Reasonable Suspicion/Cause Training for Supervisors

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Maintaining a safe and drug-free workplace depends on set processes that involve multiple entities including the employer, the supervisor, the company representative, collector and lab personnel, the Medical Review Officer (MRO), the Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) and, often, the Third Party Administrator or Consortium.

Reasonable Suspicion (or Reasonable Cause) testing is one important component of the drug-free workplace policy. Supervisors responsible for making a Reasonable Suspicion determination have a critical role in preventing impaired employees from engaging in safety-sensitive work. Federal testing regulations provide guidance on the:

  • process and protocols of Reasonable Suspicion testing
  • qualifications and professional judgment the supervisor must have to make a Reasonable Suspicion determination
  • Reasonable Suspicion training requirements

This Course

The National Drug and Alcohol Screening Association’s Reasonable Suspicion/Cause Training is a professional-level course that qualifies supervisors to make a Reasonable Suspicion testing determination. The course trains in best practices for compliance with all modes regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), and with drug and alcohol screening policies of non-regulated companies in the private sector, across multiple industries.  

This training is process-driven to ensure across-the-board consistency. A standardized process is key to protecting public and workplace safety as well as the rights and interests of the employee, who is subject to testing, the employer and the individual assigned the role of making the determination.

After completing the course, participants should expect to:

1. Understand their role as a Reasonable Suspicion supervisor.

2. Be familiar with the regulatory language concerning Reasonable Suspicion for all USDOT modes.

3. Recognize the common symptoms of substance use and impairment.

4. Understand guidelines for evaluating employee behavior, appearance and performance.

5. Be able to implement and complete one standard process for making a Reasonable Suspicion determination.

6. Know how to appropriately document the process.

Upon taking and passing a final examination, participants will be issued a Certificate of Completion from NDASA confirming that they are eligible to take on the role of a federally-qualified supervisor for Reasonable Suspicion testing.

Click on each lesson below to take the course.


Substances for Detection

Author: NDASA

Workplaces regulated by USDOT are all required to test for alcohol and five classes of drugs. This lesson provides an overview of substances that are tested and the factors that dictate a company’s testing regimen.

Signs & Symptoms – Introduction

Author: NDASA

There are general physiological and behavioral symptoms of substance use and impairment. This lesson provides an overview of the two main substance categories and the impact of each on the user over time.

Signs & Symptoms – Alcohol

Author: NDASA

Alcohol use in the workplace is a major threat to safety. Supervisors must be familiar with the signs and symptoms of alcohol use and impairment as this is typically the first substance that is tested for.

Signs & Symptoms – General

Author: NDASA

In this lesson, we look at some general signs and symptoms of substance use and impairment that should put the supervisor on alert.

Employee Evaluation

Author: NDASA

This lesson covers the process a supervisor should use consistently to evaluate an employee for signs and symptoms of substance use or impairment.

Post-Evaluation: Release & Refusal

Author: NDASA

In addition to referral for testing, the supervisor may take two other possible courses of action. This lesson provides an overview of the Release and Refusal to Test protocols.

Conclusion & Examination

Author: NDASA

Upon completion of the final examination, supervisors will be qualified to authorize Reasonable Suspicion testing in DOT-regulated industries and non-regulated organizations and businesses.