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January 2020: Important Clearinghouse Details


Note:  This is a very important e-mail.  Before you delete it by mistake, or before it gets lost/buried/hidden in your Inbox, please print it.  Keep it handy as a reference.  Use it as a guide when you watch the videos.

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First, SAP Update Training

  • When: February 14-15, Las Vegas
  • Trainer:  Tamara Cagney, SAP
  • Provider:  EAPA
This training will include extensive information about the Clearinghouse

To register, www.eapassn.org
 
Register for SAP Update Training

Now... How's it going with the Clearinghouse?


THE FIRST TWO WEEKS
 
If you feel frustrated and bewildered about the Clearinghouse, know that almost everyone else is too.  Only a few SAPs have told me that their Clearinghouse experience went smoothly.

There are drivers who haven’t registered.  I’ve even heard about MROs who said, “What Clearinghouse?”  It will take a while for everything to settle down.  The Clearinghouse involves millions of drivers, employers, MROs, C/TPAs and SAPs.  We can hardly expect that this will be a smooth experience, and that everyone would have been registered and knowledgeable on January 6.  Until the kinks are fixed, FMCSA will have to be lenient.
 
THE CLEARINGHOUSE PROCESS FOR SAPs
 
Here is what I believe to be the process.
  • MRO verifies a positive drug test, or refusal.  Or employer verifies a positive alcohol test, or an employer-determined refusal
  • MRO (or employer) enters the violation on the driver’s record, using the CD# that is now required to be on the CCF
  • The driver receives a notification (e-mail or text, according to the driver’s preference) that information has been entered on his record
  • Driver goes to his record, views the violation, and enters the name of the SAP he wishes to use
  • The Clearinghouse now kicks out a notification e-mail to the SAP, indicating that the SAP has an “invitation” from the driver
  • The SAP goes to his/her record on the Clearinghouse, and will see an invitation message on the SAP's dashboard with the driver’s name
  • The SAP clicks on “Accept Request” or “Deny Request”
  • If the SAP clicks on “Accept Request”, the SAP will now be able to access the driver’s record
  • After the SAP completes the assessment and tells the driver what the SAP’s treatment recommendation is, the SAP enters the date of the final assessment meeting
  • After determining that the driver has successfully complied, the SAP enters the date of the determination, which means an employer (either the previous employer or a new employer) can order a return-to-duty test
  • The SAP is now done.  Close the file!
Nothing will happen until the MRO enters a drug test result or refusal, or until the employer enters an alcohol test result or refusal.  Entering that information on a driver’s record is the necessary first step in order to start the whole process.
 
Important considerations:
  1. An MRO has 2 days in which to report a drug violation.
  2. An employer has 3 days in which to report an alcohol violation.
That means the driver may be in your office before the violation has been recorded on the Clearinghouse, and therefore the driver hasn’t been able to invite you to be his/her SAP.
 
When the driver enters your name, it must be exactly the name that you used when you registered on the Clearinghouse.  If you are Deborah Jones, and the driver enters Deb Jones, it won’t go through.  Be sure that the driver knows the exact name that is in your Clearinghouse record.
 
WHAT IF I CAN’T FIND THE DRIVER’S RECORD?
 
If the driver tells you he/she has registered, and if the date of the violation was January 6 or after, then the violation should be on the Clearinghouse.  If it was a drug test, and more than two days have passed since the MRO talked to the driver, you could call the MRO's office and ask if they entered the violation.  If they tell you it’s been entered, the driver might not have looked at his e-mail to see the instruction about inviting a SAP.  If they tell you they haven’t entered the violation, you could ask when they will enter the violation information on the driver’s record.
 
Remember:  There is a 2-day window for MROs, and a 3-day window for employers.  No wonder you can’t find it on his record.  In that case, you won’t be able to enter the assessment completion date until the violation has been entered.  Yes, this gets complicated.
 
NOT EVERY DRIVER MUST REGISTER ON THE CLEARINGHOUSE
 
FMCSA makes this statement frequently.  It’s deceiving and confusing.  But it’s not a loophole.  If a driver never ever applies for a job with a new employer, and that same driver never has a violation, there’s no reason for the driver to be on the Clearinghouse, because no future employer would be checking to see if he has a violation.  Also, when his current employer conducts an annual query on his record, it wouldn’t come up, because he doesn’t have a violation.
 
