SAP Guidelines and Overview of Modal Rules

The SAP Guidelines provide a detailed explanation of the SAP's role and responsibility under the regulation. While this document is called "Guidelines", the fact that it is specifically mentioned within the text of Part 40 (40.281[b][3]) technically moves it to the level of being a regulation. No SAP should be without a copy of the SAP Guidelines.

U.S. Department of Transportation
Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance (ODAPC)

The SAP Guidelines were first published in August 2001. They have been revised several times since 2001:

  • 2006 - Addition of marriage and family therapists to the categories of professionals who can serve in a SAP role
  • 2008 - Addition of Question 7 in Section V, encouraging SAPs to include a depression screen in the assessment tools
  • 2009 - Addition of mandatory direct observation of return-to-duty and follow-up testing, Section I

SAP Guidelines 2009 (PDF) [requires Adobe Reader]

Every SAP should have a copy of these Guidelines. A SAP should read the Guidelines in their entirety several times a year or more. You will always learn things that you didn't catch on previous readings.

As explained above, while it is true that these are called "Guidelines", DOT considers this document to be a regulation because it has been specifically included (mentioned) in 49 CFR Part 40, at 40.281(b)(3).

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