DATIA Certification and Accreditation
Policies, Rights, Procedures and Rules

updated July 2008

Why Certification and Accreditation?

Key Links
Exam Login
Policies and Procedures
Verify User Information
Rules and Regulations
New Specimen Collector Application
Recertification Collector Form
Main DATIA Standards Page
Questions on the Online Exam Process
Find or Reset your Password
Exam Scoring and Retaking
Appeal Procedures
The Accredited Collection Facility Program and the Certified Professional Collector™ programs, administered by the Drug & Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA), were created by quality-minded leaders in the drug and alcohol testing industry interested in raising the level of accuracy in urine specimen collections. The programs enable collection facilities to assure their clients that they are committed to offering superior collection services.

The programs involve upholding the highest professional standards in the following two main areas: 1) the collection facility and its operation and 2) the collection facility's personnel. All accredited collection facilities are required to maintain a staff of Certified Professional Collectors™ (CPC) and a Certified Professional Collector Trainer™ (CPCT). To obtain accredited status, collection facilities are also required to adhere to strict standards in areas such as regulatory compliance, company services standards, specimen handling, operational practices, business ethics, and facility equipment.

Through theses programs, Certification provides the individual collector with recognition for their excellence and adherence to industry standards, and the company receives recognition through Accreditation.

What is the Collector Training Course?

The most crucial aspect of the Accredited Collection Facility Program is the Collector Training Course. In an effort to raise the level of accuracy and the quality of specimen collections, DATIA designed a comprehensive collector training course that covers all aspects of the collection process for both Department of Transportation (DOT) and non-DOT collections. Course participants will master proper collection procedures from completing the Chain of Custody Form to handling difficult collection situations.

Program Goals

The Department of Transportation has identified the collection process as the weakest link in the drug testing process. The Accredited Collection Facility Program and Certified Professional Collector (CPC)™ programs seek to strengthen this weak link by ensuring that specimen collectors are highly trained and educated in federal drug testing guidelines and procedures.

The Accreditation and Certification programs will allow for an improvement in the working relationship between laboratories, medical review officers, consortia/third party administrators, and collection facilities. When specific areas of error in the collection process are identified, DATIA will act as a resource to inform the industry and develop solutions to the problems.

DATIA's Accreditation and Certification programs will help laboratories, MROs, C/TPAs, and employers identify collection facilities that are committed to offering high quality collection services. One of the most frustrating and costly aspects of workplace drug testing is the high incidence of rejected specimens due to errors at the collection site. Use of an Accredited Collection Facility staffed with Certified Professional Collectors™ will reduce the number of rejected specimens, thereby saving everyone time and resources.

Collector Certification Categories

DATIA offers two levels of certification for specimen collectors, the Certified Professional Collector™ (CPC) and the Certified Professional Collector Trainer™ (CPCT). Both certifications provide comprehensive instruction and proficiency testing on the key elements and skills necessary to perform specimen collections in a manner that ensures the security of the specimen and the privacy of the donor. Certification as a CPCT requires additional experience and training in both specimen collections and the aspects of providing comprehensive training to fellow collectors.

Certification Requirements

CPCT:

  • Currently employed in a position with active participation in collection services
  • Possess understanding of DOT and HHS specimen collection requirements
  • 100 completed specimen collections and 6 months active participation in specimen collection services (must meet this requirement before attending a CPCT™ Training seminar)
  • Successful completion of the DATIA CPCT Training Seminar
  • Successfully achieving a passing score on the CPCT™ examination

CPC:

  • Currently employed in a position with active participation in collection services
  • Possess understanding of DOT and HHS specimen collection requirements
  • Successful completion of training by a current CPCT™ from the candidate's company
  • Successfully achieving a passing score on the CPC™ examination

CPCT Training Course

The DATIA CPCT Training Course is held regionally approximately six times a year, in the spring and fall months.

The fee for the CPCT™ Training Course is $289 for members and $389 for non-members.

Examination Fees

CPCT Examination
$0 if taken within 60 days of CPCT Training Seminar
$95 at all other times

CPC Examination (fees are per candidate)
1-5 Candidates $95
6-10 Candidates $80
11-15 Candidates $65
16-25 Candidates $50
26-50 Candidates $35
50+ Candidates - Call

To qualify for discounted fees, the minimum number of collectors for the tier must be submitted at one time. Once a tier has been reached, the fee remains in effect for the current certification year. For example, a company that has submitted 22 registrations and hires a new employee one month later may register the single employee at the 16-25 tier rate.

Certification Examination

DATIA offers the Certification examination online, you can sign up and get a password within 10 business days at datia-exams.org. All exams are conducted online rather than in person to accommodate the needs of certification candidates.

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.

To register for an examination, DATIA must receive the registration form online. DATIA reviews the application and processes it within 10 business days.

Examination Scoring and Reporting

All certification candidates will receive written notification of their exam scores as follows: 1) at the conclusion of the exam; 2) in an email to the person registered with that CP-ID; and 3) as a printable pdf report under that CP-ID at datia-exams.org. No exam scores will be reported over the telephone.

The notification will indicate the number of questions missed and whether this constitutes a passing or failing score. Applicants for certification must receive a score of 80%.

Pass Fail Standard

The passing score on the certification examination is based on a minimal level of knowledge that is expected of passing candidates. Each candidate is measured against a standard of knowledge, not against the performance of other individuals taking the examination.

