Commercial Vehicle Operators’ Safety Manual

Module 6 - Facility Audit and Operator Monitoring and Intervention

Overview

The Carrier Safety and Enforcement Branch of the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario has prepared this guide to assist and ensure that truck and bus companies (commercial vehicle operators) operate safely and are compliant with the regulations that govern highway use. Ontario, other provinces, the Government of Canada and the transportation industry developed the rules and regulations to help reduce the number and severity of collisions. Each jurisdiction has used the National Safety Code standards as guides in drafting their own transportation safety legislation. This approach promotes uniformity across Canada and helps to ensure that the transportation industry remains as viable and sustainable as possible.

This guide applies to Ontario operators of commercial motor vehicles that are:

  • Trucks, tractors or trailers, or a combination of these vehicles, that have a registered gross vehicle weight or actual weight of more than 4,500 kilograms
  • Tow trucks, regardless of registered gross weight or actual weight
  • Buses with a manufactured seating capacity of 10 persons or more, excluding the driver
  • Accessible vehicles and school-purposes vehicles, depending upon use

The guide contains several modules, each dealing with a specific topic. To get a complete picture of compliance requirements, you should obtain the complete guide. If you intend to use certain parts of this guide only (for example, Module 1, "Getting Started”) it is recommended that you also obtain the modules "Introduction” and "Commercial Vehicle Operators’ Registration.”

This is a guide only and is not meant to be a substitute for the relevant statutes and regulations. This guide highlights some important legal provisions but is not an exhaustive description of all the laws that apply.

Operator Monitoring, Intervention and Facility Audit Learning Objectives

  • Understand how an operator is selected for a facility audit.
  • Understand the three main elements of a facility audit.
  • Understand how a facility audit affects your Carrier Safety Rating.
  • Prepare for a facility audit.
  • Describe procedures for carrying out a facility audit.
  • Describe the documents and records that an auditor will review.
  • Complete the step-by-step process of a self-audit.
  • Understand how operators are monitored by MTO.
  • Describe progressive discipline and how it can be used as a disciplinary tool.
  • Identify administrative penalties.
  • Understand the appeal process.

Facility Audit Program

An operator can be subject to a facility audit at any time, and the Ministry of Transportation has the authority to audit an operator under the Highway Traffic Act.

The Ontario facility audit is based on the Highway Traffic Act, which prescribes the requirements for commercial vehicle operators to maintain all driver and vehicle records within a defined time period and make them available to a facility auditor when requested.

The current facility audit is a "risk based" assessment of the elements known to cause or contribute to commercial motor vehicle collisions, and to reduce that likelihood. The audit examines the operator’s safety-management controls that are in place, to ensure drivers are:

  1. Qualified to drive the operator's equipment
  2. Conducting the proper inspections of the operator's equipment and report deficiencies whenever they occur
  3. Compliant with the driving limitations and rest requirements of the Hours of Service regulation

Profiles

The three main elements (profiles) of a facility audit are:

  1. Vehicle Maintenance
    • Records current for a period of 24 months, or six months after the vehicle ceases to be operated
  2. Hours of Service
    • Records current for a period of six months
  3. Driver Qualification, Records and Reporting
    • Records current for a period of two years, or from the date the driver started with the operator (if less), or six months after the driver ceases to be employed.
Profile Contents and Weightings
Vehicle Maintenance
(100 points)
Detection, Reporting and Repair (40)
Preventive Maintenance (30)
Records (20)
Annual and Semi-Annual Inspections (10)
Hours of Service
(100 points)
Quantified Margin of Error (90)
Data Items (10)
Qualifications, Records and Reporting
(100 points)
Qualified Driver (60)
Driver Abstracts (15)
Conviction Records (15)
Operator Collisions (10)

Facility Audits and Carrier Safety Ratings

An operator must undergo a facility audit to become eligible for a satisfactory or excellent Carrier Safety Rating. This rating is based on the operator’s violation rate, audit compliance achieved and profile compliance rate. Operators are eligible to receive a "satisfactory” rating if the audit compliance achieved is greater than 55 percent, and no profile compliance rate is below 50 percent. Operators may receive an "excellent” rating if the audit compliance achieved is greater than 80 percent, and no profile compliance rate is below 70 percent.

Where an operator fails an audit (with an audit compliance achieved of less than 55 percent, or a score of less than 50 percent on any profile compliance rate), a rating of "conditional” may be proposed by the Deputy Registrar of Motor Vehicles.

