DATIA Certified Professional Collector® (CPC) Designation Comparison

We have received several requests for more information on the difference between our DOT Urine Specimen Collector Course[1] and the DATIA Certified Professional Collector® (CPC)[2] designation. To address these questions in a simple format we have put together a chart for comparison.

Recognizing our potential for bias, we have added references to all of our sources in corresponding footnotes below[3] the chart to make verifying the facts simple.

Before getting to the details we want to dispel any potential misinformation:

  • DrugTestingCourses.com does not represent DATIA, its members, or its agents.
  • This page is designed to be a source of information and nothing stated herein is intended to disparage or defame DATIA, its members, or its agents. If any information herein is found to be inaccurate or appears to be misrepresented, please contact us immediately with the correct information and any relevant source so that we may provide accurate and up to date information.
  • DrugTestingCourses.com generally supports all industry organizations including, DATIA, NDASA, and DATAC. In fact, our founder Andrew Easler was recognized as a DATIA CPC, CPC-T, and then R-CPCT before that designation was abolished.  DrugTestingCourses.com was also once recognized as an annual Sustaining Member of DATIA.
  • DATIA is a private organization, not a governmental agency.[4] DATIA is not contracted by the United States Department of Transportation to exclusively oversee the training of collectors.[5]
  • The United States Coast Guard does not require, recommend, nor endorse any drug testing provider and does not mandate the use of DATIA CPCs or an Accredited Collection Facility (the ACF designation requires as part of its eligibility requirements CPC designations for each of a facility’s collectors).[6]
  • Though you should generally receive a certificate of completion for any collector training course you complete, collectors are never “certified” to conduct collections under the DOT. Collectors are simply “qualified” instead. Collectors must meet the training requirements and maintain and produce records of completion upon request.[7]

Is the CPC designation beneficial for you? We created this chart to help individuals understand the difference between our DOT Urine Specimen Collector Course and the DATIA CPC Designation.

DATIA CPC Designation

DOT Qualification Training

Required to collect DOT urine specimen collections[8]

NO

YES

Collector Support®[9]

NO

YES

Student earns a professional certificate[10]

YES

YES

Recognition[11]

YES

YES

Professional Development[12]

YES

YES

Available online or in-person[13]

YES

YES

Made up designation along with all of the benefits therein[14]

YES

NO

Become part of a network which is managed by drug testing competitors[15]

YES

NO

Renewal period[16]

June 1 each year

Every 5 years

Exam Attempts[17]

3 per year

Unlimited

Must wait until either June or September to retake after failing at three attempts[18]

YES

Retake at any time

Must be actively employed as a collector[19]

YES

NO

Must pay extra for the book/materials when the exam is purchased online[20]

YES

NO

Includes and provides the instructor for online training[21]

NO

YES

Verifies accurate completion of every set of mocks (rather than a random sampling)[22]

NO

YES

In-person training available on demand[23]

NO

YES

Website Trust Seal[24]

NO

YES

One transparent price, no additional costs/fees[25]

NO

YES

REFERENCES

[1] See https://drugtestingcourses.com/course/dot-urine-collector-training/

[2] See https://www.datia.org/credentialing/cpc-a-cpct.html

[3] All internet sources were last accessed on January 2, 2020.

[4] See generally https://www.datia.org/about-datia/mission.html

[5] https://www.transportation.gov/odapc/part40/40-31 (indicating that the DOT permits any individual who meets the requirements are authorized to collect specimens for DOT drug testing).

