Are Dot Compliance Service Groups Legitimate? 7 Things You Should Know Before Signing Up

Are Dot Compliance Service Groups Legitimate? 7 Things You Should Know Before Signing Up

Written by Olivia, In Business, Published On
February 2, 2023

Actually, there is a lot that you should know about the dot compliance facilitator or your potential third-party administrator before you sign any contract with them. They are individuals or companies that understand the requirements laid down by the department of transportation and the federal motor carrier safety administration.

They are aware of all the requirements that are needed to be fulfilled by any commercial entity that is governed by these two agencies. All the tasks that are related to keeping your employees and drivers, supervisors, safety-sensitive position holders, and everyone involved in your business 100% compliant are handled by them. From conducting random drug and alcohol testing programs to helping you with your fleet safety, vehicle inspection, and much more, these third-party administrators can take away a lot of your stress.

Random Testing – The Biggest Responsibility Of Your Consortium?

The one thing that keeps your company and all your employees, associates, partners, and safety-sensitive position holders 100% compliant with the rules and regulations laid down by the authority and federal bodies is the random drug and alcohol testing program that you can get formulated with the help of your TPA.

Everybody stresses this for the simple reason that it is one of the most effective ways to keep you compliant and away from any fines and penalties that the authorities may slap on you if you are found violating any of these rules and regulations. As an owner/operator, you may not be permitted to manage your own random testing processes yourself. These DOT compliance service groups out there can manage owner/operator programs and as a result they and a playing a very unique service agent role.

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Do you know that §40.355(k) does not allow service agents to serve as designated employer representatives? This is where the consortium is authorized and qualified to perform several employer functions. There are no specific qualifications and formal requirements that a consortium or third-party administrator must fulfill. However, the typical expectation is that they must be aware of all the employer requirements and responsibilities that must be fulfilled to keep the entity 100% compliant under 49 CFR Part 40 and Part 382. Then there are the requirements that are related closely to all of this that are mentioned in Part 383, Part 391, and Part 392 as well.

When it comes to understanding what makes for a legitimate and dependable DOT compliance group or a third-party administrator that you can rely on, you must make sure that they know the following and more:

  • §40.341 – Knowledge of whether the service agents should comply with DOT drug and alcohol testing requirements or not
  • §40.343 – What a service agent is allowed or expected to perform for an employer
  • §40.345 – A C/TPA may, in some circumstances act as an intermediary when it comes to transmitting information related to drug and alcohol testing to employers
  • §40.347 – There are certain functions that a C/TPA is expected to perform concerning administering testing
  • §40.349 –They should know what records they may receive and maintain
  • §40.351 – Knowledge of what confidentiality requirements can and will apply to service agents
  • §40.353 – Complete awareness of the principles that govern the interaction between MROs (medical review officers) and other service agents
  • §40.355 – Limitations that may or may not apply to the activities of service agents
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Now, let’s come to a few specific points that you should be looking out for when locating the most skilled, dependable, and experienced DOT compliance service groups near you:

  • Background

When you talk about the background, they should be well aware of the Federal motor carrier safety Administration and must understand the rules and regulations laid down by the authority. The TPA may not be equipped to represent a company in any federal matters but should be aware of the guidelines issued by relevant authorities. Your TPA does not necessarily have to be associated with any federal bodies.

  • Location

It is always better to look for DOT compliance service groups that are located in your own state. This way, they are going to have the proper knowledge of the state laws, rules, and regulations that apply to your company. They can also guide you on how to keep your workplace completely free of drug and alcohol use and abuse.

  • Insurance

Insurance is also a must. Make sure to look for adequate insurance coverage and ask for an insurance certificate to ascertain the professional liability of the TPA you want to associate with. This should also apply to the drug and alcohol testing procedure that they come up with for your company.

  • Qualification

Most companies governed by the US department of transportation and the FMCSA should look out for a TPA with considerable experience in this industry. Make sure they are not embroiled in any DOT compliance scams. This is going to work as a qualification enough.

  • Certification

It is important to ask to see the certifications that the third-party administrator has in their name. They should have certification from the Nationality Accredited For Administration Of Drug And Alcohol Testing Programs. This is a subsidiary of the Drug And Alcohol Industry Association. When they have this accreditation, you know that the TPA is functional and trustworthy.

  • Contract

Should you be willing to enter into an association with the TPA without having a valid contract or agreement? Never. You will have to review the roles and responsibilities of the TPA before you sign any agreement with them. You will be able to find the responsibilities that they will be fulfilling for you in the service agreement.

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Now you know how to locate the most dependable and legitimate DOT compliance service provider group for your company. DOT compliance is not something that you should take lightly. It is your responsibility as well as your prerogative to keep everyone in your company 100% compliant and safe throughout the year.

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