a responsibility to be well trained to perform their duties.  Call 866-843-4545 to learn about upcoming DER training opportunities.