Training and certification to perform urine studies

Oct. 22, 2015

Editor’s note: Katie Scheele, PMP, MBA, BSMT(ASCP), recently retired after a distinguished career as a laboratorian. She was a Project Manager and worked at Mayo Clinic in Arizona from 1997 to 2014, managing clinical, administrative, IT, and process improvement projects.

Q: I am very interested in being trained and certified to do studies on urine testing for illicit drug use in clinical labs. Would you please advise me on courses, classes, etc. I could take to complete this certification? Thank you!

A: The Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance publishes regulations and provides official interpretations on drug and alcohol testing, including how to conduct tests, and the evaluation and treatment procedures necessary for returning employees to duty after testing violations.1 The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) rule, 49 CFR Part 40, describes the required procedures for conducting workplace drug and alcohol testing for the federally regulated transportation industry.2

DOT-regulated urine specimen collections are an important part of employment and workplace screenings. Collectors perform DOT urine specimen collections for drug and alcohol testing, return-to-duty testing, and more. To be permitted to act as a collector in the DOT drug testing program, you must meet the following requirements:3,4

  • Be knowledgeable about DOT Urine Specimen Collection Procedures Guidelines and agency regulationsReceive qualification training
  • Complete five mock collections
  • Receive refresher training every five years or after an error in a collection, and documentation of your training.

The following online training courses state that they meet the qualification training as outlined in Federal Regulations, 49 CFR Part 40, for DOT urine collections. Cost may vary.

  • LabCE/MediaLab’s online DOT urine collection training course includes an integrated checklist feature to document completion of the required mock collections, but does not provide observers for the mock collections. This course may not be appropriate for private individuals.
  • Lifeloc Technologies’ web-based collector training course provides Certified Urine Specimen Collector qualification that is updated with the latest DOT rules and regulations.
  • OccuHealth Solutions, Inc provides live Internet Skype or Traditional Classroom Certification Training Programs in accordance with DOT 49CFR Part 40. This includes all training materials, DOT required hands-on proficiency test kits, and lab forms. They offer a flexible “live on-line training” schedule that allows training all days of the week, including weekends.
  • Phamatech Laboratories & Diagnostics Urine Drug Collector Training program provides training for US DOT collections and non-DOT collections. Non-DOT collections are not as standardized/regulated, but generally follow the DOT procedures except for using different forms and single specimen containers.
  • Quest Diagnostics provides on line Substance Abuse Training with courses in Specimen Collection Training, Manager Module Training, and Substance Abuse Training. It is 100 percent compliant with training requirements mandated by federal agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Transportation. The site has videos that summarize the training modules.


  1. Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance.
  2. United States Department of Transportation; “Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs.”
  3. LabCE MediLab online laboratory continuing education for clinical laboratories and med techs.
  4. Phamatech Laboratories & Diagnostics Urine Drug Collector Training.