[6] See https://www.dco.uscg.mil/nmc/drug_testing/ (indicating that “[t]he Coast Guard does not recommend or endorse any particular provider.”); see also https://www.dco.uscg.mil/Portals/9/NMC/pdfs/drug_testing/drug_test_requirements.pdf (in reference to the DATIA collection facility directory “[t]his directory is not maintained by the federal government, and is provided to mariners as a convenience for informational purposes only. Mariners are advised to contact the testing facility of their choice directly to ensure it meets their needs as well as all Coast Guard requirements. The Coast Guard does not recommend or endorse any particular provider. . .” and that, in fact, the Coast Guard requires that the facility “(1) Can perform DOT 5 Panel test that ONLY tests for Marijuana, Cocaine, Opiates, Phencyclidine, and Amphetamines. (2) Ensure the laboratory the specimen will be sent to is accredited by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). (3) Will be signed by a Certified Medical Review Officer.”); 46 C.F.R. § 10 (2020) (Merchant Mariner Credential, does not mention “DATIA” or “Accredited Collection Facility”); 46 C.F.R. § 16 (2020) (Chemical Testing, does not mention “DATIA” or “Accredited Collection Facility”); 46 C.F.R. § 4.06 (2020) (Serious Marine Incidents Involving Vessels in Commercial Service, does not mention “DATIA” or “Accredited Collection Facility”; 49 C.F.R. Part 40 (2020) (Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs, does not mention “DATIA” or “Accredited Collection Facility”); 33 C.F.R. 95 (2020) (Operating a Vessel While Under the Influence of Alcohol or a Dangerous Drug, does not mention “DATIA” or “Accredited Collection Facility”); Marine Employers Drug Testing Guidance (What Employers Need to Know About Drug Testing (2009)(does not mention “DATIA” or “Accredited Collection Facility”); but see https://www.datia.org/credentialing/accredited-collection-facility-program/acf-program-details.html (indicating without reference or support that “[f]or some entities, like the United States Coast Guard (USCG), its employees must be drug tested by a company with ACF status.”).

[7] See 49 C.F.R. 40.33 (2020).

[8] https://www.transportation.gov/odapc/part40/40-33

[9] https://drugtestingcourses.com/collector-support/

[10] https://drugtestingcourses.com/course/dot-urine-collector-training/ (indicating that students receive “[s]ame-day certificate issuance (printable online)”); https://www.datia.org/credentialing/cpc-a-cpct.html?id=83 (indicating that students “[r]eceive a certificate attesting to your achievement.”).

[11] https://drugtestingcourses.com/course/dot-urine-collector-training/ (indicating that “[o]ur courses are approved for continuing education credits (CE Credits) with many of the leading human resources organizations, state boards of nursing, and many other credentialing bodies”); https://www.datia.org/credentialing/cpc-a-cpct.html?id=83 (indicating that by successfully completing the CPC course and using the designation “. . . you will be recognized as a drug and alcohol testing professional dedicated to providing superior services.”).

[12] https://drugtestingcourses.com/course/dot-urine-collector-training/ (indicating that “[o]ur courses are approved for continuing education credits (CE Credits) with many of the leading human resources organizations, state boards of nursing, and many other credentialing bodies”); https://www.datia.org/credentialing/cpc-a-cpct.html?id=83 (indicating that “[i]Increased knowledge of all aspects of specimen collection is gained through training and preparation for the Certification Exam.”).

[13] Students can enroll in the course at any time here: https://drugtestingcourses.com/course/dot-urine-collector-training/ or schedule in-person training here: https://drugtestingcourses.com/in-person-training/; https://www.datia.org/credentialing/cpc-a-cpct/how-to-become-a-certified-professional-collector-or-certified-professional-collector-trainer.html, see also https://www.datia.org/educations/datia-courses.html (collectors can only register for a standard CPC course online).

[14] https://www.datia.org/credentialing/cpc-a-cpct.html?id=83 (indicating that “the DATIA Certified Professional Collector® Program was designed to prevent facilities or companies from having to bear the time and expense of sending all of their collection personnel to be trained in-person at a DATIA administered training course . . . .” and that successful students have the “[a]uthority to use the CPC/CPCT designation on letterhead, business cards, and all forms of address.”)

[15] https://www.datia.org/about-datia/board-and-staff.html

[16] https://www.datia.org/credentialing/cpc-a-cpct/register-to-take-your-certification-exam.html (indicating that “[a] candidate can take the certification exam 3x during the certification year, which runs June 1 to May 31.”); https://drugtestingcourses.com/course/dot-urine-collector-training/ (indicating that “Certificates are valid for 5 years and are accepted across the United States, Canada, Mexico, and many other countries.”).

