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Frequently Asked Questions on Certification and Accreditation

1. Why should I Accredit my collection facility?

Accredited Collection Facilities are quick to point out the benefits that they have received since becoming accredited. The first benefit that they report is increased respect and acceptance by their clients. Their clients see that they are committed to providing superior collection services, which are accurate and protect the privacy of the donor and the integrity of the specimen. Companies also report that they are more easily able to recruit additional clients when they can back up their experience and exceptional service with a "stamp of approval" from the industry. Many companies report that they have won contracts simply because they were Accredited and their competition was not. The third main benefit of Accreditation are the substantial discounts on Professional Liability Insurance available to Accredited Collection Facilities through the DATIA sponsored Drug & Alcohol Testing Professional Liability Insurance program.

2. What is the process to retrain our site's CPCT™ (trainer)?

Trainers will be retrained through the Collector Trainer Certification Exam and upon successful completion of the exam, will be awarded the Certified Professional Collector Trainer (CPCT™) designation. DATIA offers the Certification examination via fax on Thursdays, except federal holidays and Thursdays before a DATIA CPCT Training Seminar. The online exams are available at any time. All questions and answers on the certification exam are derived from the standards taught in the DATIA CPCT Training Course and contained in the CPCT and Collector manuals. The Exam will consist of questions on collection policies and procedures, and questions regarding difficult collection situations and ethics. A score of 90% must be achieved for certification. All material contained on the exam will be material covered through the DATIA CPCT™ Training course (formerly "Train the Trainer"). The fee for renewal of the trainer's Certified Professional Collector Trainer™ (CPCT™) designation is $95 annually.

3. What is the process to renew the Accredited Collection

Facility status?

The first step in renewing a facility's accreditation status is for the Certified Professional Collector Trainer(s) (CPCT™), Certified Professional Collectors™ (CPC™), and any new specimen collection personnel to take the certification renewal exam. Before taking the exam, all specimen collectors should be current on any new regulations, policies, or procedures that have come into effect since their initial certification. Once all staff performing collections has taken and passed the Collector Certification Exam, the facility must indicate by signing an affidavit that it continues to meet all of DATIA's standards for equipment, insurance, and ethics as outlined on the Accreditation Application. At this point, DATIA will renew the Accredited Collection Facility status for one year. All Accredited Collection Facilities will be due for renewal in June of each year. There is no Accreditation fee due at renewal.

4. What is the process to accredit mobile sites that have no

home base?

DATIA's Accreditation program is committed to ensuring that quality collection facilities are given equal access to accreditation, whether they be mobile or fixed collection resources. DATIA recognizes that there are numerous business models in the drug and alcohol testing industry, and we want to encourage that diversity. As technology changes, additional models of collections will be seen, including on-site testing. DATIA's Accreditation program is interested in promoting quality and reliability, and whether the collection is done from a mobile unit or a fixed facility makes no difference.

If there are requirements of the DATIA Accreditation program that do not properly apply to your mobile drug and alcohol testing business, the DATIA Accreditation Committee has set up a process where any site may request an exemption, and have that exemption request considered by the Committee.

5. Will the DATIA Accreditation program include on-site


With the DATIA Board having endorsed the concept of on-site testing, with the provision that it be performed by a qualified collector, there will be a need for collectors to be qualified in on-site testing. Members can expect that DATIA will develop and add to its certified collector program the elements needed to ensure that collectors are qualified in on-site testing, should on-site testing be adopted by DOT rules as a means of acceptable testing. In addition, DATIA is in the process of jointly developing a Standard Operating Procedure for on-site testing.

6. What is the collection checklist? Is it required for all


The Accreditation Committee originally considered requiring the completion of a checklist each time a collection is performed. However, upon full consideration it was decided that this would be too great a burden on collectors, especially at high volume sites. Therefore, the decision was made to recommend, but not require the completion of a checklist.

DATIA has posted two collector checklists on our website for training new collectors, and for those who wish to use a checklist on a voluntary basis.

7. What is the purpose of one Certified Professional Collector

Trainer™ (CPCT™) per 3 sites in a 100-mile radius? Where did

these numbers come from and why?

The issue here is quality control. When the DATIA Accreditation program was developed in order to reach the goal of having trained collectors at every site, the most significant problem we faced was how to get all personnel at a site trained at a cost that would be affordable to most sites. It was not feasible for all personnel at a site to attend an off-site course. That is why DATIA came up with the "train the trainer" format and online course. The objective here is that there is "supervisor" at every site to oversee the other collectors. This supervisory role is a key element for quality control. Later we extended this to allow a Certified Professional Collector Trainer™ (CPCT™) to supervise as many as three sites within a 100-mile radius, because this was believed not to negatively impact the goal of quality control. Under this model, when a collector has a question or needs assistance, the Certified Professional Collector Trainer (CPCT™) would be readily available under this scenario. The Accreditation Committee voted not to allow a Certified Professional Collector Trainer™ (CPCT™) to supervise more than three sites because it was believed that there would be the development of quality control problems.

