eCCF – What is it and how can you use it

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is now allowing the use of Electronic Custody and Control Forms (eCCF) instead of the traditional paper-based form. This is what you need to know.

The idea of replacing paper-based Custody and Control Forms (CCF) with an electronic version is something that has been talked about for years – no new news there… But finally, after much testing and deliberating, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has approved the use of electronic forms.

So Canadian employers & Consortium/Third-party Administrators (C/TPA) can start using electronic forms now?

Yes they can, but only with HHS-certified testing facilities that have passed a review and approval process by the U.S. National Laboratory Certification Program (NLCP) may accept an eCCF.

What do labs need to do to become certified?

The already approved NLCP facility must submit a detailed plan and proposed standard operating procedures for the eCCF system for HHS review. Only after approval may they accept the eCCF.

So, when will this be available in Canada?

Technically it is already available – if the employer wishes to utilize an approved laboratory in the U.S. At the time of this writing, there is not an eCCF approved testing facility in Canada, so all specimens would require testing would need to be sent to the U.S..

Does the use of an eCCF comply with Canadian privacy laws?

The privacy of personal and health records falls under both the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and various provincial health information acts. Depending on the province, it may not be possible to send an employee’s medical information to the U.S. or store the information using a U.S.-based electronic reporting system without specific written consent from the employee. It is considered best practices, and strongly recommended, to review any change to an employer’s drug and alcohol testing program with a lawyer or consultant prior to implementing any changes.

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