In This Issue

Revision to Effective Date for Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is changing the effective date of the Revisions to the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs (Mandatory Guidelines) from May 1, 2010, to October 1, 2010. The Mandatory Guidelines establish the scientific and technical guidelines for drug testing programs and establish standards for certification of laboratories. The revisions to the Mandatory Guidelines address the:

  • Collection and testing of urine specimens,
  • Requirements for certification of Instrumented Initial Test Facilities (IITF), and
  • Role of and standards for collectors and Medical Review Officers (MRO).

No other changes to the Mandatory Guidelines have been made. This change in the effective date becomes effective April 30, 2010.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) publishes the Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs at 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 40. This DOT regulation requires the drug and alcohol testing of safety-sensitive employees in certain DOT-regulated industries. Consistent with the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991, the DOT utilizes the HHS laboratory procedures set forth in the Mandatory Guidelines in its regulations.

On February 4, 2010, DOT published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register (75 FR 5722) announcing revised procedures for transportation workplace drug and alcohol testing programs. DOT’s final rule based on this NPRM will not be completed by May 1, 2010. It is anticipated that DOT’s rule will be issued in time to go into effect by October 1, 2010. Without this change of effective date for the Mandatory Guidelines, laboratories certified under the Mandatory Guidelines would be required to maintain a dual system for testing using the revised Mandatory Guidelines, and testing for DOT regulated entities covered by the current Mandatory Guidelines, until DOT rules are issued. Further, the National Laboratory Certification Program would be required to certify laboratories utilizing different sets of requirements. The new effective date of October 1, 2010 will allow time for related training in Federal and federally-regulated workplace drug testing programs and will be consistent with the beginning of the new Fiscal Year for Federal agencies.

For further information contact: Robert L. Stephenson, II, M.P.H., Director, Division of Workplace Programs (DWP), Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 1 Choke Cherry Road, Room 2–1035, Rockville, MD 20857; Telephone: 240–276–2600; E-mail: