SAE versus SAP Programming

There are some significant differences between the SAE and SAP Programs when it comes to deciding which is best for your organization. If you are a Canadian company that operates cross-border in a US-DOT regulated environment, then you will be required to use SAP’s for your assessment services. However, if you are not required to abide by US-DOT regulations then the options become more open ended.

It is essential to highlight that when working with an SAP it is incumbent upon the organization to request all information related to this individuals qualifications. SAP’s should be able to provide a current certification and proof that they recieved the required 12 hours of re-certification training in the last 3 yrs. They are also required to be activiely registered with a professional body as you cannot be an SAP unless you are a licensed physician (Doctor of Medicine or Osteopathy); or a licensed or certified social worker; or a licensed or certified psychologist; or a licensed or certified employee assistance professional; or a state-licensed or certified marriage and family therapist; or an alcohol and drug abuse counselor certified by the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors Certification Commission (NAADAC), or by the International Certification Reciprocity Consortium (ICRC), or by the National Board of Certified Counselors, Inc. and Affiliates/Master Addictions Counselor (NBCC).

It is additionally important to note that the US-DOT SAP Program does not state “what it deems as qualified educational training or experience in the field of substance disorders”—just that this exists. Finally, an SAP cannot oversee the work of a non-SAP and simply sign off on assessments as a “supervisor” or other form of quality control— every assessment conducted in an SAP program needs to be provided by a credentialed SAP. Below are the additional differences between these two programs.

Very similar at the assessment level with increased requirements for additional designations in the SAE Program.

Knowledge Base & Credentials Vetted by Committee:
The SAP program —states what credentials are required but does not have a professional body or an organization that confirms or denies this reality.
The SAE program —requires proof of all stated credentials prior to inclusion into training.

Training on Substance Issues and Assessment:
SAP training —is primarily focused upon the US-DOT Regulations for the six industries covered under its program.
SAE training —is primarily focused upon substance disorders education, assessment protocols, diagnostics and recommendations, and reporting structures.

Examination Required:
SAP program—Yes
SAE program—Yes

Availability of Differing Reporting Structures based upon Privacy Act:
SAP program—No
SAE Program—Yes, three differing reporting structures exist within the protocol.

Statement on Fitness for Work:
SAP program—No
SAE program—Yes, there is an ability to state the requirements for a client to be deemed fit for duty.