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DOT Supervisor Training

  • Published: Jan, 15 2020
  • Updated: Feb, 7 2020

According to the FMCSA, or the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, DOT supervisor training is a requirement under 49 CFR 382.603. This means that all supervisors who oversee drivers operating motor vehicles on the road need to be trained under the Department of Transportation guidelines to gain the ability to spot symptoms of both alcohol and drug abuse. These courses are required to be comprised of 60 minutes of training on the symptoms of alcohol use, and 60 minutes of training based around symptoms of controlled substance use. Before becoming a supervisor of employees who take to the road as part of their daily job, one must first undergo this DOT supervisor training. 

DOT supervisor training today no longer requires professionals to take time out of their busy day to go to a center to have their training when needed. Instead of visiting any sort of training or testing facility, DOT supervisor training can be completed with online instruction, allowing professionals to complete their DOT supervisor training on their own time and at their own convenience. 

Why Is DOT Supervisor Training Necessary? 

The central purpose of DOT supervisor training is to provide supervisors with the knowledge they need to determine if drug testing is warranted in any professional situation. Before requiring testing, there must first be reasonable suspicion of drug or alcohol use, and DOT supervisor training helps supervisors to determine when that reasonable suspicion exists. Without knowledge on reasonable suspicion, supervisors could be placing themselves in a difficult legal situation when they suspect drug or alcohol use is present in the employees they oversee.  

DOT supervisor training doesn’t just stop at reasonable suspicion, and many comprehensive courses touch on other necessary topics to leave enrollees feeling confident in their supervisor role. Part of many DOT supervisor training courses is how to approach drivers who you may suspect are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, how to deescalate tense situations, and how to document any evidence found or observations supervisors may make regarding employee behavior. Warning signs are also covered to help supervisors to pinpoint and identify substance abuse problems early on. 

DOT supervisor training is required for any supervisor of a company that operates vehicles requiring CDL licensure. While there is no current standing rule on updating your DOT supervisor training after a course has been completed once, many companies will require renewal every so often. It is recommended that these courses be re-taken around once every 18 to 24 months. Re-taking DOT supervisor training keeps supervisors on the up and up when it comes to being able to pinpoint the signs of substance abuse, and how to handle these situations should they arise. 

What Else Does DOT Supervisor Training Cover?  

DOT supervisor training is a worthwhile program outside of being a requirement to oversee professional drivers in a drug-free workplace. A few other points of interest covered by the DOT supervisor training program include:

  • Knowing the details of a drug-free workplace policy – Drug-free workplace policies may sound simple, but they aren’t always as cut and dry as they may seem. The DOT supervisor training program covers how to learn all the details of your organization’s drug-free workplace policy, and how to understand this policy from top to bottom. Violations, penalties, testing protocol, and updates to the policy should be known completely by supervisors. 
  • How to explain and teach the policy – Knowing the policy for yourself as a supervisor is important, but it’s also important to learn how to communicate this policy to others. The DOT supervisor training program will teach enrollees how to teach the policy and all relevant updates to employees of your organization. 
  • Understanding your role as supervisor – For those new to a supervisor position, it’s important to really understand all that your role entails. DOT supervisor training will cover how supervisors play a pivotal role in maintaining a safe and drug-free workplace. 

After the completion of DOT supervisor training, enrollees are left feeling more confident in how they will carry out their role in a supervisor position. They’ll be comfortable observing and documenting signs of substance abuse, they’ll be comfortable talking to employees about suspected drug use, and they’ll feel comfortable deescalating situations when they require de-escalation. Not only is this training a necessity for supervisors, it’s a training that supervisors can really benefit from. 

We are an education company, not a law firm. The information and content we provide is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. We make no representations, warranties, or guarantees regarding the accuracy, completeness, or applicability of the content. It is important to always consult with a qualified attorney for specific legal counsel pertaining to your individual circumstances.