A United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission Substance Abuse Expert (NRC SAE) is a clinical professional who evaluates employees to assist in the determination of fitness and return-to-duty.

A SAE advocates for neither the licensee, other entity, nor the individual. the function as an SAE is to protect public health and safety by professionally evaluating the individual who has violated the substance abuse provisions of a fitness-for-duty policy and to make recommendations concerning education, treatment, return to duty, follow-up drug and alcohol testing, and aftercare.

The qualifications of a Substance Abuse Expert (SAE), under the NRC regulatory guidelines, is one of the following licensing requirements:

  • Licensed Physician (Doctor of Medicine or Osteopathy)
  • Licensed Physician
  • Licensed or certified Psychologist
  • Licensed or certified Social Worker
  • Licensed or certified Employee Assistance Professional
  • Drug and Alcohol Counselor certified by the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors Certification Commission (NAADAC) or by the International Certification Reciprocity Consortium/Alcohol and other Drug Abuse (ICRC)

In order to perform U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) mandated evaluations a person must be knowledgeable about and have clinical experience in the diagnosis and treatment of alcohol and controlled substance related disorders. Effective March 31, 2010 all providers must complete an NRC qualification training & test.