A 80% is required to receive certification. The examinations are developed to ensure that all aspects of the collection process are covered, and that there is an equal amount of questions on each criterion. The test questions do not stress one area of the collection process over another.

Appeals Process

Within 30 days of announcing examination results, unsuccessful candidates may appeal their results to the DATIA Specimen Collection Committee. Candidates should submit the question that is being appealed and any documents to support the answer provided by the candidate. These materials should be sent to the attention of the DATIA Specimen Collection Committee at DATIA's headquarters (attn: exam appeals) in written hard copy form with a signature of the petitioner.

The committee will review the appeal and respond to the candidate within 30 days. The committee's decision is the final decision and cannot be further appealed by the candidate of DATIA.

Examination Honor System

Candidates for collector certification are required vertify 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.

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.

Reexamination

Candidates who fail to achieve a passing score on the certification exam will be offered the opportunity to take the exam a second time 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. All registrations are located at datia-exams.org.

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 re-register for the examination.

Recertification

Both CPCTs and CPCs are required to be recertified each June. This recertification is achieved through a certification renewal exam conducted online at datia-exams.org. Each user will recieve a CP-ID# and a password after submitting their renewal application. DATIA CPCTs and CPCs will be notified beginning two months prior to their certification expiration of the need to recertify. Other questions on this process can be found on the exam frequently asked questions page.

The recertification exam will be the same as the initial certification exam for the current year. This examination will cover items intrinsic in the specimen collection process to include any and all new regulations, guidelines, and or procedures that have been enacted since the candidate received their initial certification. All of the above policies and procedures apply when recertifying.

Certification examination fees also apply to recertification.

Facility Accreditation Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for Accreditation, applicants must be an active drug testing specimen collection facility. For organizations with multiple facilities, each facility must apply for accreditation separately.

Each facility must have a CPCT on staff. For organizations with multiple facilities seeking accreditation, there must be one CPCT per every three facilities in a 100 mile radius.

Steps to Achieve Specimen Collection Facility Accreditation (ACF)

  • Supervisor, or other eligible collector, attends the DATIA CPCT Training Seminar
  • Supervisor, or other eligible collector, takes and passes the collector certification exam, thus achieving their CPCT certification.
  • Facility's CPCT trains remainder of collection personnel at the facility, and registers them to take the certification examination through DATIA utilizing the "Verification of Training & Exam Registration Form".
  • Each trained collector takes and passes the certification exam and is awarded the CPC certification.
  • Facility completes Accreditation Application and forwards to DATIA with any corresponding documents.
  • DATIA evaluates application to ensure completeness and, upon successful review, grants Accreditation. DATIA sends facility Accreditation plaque, press release, logo sheet, and decal.

Accreditation Fee

There is no fee for Accreditation of the facility above and beyond the fees already paid for collector certification. Each facility needs only to submit the application with verification that the requirements are met once all collectors have been certified.

Accredited Specimen Collection Facility Accreditation Renewal Process

  • Facility's CPCT registers all collection personnel (CPCT, CPC, and any new collection personnel) for the DATIA collector certification renewal exam.
  • Renewal candidates take and pass the collector certification renewal exam
  • Facility completes Accreditation Application and forwards to DATIA with any corresponding documents.
  • DATIA evaluates application to ensure completeness and, upon successful review, grants Accreditation renewal.

DATIA Certified Professional Collector Trainer™ (CPCT) and Certified Professional Collector™ (CPC) Program Rules and Regulations

To maintain the recognition afforded to professional specimen collectors that meet the association’s stringent requirements for certification and the integrity of DATIA’s Collector Certification Program, DATIA has established the following rules and regulations to govern the actions of CPCTs and CPCs. These rules and regulations will ensure that participants receive the high level of training required of the program and will result in an increased level of recognition from industry colleagues and end users of drug testing services.

As a requirement for certification, candidates must attest in writing that they have read and agree to abide by the following regulations. Once certification has been granted, CPCTs and CPCs who violate the following rules and regulations will have their certification revoked permanently and will be ineligible to reapply for certification in the future. Additional program policies and procedures, which do not result in permanent certification revocation when violated, are outlined in the DATIA Accreditation and Certification Policies and Procedures.

Following are the programs rules and regulations:

1. Only collectors that meet the CPCT course pre-requisites and attend the CPCT Training Course are eligible to receive the CPCT designation.

2. Only collectors that are trained by a CPCT employed by their company are eligible for CPC certification.

3. CPCTs may utilize DATIA training materials, the term s Certified Professional CollectorTM and Certified Professional Collector TrainerTM, and the DATIA name only when training collectors within their company.

4. When training collectors in preparation for the CPC Certification Exam, CPCTs must teach the curriculum contained in the DATIA Specimen Collector Training and Study Manual to include DATIA’s standards and all applicable federal regulations. This is not to mean that CPCTs must purchase individual manuals for all students.

5. DATIA Specimen Collector Training and Study Manuals are only available to be purchased by CPCTs for use in training collectors employed by their company.

6. DATIA Specimen Collector Training and Study Manuals and DATIA CPCT Manuals are copyright protected and are prohibited from being reproduced.

I attest that I have read and understand the above Rules and Regulations and that I am committed to adhering to them. Should I violate the above Rules and Regulations, I understand my certification will be permanently revoked. Enforcement of these Rules and Regulations will ensure that I receive the high level of national recognition through the DATIA Collector Certification program that I deserve.