Top 5 Mistakes Made by DOT Specimen Collectors

DOT drug and alcohol testing programs require expert specimen collectors. The industry has a long way to go and continued training for urine specimen collectors is more than necessary.

Are you a DOT-certified collector for DOT drug testing? The answer is no; DOT does not certify urine collectors. You become qualified to perform DOT urine specimen collections. This process includes required training and mock collections.

Even seasoned DOT urine specimen collectors make mistakes and errors. I’ve had the opportunity to attend a workshop at the most recent DATIA conference and the top 5 common mistakes made by collectors was presented. These mistakes have been made in live collections over the last 8 years and determined through collection site inspections and clandestine collections.


  1. The collector did not show the donor the collection instructions which are provided on the back of the custody and control form (CCF). This occurred in 75% of the collections investigated. It is required to show the donor the collection instructions. The collector explains the basic collection procedure and shows donor instructions on the back of the CCF.  
  2. Step 4 of the custody and control form was completed out of order. Many times collectors try to take shortcuts. These will lead to errors. The DOT urine collection should be done in the proper order.  The Custody and Control (CCF) form should be filled out in order. The DOT CCF form order is 1,2,3,5,4. This error occurred 70% of the time. The collector completing Step 4 of the CCF is the last item to complete on the CCF when performing collections.
  3. The specimen labels on the custody and control form need to be dated once they are affixed to the bottles. 56% of the time this was done incorrectly and the initials were added to the labels while the labels were still on the form. This is a shortcut and an error. The labels should be dated by the collector and initialed by the donor only once the labels are placed on the specimen bottles.  
  4. When performing a DOT urine specimen collection, the bathroom facility must be secured. This mistake was made 41% of the time and the collection facility was not secured properly. DOT makes it very clear how to secure the facility, check out their video on this topic: DOT’s 10 Steps to Collection Site Security and Integrity
  5. A basic step in the DOT urine specimen collection process is to ask the donor to empty their pockets and display the contents of the pockets. Collectors overlooked this step in the process 35% of the time. Missing this step can allow donors to cheat on the DOT drug test.

Special thanks to George Kilpatrick the Managing Partner for Cahill Swift for his excellent presentation at the 2016 DATIA conference entitled From Compliance to Excellence. The presentation provided these top 5 mistakes that are made by DOT urine specimen collectors. Cahill Swift provides consulting services with a focus on transportation research & planning, training for federal, state, and local governments, and safety & security analysis and remediation.

To learn more about DOT Specimen Collection training programs available, check out our current online courses or call Joe Reilly & Associates Inc today at (321) 622-2020.

Top 5 Mistakes You Can Make As A DOT Collector - Joe Reilly & Associates Inc

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