This course provides instruction to assist Designated Employer Representatives (DERs) of companies whose employees fall under the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to maintain compliance of their drug and alcohol testing program. As a DER, it is required  for you to understand the drug and alcohol testing process and what actions are required under DOT – FRA regulations. The Designated Employer Representative must also be knowledgeable about any service agents involved in the testing process, including collectors, MROs, laboratory personnel, SAPs, and C/TPAs.


Designated Employer Representatives have specific duties for DOT compliance including the management of the drug and alcohol testing program. DERs will be required to:

  • Insure the proper management of the random drug & alcohol testing
  • Receive drug & alcohol test results
  • Remove employees from safety-sensitive jobs in the event of a positive drug or alcohol test result
  • Refer employees to a SAP – Substance Abuse Professional when required
  • Coordinate follow up testing after a return to duty
  • Coordinate doctor referrals for “shy bladder” and “shy lung” situations

DERs must understand requirements of the testing process including:

  • Compliance with 49 CFR Part 40 and FRA regulations
  • Knowledge of urine collection procedures
  • Understanding of breath alcohol testing procedures
  • Receiving of drug and alcohol test results
  • Awareness of correctable flaws, fatal flaws, and problem collection situations
  • Determining if a situation is a refusal to test


As a DER for an employer with FRA regulated employees, you are responsible for administering the Drug and Alcohol Testing Program in compliance with bot DOT and FRA regulations as well as interacting with drug and alcohol testing service agents. The DER must take actions necessary according to the results of the required drug or alcohol tests and is authorized by the employer to take immediate action(s)including removal of employees from safety-sensitive duties.