Transportation companies rely on driver screening programs to maintain a safe roadway and to help protect against the risks of costly fines and penalties. It is critical that companies utilize the latest tools available to enhance their background screening program. One new program, called the Pre-employment Screening Program (PSP), provides access to a valuable new source of records to screen prospective drivers. Integrating this valuable new tool into your current screening program will help mitigate risks to your company.
As a result of a recent directive from Congress, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is required to provide access to individual driver performance records from its Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) via the PSP. This new tool provides up to three years of valuable roadside inspections data and five years of DOT-recordable accident data.
The PSP is designed to assist the motor carrier industry in assessing individual operators’ crash and serious safety violation history as a pre-employment condition. Motor carriers are not mandated to use the PSP reports as part of the screening process, so it is a voluntary program at this point. However, the report will provide very useful data regarding the driver’s qualifications, which will ultimately affect a carrier’s overall safety score.
Under the new system, drivers will be issued a safety rating and driver safety ratings may be factored into the overall safety performance rating for motor carriers. It’s important to note that FMCSA states that a driver’s history before being hired by a motor carrier will not affect the carrier’s overall safety rating. A driver’s ratings and performance data are factored into the motor carrier’s score only for the time period that a driver is employed by the carrier. However, if a carrier hires a driver with a marginal driving history, there is a concern that the performance issues may continue, and there is a risk that FMCSA could target those drivers and carriers for enforcement action, fines and penalties. To avoid these risks, motor carriers should continue to conduct thorough driver screening and incorporate the PSP report into the existing screening program to gain visibility into a driver’s history and safety performance.
FMCSA contracted with National Information Consortium (NIC) Technologies to develop a system to provide the PSP data. HireRight, which already had a relationship with NIC through other projects, has worked closely with NIC and with our customers to develop a third-party provider system for access to PSP reports. Access to the PSP report is now available through HireRight.
For more information about how to incorporate the PSP report into your current driver screening efforts, register to attend HireRight’s complimentary webinar, Driver Screening and CSA 2010: What You Need to Know, on June 24, 2010 at 1 p.m. CST. The webinar will be led by Kent Ferguson, director of transportation solutions for HireRight.
The HireRight Blog is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Any statutes or laws cited in this article should be read in their entirety. If you or your customers have questions concerning compliance and obligations under United States or International laws or regulations, we suggest that you address these directly with your legal department or outside counsel.