9. What is the future of DATIA accreditation?

In 2006 and beyond, there are three main areas of focus for the Accreditation program, all of which are centered on the idea of providing incentives for facilities to voluntarily self-regulate through the Accreditation program:

One, to gain acceptance by employers, TPAs and Laboratories of the benefits of using Accredited facilities. In most areas there are a multitude of choices that an employer or TPA has for collection facilities. If the Accredited facility stands out from non-Accredited facilities, so much the better. But we would hope that all the facilities in the area would choose to be accredited. To do this, we will need to actively promote Accredited facilities to companies with heavy use of collection facilities, such as Labs and TPAs.

Two, to keep the Accreditation program up with current technology and regulations, for example on-site testing, and the rewrite of 49 CFR part 40. As collection procedures change, it is DATIA's job to assist members in keeping up with the latest changes.

10. What is the certification fee for collectors?

The fee for certification is $95 annually, and the certification year runs from June 1 through May 31. This fee includes administration of the Certified Professional Collector Exam, the CPC™ designation, and marketing of both the Collector Certification and the Accreditation Program. Sites that have multiple collectors, and who submit multiple collectors at one time for certification, qualify for the discounted Certification fees as outlined in the table below.

1-5 Collectors

$95 annually

6-10 Collectors

$80 annually

11-15 Collectors

$65 annually

16-25 Collectors

$50 annually

26+ Collectors

$35 annually

11. What if I have multiple facilities? Can I still qualify for the

tiered certification rates?

Yes, companies that have multiple facilities, may combine employees from these sites to qualify for the tiered certification rates. They must, however, submit the employees to DATIA for certification at the same time.

12. What if a new employee is trained after all of my collectors

have been certified? What is their certification fee?

DATIA understands that there is quite a bit of turnover amongst employees. Therefore, new hires can be trained by your facility's CPCT™ or take the online course as they are hired. You may submit the new employee's certification form along with payment corresponding to the tier that your company qualified for at the time when your staff was originally trained---even though they are sent in separately, you do not have to certify new hires at $95 each.

13. Why does my CPCT™/CPC™ designation expire in June

when I was originally certified in November (or any month

other than June)?

In order to keep the costs of Certification low, DATIA has adopted a single renewal date for all Certification candidates. Therefore, each individual's length of initial certification will depend on when a candidate opts to take their original exam or renewal exam. All candidates will be certified through June of the year after they have passed the exam.

14. What if I don't pass the exam the first time I take it?

Candidates who fail to achieve a passing score on the certification exam will be offered the opportunity to take the exam within 60 days for no charge. The second exam will cover the same material as the original exam, but will contain different questions.

Should a candidate register to take the retest after the 60-day period has elapsed, the candidate must remit the full certification fee with the registration form.

A candidate can take the certification exam only twice during the certification year, which runs June 1 to May 31. Should a candidate fail to pass the examination after two attempts in one certification year, they will need to wait until the following June to reregister for the examination.

15. The certification exam allows collectors to utilize the

Collector handbook. Can certification candidates also consult

with other collectors or CPCTs™ in completing the exam?

The DATIA Certification Exam specifically outlines that no other person is to be consulted in completing the exam. The exam is designed to test each collector's OWN KNOWLEDGE or ability to locate the answers through their own means such as through a reference manual. Candidates for collector certification are required to certify that they have not received any assistance in completing the certification exam beyond the allowed reference materials. Specifically, candidates are not permitted to seek assistance from other collectors, jointly complete exams, or use exams taken previously by themselves or other candidates when completing the exam. Use of any of these means is considered cheating.

DATIA monitors fax exams answer sheets and compares them to determine if there is the appearance that consultation amongst collectors occurred (i.e. all candidates from one facility take the exam on the same day and miss the exact answers). If a candidate is suspected of cheating in completing their exam, they will be given the reasons for such suspicion and offered the opportunity to explain the circumstances. All information concerning the reasons for suspicion and follow-up information from the candidate will be forwarded to the Specimen Collections Committee (candidate's name and any identifying information will be withheld), who will vote and determine if cheating has occurred.

If the committee determines that cheating has occurred, the candidate will be ineligible for certification until the next certification year. If the committee determines that cheating did not occur, the candidate's score on the exam will stand.



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Certification Overview for Individuals
Main DATIA Standards Page


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