Mistakes happen. You forget to sign a document, the test tube leaks, or the tube does not seal correctly. While you may be able to resolve or correct some errors, others are considered fatal flaws. If the urine sample is no longer usable and the test can no longer be run, it is considered a fatal flaw. Lab technicians responsible for a fatal flaw during a DOT drug test must complete error correction training within 30 days of notification to ensure they know how to perform testing correctly and avoid fatal errors in the future.
Why Error Correction Training?
You may think, “What’s the big deal? Everyone makes mistakes, right?” Of course, they do, but some mistakes have significant consequences. Fatal flaws in drug testing can be costly for all parties involved.
- A commercial driver can only work if they pass their drug screening. Mistakes can interrupt drivers’ ability to work and provide for their families.
- If the lab rejects the urine sample due to an error, the driver must now take time off their job to come to deliver a second sample for testing.
- Your collection center must use another appointment to correct the mistake, meaning they aren’t paid for that time.
- You pay double for materials and shipping.
Completing error correction training will help eliminate wasted time and materials for you, streamline testing for drivers, and keep those who chose your facility for testing happy, ensuring repeat business.
What Is Error Correction Training?
Consider the training course a refresher on properly collecting, labeling, documenting, and submitting urine samples from commercial drivers for drug testing. This course reviews several possible mistakes that result in a fatal flaw in the collection, including:
- Missing Custody and Control Form (CCF): A Drug Testing CCF must accompany every sample sent to the lab for testing to verify an authorized technician or collector completed the collection according to DOT regulations. This form ensures:
- The donor has read and signed the proper paperwork.
- The donor has provided identification.
- The sample came from the correct person.
- The sample was only out of the technician’s sight once it was labeled correctly and secured for transport according to federal regulations.
- The sample was delivered promptly for testing in good condition.
- Missing Collector Identification & Signature: The collector must sign and print their name on the CCF before submission. The lab knows who to talk to if there are any questions about the sample.
- Incorrectly Collected Sample: The sample must contain sufficient urine for the testing. The sample container must be adequately sealed to prevent leakage or contamination, labeled with identification numbers to match the accompanying CCF, and more.
A qualified monitor conducts the training, focusing on the specific areas of the process where fatal flaws can occur. To successfully complete their training, the collector or technician attending must demonstrate they understand how to avoid the error in the future and complete three consecutive error-free mock scenarios.
Where Do You Access Training?
DOT Specimen Collector Training is available online, making it a convenient option for any collection technician. You can work at your own pace and access the system when it is most convenient for you. However, you must complete the training within 30 days from the date you were notified about the fatal flaw.
There are several options for online Error Corrections Training. Any course you choose must meet or exceed training requirements for the following federal agencies:
FMCSA: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
FAA: Federal Aviation Administration
PHMSA: Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
FTA: Federal Transit Administration
USCG: United States Coast Guard
FRA: Federal Railroad Administration
What About the Mock Scenarios?
You can also complete the mock scenarios online using a web camera, where you will perform the entire collections process three times. You will need the following:
- A volunteer “donor” to interact with as you complete the collection.
- Collection materials for three separate urine collections.
- Three Drug Testing Custody and Control Forms to fill out.
All study materials should be provided by the agency performing the training online or by mail. You can also get collection materials and custody and control forms from the training company if you cannot access them. Order them early so you have time for delivery before the 30-day cut-off. You should schedule the testing early as well so you know if you need to arrange time off work and can give your employer proper notice.
Improving Your Skills
A fatal urine collection error isn’t the end of the world, but it is better to get the proper training to avoid repeating those mistakes in the future. Error correction training will help ensure accurate and efficient test results every time you collect a sample, making the process as straightforward as possible for everyone involved.