An FAA-regulated company must appoint a Designated Employer Representative (DER) as the person in charge of the company’s drug and alcohol testing program. The DER shall be responsible for:
Providing oversight and evaluation of the drug and alcohol testing program
Providing guidance and counseling
Reviewing all discipline applied under this plan for consistency and conformance to human resources policies and procedures
Scheduling types of testing (random, post-accident, reasonable suspicion, etc.)
Maintaining a locked file system on all test results
Overseeing the referral of employees for evaluation and treatment
The Designated Employer Representative is an employee authorized to take immediate action to remove employees from (or have them removed from) safety-sensitive duties and to make required decisions in the testing and evaluation processes. The DER function cannot be outsourced.
The position of DER is a huge responsibility for a company employee. Fortunately, training for DERs is available. US Drug Test Centers can offer to DERs a comprehensive training program delivered by:
Live in-person training
Live webinar training
Computer-based online training
FAA Required Drug and Alcohol Testing Program
US Drug Test Centers can help you with the initial steps to develop and implement your FAA required drug and alcohol testing program.
First, obtain the applicable Operations Specifications paragraph or FAA DOT drug test and alcohol testing program registration as described in 14 CFR §§ 120.117 and 120.225
Ensure that no one is hired for or transferred into a safety-sensitive function without first getting a DOT FAA pre employment drug test and receiving a negative test result. More information regarding the DOT/FAA pre-employment drug test may be found in 14 CFR § 120.109(a). Pre-employment alcohol testing is not required but may be implemented according to 14 CFR § 120.217(a)
Educate and train your employees on the effects and consequences of drug abuse and alcohol misuse. More information regarding training and materials may be found in 14 CFR §§ 120.115 and 120.223
Ensure that employees are placed into the random FAA DOT drug screening and alcohol testing pool and have an equal chance of being tested each time selections are made. More information regarding random testing may be found in 14 CFR §§ 120.109(b) and 120.217(c)
There are many more requirements of the drug and alcohol testing regulations. US Drug Test Centers can help.
Remember that it’s not just airlines that must implement the FAA required drug and alcohol testing regulations. The Federal Aviation Administration's drug and alcohol testing regulations (14 CFR part 120) require any CFR Part 119 certificate holder that is authorized to operate under CFR Parts 121 and/or 135 to ensure that any person who performs safety-sensitive functions (e.g., maintenance or preventive maintenance), directly or by contract (including by subcontract at any tier), is subject to drug and alcohol testing. See boxes below for safety-sensitive positions and FAA testing requirements.
When hiring by contract, the air carrier must either:
1. Cover the contractor's safety-sensitive employees under its FAA drug and alcohol testing program; or
2. Ensure that the contractor has implemented its own FAA drug and alcohol testing program.
For expert consultation on FAA drug and alcohol testing programs and random testing consortiums, please contact US Drug Test Centers.
Employees Covered in the FAA Drug and Alcohol Testing
Under the FAA program, a covered employee means an individual who performs, either directly or by contract, a safety-sensitive function listed in §§ 120.105 and 120.215 for an employer (as defined in paragraph (i) of this section). For purposes of pre-employment testing only, the term "covered employee" includes an individual applying to perform a safety-sensitive function. The safety-sensitive functions in the FAA drug and alcohol testing are:
Flight crewmember duties
Flight attendant duties
Flight instruction duties
Aircraft dispatcher duties
Aircraft maintenance and preventative maintenance duties
Ground security coordinator duties
Operations control specialist duties
Aviation screening duties
Air traffic control duties
FAA Drug and Alcohol Testing Training Required
The FAA requires a strict educational program which includes:
Conducting and documenting initial training for employees and their supervisors about drug use
Supervisors who will make reasonable cause/suspicion testing determinations must complete initial training
Supervisors who make reasonable cause drug testing determinations must receive recurrent training. The employer must display and distribute the drug policy, a hotline number, and drug informational materials, as well as distribute and document distribution of your alcohol misuse policy
Make sure the drug and alcohol policies include the consequences for using drugs while performing, testing positive, violating the alcohol prohibitions, or refusing to submit to testing
Best practices to ensure compliance with education and training include:
Conduct recurrent training for supervisors on a 12-18 month schedule, and include a refresher on alcohol testing
Document all parts of training, including the date it took place, who attended, how long it lasted, and what topics were covered
Starting an FAA drug and alcohol testing program is not an easy task. US Drug Test Centers can provide expert assistance to get you started. US Drug Test Centers can act as your Consortium/Third-Party Administrator (C/TPA), a service agent that can implement the required components of the drug and alcohol testing program for you, the employer. We can provide the following services to help you to be in compliance with the FAA.