Why New Directions DOT SAP Assessment & Evaluation?
I really appreciate the level of professionalism and kindness that I was shown during this process. My counselor Trevor was extremely professional, non-judgmental, and made me feel at ease. I appreciate the time he spent with me and his assistance in helping me through this difficult time. - MM
Educate Yourself About the Process for Free Before You Get Your Assessment
Having a DOT Drug testing violation for the average person can be frustrating, scary, confusing or downright angering. How did I let this happen? Or... how did this even happen? For 19+ years we have been helping truck drivers, pipeline workers, public transit employees, and others in safety-related jobs, to understand the SAP assessment process, and find an efficient but safe way to cross all the t's and dot all the i's to get back to work. We are a small owner-run company giving personalized service to every employee who calls us with questions about their SAP violation. We do provide SAP evaluations, but we also have a mission to educate and support you through the process, even if you don't spend a penny with our service.
Many important questions come up during the return to work process. How long will this take? How long will I be on the Clearinghouse (for CDL holders)? How will I find my next job with this on my record? How much is all of this really going to cost me? Is it even worth it to go through a SAP evaluation? And many more. Call us, our team understands the rules of the DOT return to work process and we urge you to get educated before, during, and after your assessment. That is our mission - please call us to learn more. We would love to help you get back to work as safely and as soon as possible!
What Makes New Directions SAP Assessment Different
19+ YEARS of DOT/SAP EXPERIENCE
We are not a giant company just passing your assessment off to someone we don't know and marking up the service. Our owner is a SAP with 19 years of experience helping employees not only with their evaluations but with the questions they have before, during, and after their evaluation. We only hire SAPs who are experienced and share our philosophy of great customer service while making sure you meet all DOT regulations and rules
FREE CONSULTING FROM REAL PEOPLE WHO KNOW THE PROCESS
Don't buy a SAP evaluation until you understand the entire process. We are here to help you understand the process and your options, even if you don't purchase the service from us. Call us!
GET STARTED WITHIN 24-28 HOURS: Getting back to work is no joke!
We schedule the vast majority of employees within 24-48 hours. In some cases, we charge a rush order fee if same-day, next-day, or weekend service initiation is requested to accommodate you.
FRIENDLY RESPONSIVE CUSTOMER SERVICE: Having a violation doesn't make you a criminal.
We understand that people make mistakes, life is challenging, and there is always a unique set of circumstances behind any rule violation or a positive drug test. Our customer service and SAP team like helping people. We answer the phone with a live person or call you back ASAP 5 days a week and weekends when able. Call us and you will feel the difference!
FREE FOLLOW-UP HELP ONCE YOU ARE FINISHED WITH YOUR EVALUATION
Many unexpected questions can come up when you are all finished with your SAP assessment. Who does the drug testing? What about the FMCSA Clearinghouse? How do you know if your employer is doing all the follow-up testing correctly? How will you get copies of your SAP evaluation forwarded whenever you need them...and dozens more. Employees and Safety Directors call us weeks and months after we have finished the SAP evaluation with all sorts of follow-up questions. Many SAPs can't be reached or are unable to take time on a phone call to help. Our team welcomes your calls and questions. Follow-up contact is part of our customer service philosophy. You can call us anytime and we will get back to you just as soon as possible.
PRICE QUOTES: Call us for a quote for your needs.
We recognize that people have different situations so we price based on your case. We believe you usually get what you pay for, but you shouldn't have to overpay to get high-quality, friendly, efficient service.
Start Your DOT SAP Assessment Today
NOTE: Online/remote services by videoconference are allowable by ODAPC.
New Directions regularly provides SAP assessments to:
Heavy equipment operators
Pilots & air traffic controllers
FRA & All DOT safety-sensitive employees
We prioritize our clients’ requests and can typically schedule an initial evaluation interview within 24-48 hours of registration.
You can complete all of your paperwork online. We’ll set up a video conference with a qualified SAP upon completion. Each of our SAP evaluators is a qualified SAP with current training updates per the DOT regulations.
If you are working in a safety-sensitive position but not under DOT regulations, our employer-required assessment should be adequate for your employer. We accept DOT and non-DOT assessment requests. Your organization is welcome to review our website or call us for additional information and references. We can also provide referrals for you to speak to—HR professionals who have trusted us since 2004.
What Others Are Saying About Our DOT SAP Assessment Services
Quick, professional, straight to the point. Once hundred times better than attempting in person programs if you have a court order assessment. I highly recommend NDSBS.
We were able to complete the questionnaire online and the interview via telephone. It took about an hour and the report came back a few days later as promised. I highly recommend going this route for your voluntary or mandated assessment.