The overall audit score is expressed as:

  • Excellent – if the overall audit score is 80 percent, and all profiles are 70 percent or greater
  • Pass – if the overall audit score is 55 percent or greater, and no profile is below 50 percent
  • Fail – if the overall audit score is below 55 percent, or any profile is below 50 percent

How to Prepare for a Facility Audit

The facility audit is one of many methods the ministry uses to monitor a commercial vehicle operator’s compliance with requirements for record-keeping, driver control and vehicle maintenance, to better achieve road safety.

A facility audit is conducted for these reasons:

  • When on-road events change an operator’s overall violation rate, exceeding the allowable threshold by 50 percent
  • If an operator has previously failed a facility audit within the past five years, and has not passed an audit since that time
  • To verify that an operator is fulfilling commitments that were made to the Deputy Registrar
  • Operators may voluntarily request an audit to have their Carrier Safety Rating evaluated
  • To review complaints made about the unsafe performance of an operator’s driver, vehicle or both

To maintain transparency in the audit process, the software used by the auditor is programmed to randomly select drivers. To meet the sample requirements of the vehicle maintenance profile, the auditor will first select vehicles from the operator’s Commercial Vehicle Operators’ Registration (CVOR) record and select "events” to satisfy the sample size requirements. Vehicles will be randomly selected only when a search of the operator’s CVOR record fails to meet the sample requirements.

Audit Procedure

A facility auditor may contact the operator to schedule an audit, by phone or in writing.

The purpose of the facility audit, as well as the documents that will be required, is clearly explained to the operator at that time. The auditor may also want to verify some details about the operator’s business during the call.

At the entrance interview, the auditor explains the purpose, procedure, scoring and importance of the audit, and its potential impact on the operator’s Carrier Safety Rating and carrier profile.

The auditor will also ask the operator to explain and demonstrate (with documentation) the hours of service and vehicle maintenance monitoring and recall systems used to assess whether they are complying with the regulations.

An operator will be asked to produce, in writing, a preventive maintenance schedule. The document will be reviewed and used by the auditor to determine if the operator’s maintenance schedule is being followed.

Documents That an Operator Must Provide to an Auditor

The documents and records that an auditor will review are discussed at the time the audit is scheduled, and may include – but are not limited to – the following:

  • A complete driver/vehicle list (current and six months ago)
  • Driver abstracts
  • Collision reports
  • Independent time markers from operator or MTO records (for example, toll receipts, roadside inspection reports, conviction records and so on)
  • Payroll records
  • Invoices (cell phone, fuel, bridge-authority commercial accounts and so on)
  • Bills of lading
  • Operator’s invoice records
  • Bridge tolls
  • Accommodation/fuel receipts
  • Operator’s maintenance statements
  • Maintenance files (power units and trailers)
  • Annual inspection certificates
  • Semi-annual inspection certificate
  • Driver logs and time records
  • Daily inspection reports
  • Dispatch records
  • Computer-generated records
  • Electronic on-board recording devices or GPS satellite tracking-systems reports, if applicable
  • Proof of insurance
  • Or any supporting document that could be used to assess compliance

The audit will be completed in a timely manner, but its length will vary depending on a number of factors, such as the size of the operation, the availability of records, and the availability of the auditor and the operator’s support personnel.

Audit Results

After the audit is completed, an exit interview takes place. The operator receives a summary of the audit, with scores for each driver, vehicle and, if applicable, collision files that were examined. The operator will be given ample opportunity to review and discuss with the auditor the results of the audit and any possible charges.

Conducting a Self-Audit: a Step-by-Step Process

Vehicle Maintenance Profile

This profile examines the operator’s daily inspection and driver protocols, record-keeping and the retention of maintenance files. It is broken down into four distinct elements:

  • Detection, reporting and repair (40 points)
  • Preventive maintenance intervals (30 points)
  • Records (20 points)
  • Periodic mandatory commercial vehicle inspections (10 points)

Step 1 – Calculating Detection, Reporting and Repair

Examine the "event" date indicated on the commercial vehicle inspection report. If an inspection is not available, use any event that places the vehicle on the highway during the past six months.

  1. If the vehicle daily inspection reports (including schedules) are improper or missing, 10 points are deducted.
  2. If inspection reports indicating vehicle defects, copies of roadside inspection reports and report notices are not appropriately submitted by the driver, 10 points are deducted.
  3. If the reported vehicle defects are not repaired before the next vehicle dispatch, 10 points are deducted.
  4. If the maintenance records do not contain the appropriate information required after the reporting of the defect, 10 points are deducted.

