Designated Employer Representatives (DERs) play a vital role in maintaining safety in the aviation industry by ensuring that employers and employees comply with DOT-FAA’s Drug and Alcohol Testing regulations and requirements. The objective of this course is to provide instruction that enables the Designated Employer Representative (DER) of a company whose employees fall under the DOT – Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to understand their role and responsibilities. As a DER, it is important that you understand the drug and alcohol testing process as well as the actions required under DOT – FAA regulations. This course will help insure you are in compliance with the federal rules and regulations. As a DER for your organization, you should be  knowledgeable about not only the regulations but also the service agents involved in the testing process such as collectors, MROs, laboratory personnel, SAPs, and C/TPAs. This FAA DER course will provide you with knowledge of the requirements necessary to effectively manage your drug and alcohol testing program while remaining compliant with the Regulations.


As a Designated Employer Representative, you will have specific duties for DOT compliance. In addition to managing the drug and alcohol testing program, you will be required to:

  • Manage the random drug & alcohol testing independently or with assistance from TPA/Third Party Administrator
  • Properly handle drug & alcohol test results
  • Remove employees from safety-sensitive positions as required when a test result is positive or test is refused
  • Refer employees to the Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) upon a confirmed positive test result or refusal
  • Facilitate the return to duty process if allowed in your company policy
  • Coordinate follow up testing after a return to duty negative test result
  • Schedule physician referrals for “shy bladder” and “shy lung” situations

A DER must be familiar with the entire testing process including

  • Knowledge of 49 CFR Part 40 and FAA Regulations
  • Knowledge of Urine Specimen Collection Procedures
  • Knowledge of Breath Alcohol Testing procedures
  • Knowledge of Correction of flaws, fatal flaws, and problem test situations such as Refusals to Test


As a DER, you are responsible for administering the DOT Drug and Alcohol Testing Program. You will act as the liaison with drug and alcohol testing service agents. Every DER is informed of every test and its result. The DER performs the functions necessary according to the results of the tests and is authorized by the employer to take immediate action(s) including:

  • To remove employees from safety-sensitive duties
  • To make necessary decisions in the testing and evaluation process
  • Receives test results and other communications for the employer