I’m especially pleased with the professionalism, timeliness, and willingness to help with specific questions/concerns regarding my general alcohol/substance abuse evaluation completed by Trevor.
This service was just what I needed! I was in a rush, and it provided the perfect opportunity to get my assessment done within the timeframe I needed! Highly recommended, and Trevor was very helpful, a great interviewer.
DOT SAP Assessments Accepted in All States
Our assessments are accepted nationwide, making the process simple and straightforward
regardless of where you reside or the location of your employer.
Get answers to some of the most frequently asked questions around DOT SAP Assessment.
What Is a DOT SAP Assessment?
A SAP assessment is a clinical assessment of an individual performed by a substance abuse professional. It intends to determine whether they have issues linked to alcohol and/or drug use and what steps are necessary before being allowed to return to safety-sensitive functions at work.
Ultimately the SAP’s responsibility is to consider the public's safety and only approve individuals for a return to duty alcohol and/or drug test when it is safe to do so from a professional and clinical perspective.
If someone has not passed a DOT alcohol or drug test at work or refuses to take one, they are required to take a SAP evaluation. During the evaluation, the substance abuse professional may discuss many areas, such as any current drug or alcohol use, family history, and health history.
What Are the 6 Steps to Return to Duty for A CDL Holder?
The FMCSA Clearinghouse return to duty process after an alcohol or drug testing violation is a 6-step process following federal rules (Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations 382). The truth is that those steps also have a lot of details attached to them that can trip people up if they don’t dedicate a little time to learning the process. Here is a summary of those steps along with some added explanation for greater clarity:
1 Register/Login and find your violation on the FMCSA Clearinghouse (clearinghouse.fmcsa.DOT.gov)
Once here select/request your SAP
2 Schedule & attend the initial evaluation in person or by video with your SAP; the SAP will give you recommendations to complete, and all persons are given recommendations regardless of the severity of their violation or personal background. This is a DOT rule not subject to the opinion of the SAP.
3 Complete and obtain documentation of completion of all recommendations as directed by your SAP (education, counseling, or treatment).
4 Schedule & attend a follow-up SAP evaluation one or more times to reach compliance with your recommendations as determined by your SAP
5 Complete a return to duty drug DOT alcohol and/or drug test ordered by an employer willing to put you into an active duty position if your test is negative
6 Complete your full follow-up drug testing schedule AND wait a total of 5 years total of continuous or intermittent employment for your violation to be removed from the clearinghouse. Note: some individuals may have a SAP-recommended aftercare plan to complete even after they are back to work. It is very important that you follow the recommendations and document completion of them for the employer.
How Long Does A DOT SAP Assessment Take to Complete?
The SAP evaluation is not a one-size-fits-all process so the answer is, “it depends”. The purpose of the initial assessment is to determine what sort of corrective action or prevention is good for your situation. One person might have a long-standing alcohol or drug problem while another may have simply used poor judgment in a one-off situation but by no means has an “addiction” or “substance dependence” requiring a treatment program. It is important to recognize also that even if you don’t have an addiction or substance dependence, the DOT requires that SAP assessments include a recommendation for education at a minimum. Of course, you might ask, what kind of education, how long does the minimum take, and how much does it cost? Those are all reasonable questions, but the DOT rightly does not want a cookie-cutter, jump-through-the-hoops approach. They want safe highways, airways, public transit systems, and so forth. That means your best approach to answer this question is to pick an experienced SAP who knows the difference between a substance use incident, a substance use problem, and a substance use addiction or dependence. After your initial evaluation, you will know the next steps to remedy the problem. And if you get busy working on the recommendation immediately and with a determination to learn from it, no matter how short or long the process, the faster you will complete the process. One individual might be completed with their assessment and recommendations in a week, while another might need 3 weeks, and another might require months.
How Soon Can I Start My Assessment?
In 95% of cases, we can get you started the same day you call. You first need to complete a questionnaire that prepares us for your interview. You will need an initial interview with a SAP (substance abuse professional) after completing the questionnaire. We typically schedule these within 24-48 hours. We understand that when your work comes to an abrupt stop, usually there are numerous problems that all happen simultaneously, possibly making things very stressful until you complete this DOT-required process to return to your normal duties.
If you are a CDL holder you will also need to spend a little time getting your FMCSA Clearinghouse account setup. We can help you get this started the same day you call. In some cases, your DOT violation may not be listed because the Medical Review Officer and/or employer who reports your violation, has not listed your violation on the Clearinghouse yet. They are the only authorities that can do this for you, but if you have a violation it is typically just a matter of a few hours to days before your violation will show up on your account.
