For you to understand how the most reputable and legit DOT compliance service providers help the transportation industry, you should first know what they are and what they do. DOT compliance service providers are also known as third-party administrators. Some people call them consortium as well and they are an entity that performs several DOT compliance-related services for you. They help you maintain a proper drug and alcohol testing policy at your workplace. In addition to that, they help you maintain proper vehicle conditions and train your drivers and safety-sensitive position holders in various regulations and requirements laid down by the federal motor carrier safety administration and the US department of transportation.
What Does A Third-Party Administration Do?
A third-party administrator or consortium is responsible for managing all your DOT-related programs and helps you manage your testing records in addition to implementing various rules and regulations in your organization that have been mandated by the department of transportation and the FMCSA. They have adequate knowledge about drug and alcohol testing regulations and the various best practices that you should implement in your organization if your company is regulated by the US department of transportation.
The Difference Between TPA And C/TPA
There is no difference between the two. TPA stands for third-party administrator and C/TPA means consumption/third-party administrator. This terminology came into existence in the 2001 version of 49 CFR Part 40.
6 Ways Legit DOT Compliance Service Providers Can Help You Stay Compliant In The Transport Sector
You have to fulfill the clearinghouse requirement every year by performing an annual limited query. If you can obtain any data or information about the driver or safety-sensitive position holder for which you have conducted a limited query, you are then required to perform a full query. This is mandatory for every owner/operator. If you are in the transport sector, your third-party administrator can help you fulfill this requirement without fail.
Drug And Alcohol Testing
One of the biggest tasks and responsibilities of a DOT compliance facilitator is that they can help you come up with relevant drug and alcohol testing procedures in your workplace. This procedure is customized to the needs of your organization and is in line with the rules and regulations laid down by the federal authority.
- Managing Drug And Alcohol Violations
Let's say that some of your drivers or safety-sensitive position holders have been violating the rules and regulations related to drug and alcohol use at the workplace as defined by the federal motor carrier safety administration. What will be your next step? You will first have to make sure that the driver or safety-sensitive position holder is removed from his position effective immediately. Your third-party administrator is going to help you come up with an action plan under which you will report this violation to the authorities. The next step will be to enroll the driver in a correctional program where he will be rehabilitated. The next step will be to conduct a return-to-duty examination followed by a follow-up test.
Helping You Discover Violations
How can you forget this critical point? Uncovering any ongoing violations related to drug and alcohol use in the workplace is also a very critical responsibility. Regular driver assessment and training in addition to periodic yet random testing is essential if you want to identify any drug and alcohol-related violations and abuses in the workplace. Also, this is where supervisor training comes into the picture. All your supervisors who are in charge of your drivers and safety-sensitive position holders are trained to identify signs and symptoms of alcohol and drug use and abuse at the workplace. This makes your supervisors highly skilled and qualified to make sure that nobody in your organization uses any kind of prohibited substances and puts anyone in the way of harm. This makes your organization safe for everyone.
MRO services are also paramount when it comes to maintaining proper discipline in your workplace, especially related to the use of prohibited substances including alcohol and drugs. Your third-party administrator can offer you dependable MRO services. A medical review officer can get the drug test results of your drivers sooner than you think. Medical review officers are always required to be in strict compliance with DOT rule 49 CFR Part 40.
Formulating A Custom Random Testing Process
As a player in the transport industry, it is essential that you have a random drug and alcohol testing procedure in place. Your third-party administrator can help you develop a highly personalized and totally random testing procedure for your organization. Because it is a random procedure, all your employees are on high alert practically throughout the year. It comes with the uncertainty that any of your employees or safety-sensitive position holders might get picked up for the random test. This makes it very necessary for all of them to stay sober throughout the year. None of them wants their driver's license to be revoked or canceled.
5 Things To Look For In A Consortium Or Third-Party Administrator
This is a very important aspect that you should be looking out for when choosing a third-party administrator to avoid DOT compliance scams. If they are properly insured, you can choose them without any doubt or second thoughts.
Of course, they must be skilled and adequately qualified to perform your DOT-related services for you. Whether serving the clearinghouse queries or doing the MCS-150 filing or the UCR registration and filing, they should know how to go about it so that they do not have to deal with any of the paperwork related to all these formalities.
If they can produce a certification of their affiliation or any document that expresses their credibility, you should go for them. If the TPA is not able to produce a verifiable certificate, do not choose their services.
Experience is also very important. If they do not have any knowledge about working with US DOT-regulated industries, it is not a smart decision to work with them.
Every organization has different needs. You might be involved more in hazardous materials transport as opposed to a company that transports fast-moving consumer goods across state lines. You will have different needs as compared to that other player. The TPA should be able to understand this well enough.
Remember, even the US department of transportation and the federal motor carrier safety administration recommend you choose a dependable, skilled, reputable, and highly qualified, third-party administrator for your company. This is because handling your DOT-related formalities and paperwork, and implementing important rules at the workplace can get highly complicated.