[17] https://www.datia.org/credentialing/cpc-a-cpct/register-to-take-your-certification-exam.html (indicating that “[a] candidate can take the certification exam 3x during the certification year, which runs June 1 to May 31.”); https://drugtestingcourses.com/course/dot-urine-collector-training/ (indicating the course has an “[o]nline exam with five attempts before needing a manual reset (no need to pay again if you fail”).

[18] https://www.datia.org/credentialing/cpc-a-cpct/register-to-take-your-certification-exam.html (indicating that “[a] candidate can take the certification exam 3x during the certification year, which runs June 1 to May 31.”), but see http://datia-exams.org/cp_exam_faq.html (indicating that “[i]f you fail the exam the alotted [sic] number of times, you must wait until the beginning of the next certification year (September 1) to re-register for the exam.”; https://drugtestingcourses.com/course/dot-urine-collector-training/ (indicating the course has an “[o]nline exam with five attempts before needing a manual reset (no need to pay again if you fail)”).

[19] https://www.datia.org/credentialing/cpc-a-cpct.html?id=83 (indicating that “[t]o be eligible . . . the collector must first: [c]urrently [sic] employed in a position with active participation in collection services”)

[20] https://wpa.wpa.us/datia.biz/new_forms/certification_newapp_form1.php (indicating that the CPC Manual is an additional $80.00 to order); but see https://datiaonlinecourses.com/  (if the entire course is purchased online, the manual is may be included, though the current site and product description do not indicate whether this is the case); https://drugtestingcourses.com/course/dot-urine-collector-training/ (indicating that the textbook “A GUIDE TO FEDERAL REGULATIONS ON DRUG & ALCOHOL TESTING: Required Regulations and Pro Tips From Acclaimed Trainer Andrew Easler” is included in the course).

[21] https://drugtestingcourses.com/course/dot-urine-collector-training/ (indicating that the course includes “Virtual Mock Demonstrations (Mocks) conducted via webcam”); https://www.datia.org/credentialing/cpc-a-cpct/how-to-become-a-certified-professional-collector-or-certified-professional-collector-trainer.html (indicating that “DATIA training fees do NOT include the Initial Proficiency Demonstrations, also known as the ‘5 mock collections,’ a DOT requirement for collector training, and, therefore a DATIA requirement for CPC/CPCT certification. You will need to do these on your own before getting access to DATIA’s certification exam.”).

[22] https://www.datia.org/credentialing/cpc-a-cpct/register-to-take-your-certification-exam.html (indicating that “[a random sampling of candidates will be audited each year, and monitors will be contacted to confirm that mock collections were successfully completed.”); https://drugtestingcourses.com/course/dot-urine-collector-training/ (indicating that the course includes “Virtual Mock Demonstrations (Mocks) conducted via webcam” and that the course objectives require the instructors to assess the collection scenarios of students with a “100% proficiency” standard.”).

[23] Students can enroll in the course at any time here: https://drugtestingcourses.com/course/dot-urine-collector-training/ or schedule in-person training here: https://drugtestingcourses.com/in-person-training/; https://www.datia.org/credentialing/cpc-a-cpct/how-to-become-a-certified-professional-collector-or-certified-professional-collector-trainer.html, see also https://www.datia.org/educations/datia-courses.html (collectors can only register for a standard CPC course online, must wait for the next course offering to take any in-person training course).

[24] https://drugtestingcourses.com/news/trust-seal/ (offering a code to embed on collectors’ websites which allows them to showcase training certificates).

[25] https://drugtestingcourses.com/course/dot-urine-collector-training/ (indicating that the course includes materials, online training course, and mock collections in accordance with 49 C.F.R. Part 40.33); https://www.datia.org/index.php/?option=com_content&view=article&id=1833 (indicating first that “DATIA’s Certified Professional Collector® (CPC) training program meet and exceed [sic] DOT’s Training Requirements for collectors as outlined in 49 CFR Part 40.31 and in DOT’s ‘How Can I Become a Collector for DOT Testing’” (emphasis added) but indicating thereafter that “DATIA training fees do NOT include Proficiency Demonstrations, also known as the “5 mock collections,” a DOT requirement for collector training, and, therefore a DATIA requirement for CPC/CPCT certification. You will need to do these on your own before getting access to DATIA’s CPC certification exam.”).

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