Am I Going to Have to Go Through a Long Treatment Program?
As mentioned above, a DOT SAP assessment is not a one-size-fits-all program. The point of the initial evaluation interview is to determine what your risks are in regards to substance use and possible impact on safely carrying out your job responsibilities. Some individuals may have a relatively simple situation with a low risk for substance abuse problems, while others may have complicating factors such as a recent death in the family, a breakup, a family history of substance use problems, chronic pain conditions, and so forth. Some individuals may be ready to return to work safely and with little risk after brief education. Others might need to take time to speak to a counselor or therapist. And others might need to enroll in a more intensive outpatient (or inpatient) treatment program to get a fresh start. We encourage you to be honest with your SAP evaluator. This will help ensure that you get the most out of the program and will help reduce the chances that you have similar problems later. Some individuals may be defensive enough or tempted to be dishonest about their past substance use or choices that led to the DOT test violation, but it is important to remember that once you finish the SAP evaluation you can be follow-up tested for up to 5 years in addition to any company random tests. The DOT has put the follow-up testing requirements in place so that any individuals who attempt to fool the SAP evaluator will be identified later by additional follow-up testing. Follow-up testing frequency is set at the frequency of the evaluator. This means that any individuals who raise suspicion about their own honesty and integrity during their SAP evaluation may face a very strict, costly, and time-consuming follow-up test plan.
How Long Will I Have to Have Extra Follow-Up Testing After My SAP Assessment?
All employees under federal DOT testing rules must submit to 6 tests (drug and/or alcohol as determined by the SAP) within the first 12 months of returning to duty. The SAP can submit a testing schedule for a period up to five years. The SAP is also allowed to schedule a year or more time period without a drug test followed by a year with multiple drug tests. If you have periods after your SAP assessment where you are not employed then the five-year follow-up testing period is paused until your return to DOT regulated employment. In the event of paused employment (or a missed testing period – see below), the “five-year” period is extended so that your testing period covers 5 actual employment years with the testing schedule completed as directed by the SAP during each year. As an employee, you are not able to see or know your follow-up testing schedule. However, we strongly recommend you keep in touch with the safety/HR director of any DOT-regulated employer about any follow-up tests being on track for the year. (see below)
Should I be Talking to The Safety/HR Director About My Follow-Up Testing Schedule?
Most definitely, yes! While you should not ask and are not allowed to know the number of follow-up tests in any given year we encourage you to respectfully keep in touch with whoever is in charge of your testing. Here’s why. Often in smaller companies, the safety/HR role can be extremely busy or possibly neglected. If the employer falls behind on ordering his can create big problems for you later down the road, no pun intended for truck drivers. We frequently find employees come to us extremely upset and wanting help when they find out their follow-up testing was not done in the time period as specified by the SAP. Unfortunately, this can be long after the original SAP assessment – in some cases years if it has been completely ignored. Isn’t it the employer's responsibility to have the follow-up testing schedule executed? Yes! However, do all employers make sure it is followed to a T? Unfortunately, they do not. Also unfortunately, you as the employee are the one who is impacted the most as you will still need to follow the testing schedule, making up all the time and tests that were missed even if it covers months or years. And if you are a CDL holder, there is another risk with the employer. Some employers have been known to order the tests but failed to list them on the FMCSA Clearinghouse. If that happens and you have taken another job in the meantime it can be extremely difficult to get the previous employer to correct your testing history in the Clearinghouse. In many cases, you may have to start fresh and will have lost the time you could have been carving off of your overall 5 year testing period. The sooner your testing schedule is completed the sooner you can show prospective employers that your record is clear.
It is pretty easy to avoid all the complicated and frustrating problems that happen when your follow-up testing schedule is not being ordered and scheduled on time. Or in the case of CDL holders, you can avoid the same problem or the employer failing to record it on the clearinghouse. Simply keep in regular touch with your HR department, safety director, or the C/TPA (consortium third-party administrator that handles your company’s drug testing execution), not to ask when your next test is, or how many tests you have, but to ask them if you are on schedule for the current testing year. Also if you are an owner-operator or your company uses a C/TPA to administer their alcohol and drug testing program you are less likely to run into problems with this. That is because running drug testing programs is one of the main functions of a C/TPA, but that being said, it is a good policy to check in with them periodically and see if you comply with your follow-up alcohol and or drug testing as it pertains to your employment.
Additional Resources for DOT SAP Assessments
Please call us at 1-800-671-8589 to learn more about the DOT return to duty process and how our services might benefit you today!
Give us a call1-800-671-8589
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