Role of the Drug Testing Review Consultant

Approved: June 25, 2008
Revised: June, 2014

Purpose:  To review the role definition of the Drug Testing Review Consultant (DTRC) in the CPSA Physician Health Monitoring Program.

Background:  An integral part of the CPSA Physician Health Monitoring Programs is the adapted role of the certified DTRC. [1]

The DTRC serves as the objective gatekeeper of program quality in drug testing. The DTRC is a licensed physician who is responsible for receiving and reviewing laboratory results generated by an employer’s drug testing program and evaluating medical explanations for certain drug test results. The DTRC renders an opinion about whether or not there is a legitimate medical explanation for a confirmed laboratory finding. The DTRC reviews results to make certain the specimen belongs to the donor. DTRCs have a responsibility to correctly verify test results. By reviewing both negative and positive results, this function also serves to protect the donor alleviate fears among participants in the program.

The DTRC also serves as consultant to the Physician Health Program Coordinator regarding day-to-day operation of the program.  This typically involves initial consultation regarding appropriate screening protocols for new members, intervention strategies when relapse is suspected, and ongoing changes to screening protocols as required.

The DTRC, through training and experience, is knowledgeable in the areas of the pharmacology of drugs of abuse, accepted pharmacological treatment and standard prescribing practices for specific disease process, the use and authorization to prescribe controlled substances consistent with local and federal drug regulations, ethical considerations in workplace drug testing programs, laboratory testing methodology and quality control, laws and regulations related to the use of illicit and licit substances, chemical dependence and addiction behavior, and employee assistance programs and rehabilitation. [2]

In the CPSA Physician Health Monitoring Program, the role is adapted to ensure accommodation of the unique nature of the program as both a regulatory and a clinical one. The CPSA DTRC is committed to ensuring the ongoing integrity of the drug testing component of the Physician Health Monitoring Program, and endorses ongoing quality improvement through liaison with key stakeholders.


The DTRC in the CPSA Physician Health Monitoring Program operates within a role that has been adapted to physician aftercare settings, and not the traditional role of an MRO, to oversee the drug testing protocols in the program.

[1] Medical Review Officer Certification Council, MROCC.

[2] Adapted from: ACOEM Statements.


Dr. Jeremy Beach, Assistant Registrar
780-969-4940 or 1-800-561-3899 ext. 4940 (in Canada)

Leanne Minckler, Physician Health Advisor
780-969-4943 or 1-800-561-3899 ext. 4943 (in Canada)