** The total number of points (maximum of 40) will be referred to as "A."

Step 2 – Calculating Preventive Maintenance (PM) Intervals

To calculate the PM score, record the most current date of Preventive maintenance and work back a total of two years. The vehicle will be scored when:

Operators Maintenance Interval Points Removed
PM < 90 days
When PM interval exceeds 90 days
PM > 90 days
When PM interval is exceeded
Based on mileage
When interval and 90 days are exceeded

If a vehicle is operated on a highway in contravention of any PM interval, the full 30 points will be deducted.

** The total number of points (maximum of 30) will be referred to as "B."

Step 3 – Annual and Semi-Annual Inspections

Record the most current annual or, if applicable, the semi-annual inspection certificate, to a maximum of three.

If a vehicle is operated on a highway within 24 months of the audit and in contravention to the annual and semi-annual inspection interval, 10 points will be deducted.

** The total number of points (maximum of 10) will be referred to as "C."

Step 4 – Calculating the Score for Records

This element of the vehicle maintenance profile is composed of four units, with a value of five points each:

  1. The operator’s PM program is in writing.
  2. The records and reports for the vehicle are maintained at the appropriate location (principal place of business or terminal).
  3. The records and reports have been maintained for two years, or for six months after the vehicle ceases to operate.
  4. The records and reports for the vehicle contain all the applicable information, such as dates, odometer readings of inspection and repair and so on, as required by Highway Traffic Act Regulation 199/07 Section 7 and 16.

Note:

  • When scoring this unit; do not use the daily inspection that was used in Step 1 in detection, reporting and repair.
  • Any leased vehicles or vehicles in the operator’s possession will receive a full score in Step 4 if the information in detection, reporting and repair is compliant.

**The total number of points (maximum of 20 points) will be referred to as "D."

To calculate each vehicle score, add the scores from each of the above steps:

  • A + B + C + D equals a total of 100 potential points.
  • To calculate the eligible points for all vehicles in this profile, add all eligible points from the above steps.
  • The overall compliance achieved is expressed as a percentage of the total points and eligible points.
  • The compliance rate is expressed as points based on the percentage of compliance achieved.

Sample Calculation of the Vehicle Maintenance Profile

Plate Number Detection, Reporting and Reporting (40%) Preventive Maintenance (30%) Annual and Semi-Annual Inspections(10%) Records Score
111111 10.0% 0.0% 10.0% 5.0% 25.0%
111112 10.0% 0.0% 0.0% 20.0% 30.0%
111113 30.0% 30.0% 10.0% 15.0% 85.0%
111114 0.0% 30.0% 10.0% 15.0% 55.0%
112222 30.0% 30.0% 10.0% 20.0% 90.0%
122223 40.0% 0.0% 10.0% 20.0% 70.0%
TOTAL POINTS 120.0 90.0 50.0 95.0 355.0
Eligible Points 240.0 180.0 60.0 120.0 600.0
Compliance Achieved 50.0% 50.0% 83.3% 79.1% 59.1%
Compliance Rates 20.0 15.0 8.3 15.83 50.17

Qualification, Records and Reporting (Q,R&R) Profile

This profile consists of several elements that are tailored to fit the specific operational scope of the operator. Driver qualifications, conviction reporting and record retention are examined and, if applicable, the reporting and resolution of collisions. Retention periods vary for each element, and are explained below. Operators may be exempt from certain record-keeping requirements, such as being a driver/owner. Points are blended to represent only those elements applicable to the operator.

The profile elements and their represented weighting are as follows:

  • Qualified Drivers (60 percent)
  • Driver Abstracts (15 percent)
  • Conviction Records (15 percent)
  • Operator Collisions (10 percent)

The driver/owners would not be expected to acquire and retain abstracts and records on themselves. In those cases, the 60-percent rating for qualified drivers is then expressed as 100 percent. Operators with no collisions on their records will automatically receive the 10 percent for operator collisions. Drivers selected for this profile will be used in the hours-of- service profile.

See Appendix A, "Sample Calculation of the QR&R and Hours-of-Service Profiles,” for details.

Hours of Service Profile

Definition

A quantified margin of error (QMOE) is the difference, in hours, between what a driver reports on his daily log and the time indicated on a supporting source document. All times are recorded to the quarter-hour (15 minutes).