WATCH THE TRAINING VIDEO FOR EMPLOYERS AND DRIVERS
 
It is important that you watch the training video for drivers and employers.  The 90-minute video will answer many of your questions.  In order to work effectively under this federal law, you need to know how and where you fit into the Big Picture.  That means knowing more than how to enter two dates.
 
To watch FMCSA’s training video for employers and drivers:
  1. Go to  https://clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov
  2. In the upper right, click on “LEARN”
  3. Scroll down, and you will see Drivers, Employers, Owner/operators, C/TPA, MROs, SAPs
  4. Click on Drivers (the photo of the friendly driver)
  5. Click on “Watch the Clearinghouse Q&A Session”
  6. If you click on “Download Presentation”, you will see a set of overheads, without sound).
  7. This will require you to download “Adobe Connect”.  The download takes 5 or 10 seconds. When you’ve done that, click on “Open Abode Connect”
  8. That will open a recording of the webinar that FMCSA conducted last December, which filled up in 10 minutes after it was announced. Have your sound turned on.
  9. By sliding the white arrow that runs along the bottom, you can move to various parts of the presentation.  The timer on the bottom right shows the minutes and seconds.
Here are the main sections, with timing markers:

02:41  –  16-:10        Overview of the Clearinghouse  (2 minutes 41 seconds -- 16 minutes 10 seconds)
16:10  –  18:36         Q & A
18:50  –  34:20         Employer’s Queries on the Clearinghouse & Purchasing Query Plans
34:23  –  45:30         Q & A
45:40  –  51:15         Reporting Violations in the Clearinghouse (very important)
51:19  –  56:30         FAQs about the Clearinghouse
56:34  –  59:58         Q & A
1:00:18  –  1:00:15   Registering in the Clearinghouse (Employers)
1:00:5 6 –  1:01:20   Registering in the Clearinghouse (Drivers)
1:01:25  –  1:02:00   Registering in the Clearinghouse (C/TPAs)
1:02:02  –  1:02:22   How to get to FMCSA’s registration page
1:02:25 to the End   Q & A

AND NOW, WATCH THE TRAINING VIDEO FOR MROs AND SAPs
 
It is equally important that you watch FMCSA’s training video for employers and drivers.
  1. Again, go to https://clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov
  2. In the upper right, click on “LEARN”
  3. Scroll down, and you will see Drivers, Employers, Owner/operators, C/TPA, MROs, SAPs
  4. Click on “SAPs” (the hands)
  5. Click on “Watch the Video…”
  6. (If you click on “Download Presentation” you will see a set of the overheads, without sound.)
  7. If you downloaded Adobe Connect (above), click on “Open Abode Connect”
  8. That will open a recording of the webinar that FMCSA conducted last December, which filled up in 10 minutes after it was announced. 
  9. Have your sound turned on.
  10. By sliding the white arrow that runs along the bottom, you can move to various parts of the presentation.  The timer on the bottom right shows the minutes and seconds.
Here are the main sections, with timing markers:
 
00:00  -  02:40        Intro (you could skip this)
02:40  -  03:10        Agenda for this training
03:15  -  10:16        Overview of the Clearinghouse
10:16  -  15:11        MROs and SAPs on the Clearinghouse
15:11  -  24:13        Reporting Violations in the Clearinghouse (MROs)
24:13  -  29:11        Q & A (MROs)
29:17  -  33:30        Reporting RTD Information in the Clearinghouse (SAPs)
33:33  -  36:40        Q & A (SAPs)
36:52  -  39:35        NCCDB (National Consumer Complaint Database) for MROs and SAPs
39:40  -  42:18        Next Steps and Additional Information
42:21  -  57:20        Q & A
57:25 to the End    Wrap-up (you could skip this)
 
I’d say that’s enough for now.  Please take some time in the next few days to watch these videos.

SAPlist UREMINDER: SAPlist U For Your Continuing Ed Requirement

SAPlist U provides 12 hours of continuing education related to DOT's testing rules.  It is endorsed by EACC, NASW, and NBCC.  It’s online, convenient, and you can complete it at your own pace.

Go to SAPlist U Continuing Ed
Until next time,

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Lee Mauk  |  SAPlist.com and SAPlist U
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