ODAPC Updated COVID Guidelines
In May of 2020, the Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance published guidelines for SAPs, service agents and MROs regarding providing services amid the COVID pandemic. In the past two years these guidelines have been updated several times, with the latest update issued on June 15, 2022. In the recent document ODAPC extended the guidance for Substance Abuse Professionals to conduct remote assessments and evaluations until December 31, 2022. However, the guidance for service agents regarding the postponement of requalification, also known as refresher training or recertification training, was suspended effective July 1, 2022.
ODAPC identifies service agents as collectors, Medical Review Officers (MRO), Screening Test Technicians (STT), Breath Alcohol Technicians (BAT) and Substance Abuse Professionals (SAP). Past guidance documents for service agents allowed for the postponement of requalification training should the service agent not be able to locate safe and suitable training due to the pandemic. In the current guidelines, ODAPC states they are not aware of instances where a service agent was not able to meet requalification requirements due to COVID-19 related issues. Furthermore, ODAPC reports that service agents have been able to complete refresher or recertification trainings due to the availability of online training courses and in-person classroom training. With this in mind ODAPC concluded that extending the postponement of requalification training was no longer needed.
What does this mean?
For service agents who hold a current, valid certificate, there are no requirements to be met. If your training certification date has expired, you must recertify soon. The current guidance document states the requalification extension is terminated on the first of July; it does not provide any grace period for service agents to become recertified past the termination date of July 1, 2022. For that reason, it is best to take the July 1st date as the best and safest deadline to complete refresher training for a lapsed certificate.