Prevention, Substance Use Disorder and Recovery Credentialing

What is a SAP?

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) regulation — 49 CFR Part 40 — defines the Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) as a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.  In order to be a SAP, you need to have certain credentials, possess specific knowledge, receive training, and achieve a passing score on a DOT approved examination.  There is also a continuing education requirement. For more information on becoming a SAP, please visit their website at

To be permitted to act as a SAP in the DOT drug and alcohol testing program, you must meet each of the requirements of this section:


One of the following credentials must be held:

    • Licensed physician (Doctor of Medicine or Osteopathy)
    • Licensed or certified social worker
    • Licensed or certified psychologist
    • Licensed or certified employee assistance professional
    • State-licensed or certified marriage and family therapist
    • IC&RC Internationally Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ADC)

Qualification Training

To become a SAP, professionals already holding one of the above mentioned credentials must participate in one of the DOT qualified training programs.  A list of all programs can be found at this link:

Trainings can vary in delivery and duration but typically last 12 hours.
IC&RC does not provide DOT trainings.

Written Examination

After the completion of a qualified training program, a written examination covering the DOT SAP  knowledge areas must be taken. A list of all DOT approved examinations can be found at this link:

Continuing Education

SAPs are required to have 12 hours of continuing education training every 3 years.

This continuing education must include material concerning new technologies, interpretations, recent guidelines, rule changes, and other information about developments in SAP practice, pertaining to the DOT program, since the time you met the qualification training requirements of this section.

DOT approved trainings can be found at this link:

Providing Services as an SAP

SAPs must “self market” their qualified status. SAPs can work with a variety of organizations to market their qualified status.  Such organizations include the Professional Training Center, Inc. ( SAP Referrals ( and (


IC&RC’s Role in Earning a SAP

IC&RC’s Internationally Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ICADC) is approved by the DOT as a SAP pre-requisite credential. Interested professionals can obtain their IC&RC ICADC credential through their IC&RC member board. Contact information for all member boards can be found here

Professionals that already hold an ICADC may request a print copy of their ICADC by completing the International Certificate Order Form.

IC&RC does not work with the DOT on the development of SAP standards or regulations or certify and keep a registry of current SAPs.