SAP Evaluation

SAP Evaluation (Substance Abuse Professional)

A SAP is a professional who has taken specialized training and testing to gain the designation of Substance Abuse Professional (SAP). When a person has a DOT workplace violation, the only person who can perform the required evaluation is a SAP.

That decision needs to be made between the employer and employee. Some employers have arranged for SAP services to be covered by an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Some employers pay the cost of SAP services on behalf of their employees. However, many employers require the employees to pay on their own. A SAP neither advocates for the employer nor the employee. The SAP function is to protect the public interest in safety by professionally evaluating the employee and recommending appropriate education and/or treatment, follow-up testing and aftercare. The primary safety objective of the DOT rules is to prevent (through deterrence and detection) alcohol and controlled substance users from performing transportation industry safety-sensitive functions. A transportation worker who has violated DOT regulations (DOT Regulations, 49 CFR Part 40) must follow a specific procedure before being considered for return to safety-sensitive function.

Who is covered by this regulation?

There are many employees bound by the 49 CFR Part 40 DOT Regulation. They include*:

A person who operates (i.e., drives) a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) with a gross vehicle weight rating (gvwr) of 26,001 or more pounds; or is designed to transport 16 or more occupants (to include the driver); or is of any size and is used in the transport of hazardous materials that require the vehicle to be placarded.

locomotive engineers, trainmen, conductors, switchmen, locomotive hostlers/helpers, utility employees, signalmen, operators, and train dispatchers.

A person who performs on a pipeline or liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility an operation, maintenance, or emergency-response function.

flight crewmember duties, flight attendant duties, flight instruction duties, aircraft dispatch duties, aircraft maintenance or preventive maintenance duties; ground security coordinator duties; aviation screening duties; air traffic control duties, and operations control specialist duties

A person who is on board a vessel acting under the authority of a license, certificate of registry, or merchant mariner’s document. Also, a person engaged or employed on board a U.S. owned vessel

What to Expect

The SAP conducts an initial face-to-face clinical evaluation, including standardized testing.  DOT’s rule requires recommendation for treatment and/or education in every case.  The SAP must send an initial evaluation report to the Designated Employer Representative (DER).

The SAP can assist the employee in contacting the treatment provider, and arranging for services;

The SAP maintains regular contact with the treatment provider, to monitor the employee’s treatment progress, and to confirm suitability of the treatment plan;

The SAP will conduct a face-to-face follow-up clinical evaluation to determine if the employee has complied with the SAP’s recommendations, and to measure success of treatment.  If the employee has complied with the SAP’s recommendation, the SAP sends a follow-up report is to the DER, including SAP’s recommendations for a program of aftercare and follow-up testing.

Per DOT Regulations, Follow-up and Return to Duty testing’s are observed.


Initial session with licensed clinician. During this session your therapist assess a variety of areas using a bio psychosocial interview.

The bio psychosocial interview is an assessment of questions that determines psychological, biological, and social factors that could be contributing to a person’s problem or problems. Your therapist will collect information regarding current and past information regarding family, medical, mental health, relationships, education, employment and legal. At the end of the evaluation, your therapist will make recommendations. These recommendations can be for no treatment, individual treatment, family/couples treatment, referral to another level of care, referral for a specific treatment modality, referral for medical follow up and/or referral for further assessment ie Psychiatry.