The margin of error can be calculated in the following manner:

  1. The time in excess of the driving limitations (13-,14- and 16-hour rule)
  2. The time in excess of the cycle limitations (70- and 120-hour rule)
  3. Driver scored "missing 24 hours” for a missing daily log or time record
  4. For a false daily log, time difference doubled when it exceeds two hours

Calculating the Driver Profile

To calculate a driver score, the following steps must be followed:

  1. Record all the on-duty time reported by the driver for a one-month period (call it X).
  2. Examine each day of the month by comparing receipts for bridge tolls, fuel, accommodation and meals, telephone and GPS documents to the entries indicated on the driver’s daily log.
  3. When more than one margin of error is detected in a day, only record the highest.
  4. Total all margins of error for the month (call it Y).

When Y exceeds 10 percent of the X total, the driver has lost all of the 90 points available. The driver can lose 10 data points if the hours of service documents fail to record name, duty statuses, odometer readings, location, vehicle plate number, cycle, address, previous hours, date and time/total.

For a sample calculation, refer to Appendix A, "Sample Calculation of the QR & R and Hours-of-Service Profiles.”

Facility Audit Sample Size Guideline

Number
(Driver/Vehicles)
Sample Size
(Driver/Vehicles)
1 1
2 to 5 ALL
6 to 9 6
10 to 12 8
13 to 15 9
16 to 18 10
19 to 22 11
23 to 26 12
27 to 32 13
33 to 40 14
41 to 50 15
51 to 64 16
65 to 85 17
86 to 121 18
122 to 192 19
193 to 413 20
144 to 500 21
+ 501 25

For further information on vehicle maintenance and hours of service requirements, refer to the Highway Traffic Act.

Vehicle Maintenance

O. Regulation 199/07 (Commercial Motor Vehicle Inspections)

Hours of Service Requirements

O. Regulation 555/06 (Hours of Service)

For more information please contact:

Facility Audit Administrator

Carrier Safety and Enforcement Branch
Carrier Enforcement Program Office
Ministry of Transportation
301 St. Paul Street, 3rd Floor
St. Catharines, ON L2R 7R4
Tel: (905) 704-2506

Intervention and Consequences of Non-Compliance

As a result of an audit, MTO may take any one or a combination of the following intervention options:

  • no action, as the operator has demonstrated acceptable compliance
  • request a comprehensive action plan, acceptable to MTO, which the operator must develop
  • impose conditions on the operator’s CVOR certificate, requiring the operator to take specific actions by the specified dates
  • Not issue various types of permits or certificates

Facility-audit information is quantified and becomes an integral part of determining an operator’s Carrier Safety Rating. Therefore, it is essential that an operator demonstrate a high level of compliance to maintain an acceptable safety rating. Failure to do so may lead to an operator being restricted or prevented from operating commercial vehicles in the province of Ontario.

Monitoring

Operators are expected to achieve and maintain a high level of safety compliance by adopting effective safety-management practices.

In spite of the benefits of operating safely, some operators persist in a pattern of non-compliance with safety-related regulations. The ministry takes a progressive approach in dealing with them, in the hope of changing their behaviour.

Operators are routinely monitored for safety compliance. Duties of the ministry’s enforcement staff include:

  • patrolling the highways to detect violations and contribute to the safe movement of goods and people
  • conducting facility audits and investigating serious safety issues
  • conducting dangerous-goods inspections

CVOR Monitoring

Operators based in Ontario, as well as US-based operators that operate in Ontario, must obtain a CVOR certificate from the ministry.  

This registration permits the ministry to gather all information relating to their operations in Ontario. Information is sent to the ministry from agencies across North America, where it is monitored and analyzed by ministry staff, and provides the basis for establishing an operator’s safety rating.  

The CVOR system tracks the on-road safety performance of each registrant operator.  The goal of the CVOR system is to improve road safety for all users of Ontario highways, by having an effective monitoring and intervention system for all carriers. Poor performance may result in the loss of privileges to operate commercial motor vehicles.

All operators who are required to operate their vehicles under the authority of a CVOR certificate are monitored in the following areas:

  • Collisions
  • Convictions
  • Inspections
  • Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance inspection results

For more information on CVOR monitoring, violation rates and Carrier Safety Rating, see Module 4 of this manual.

Progressive Intervention

The purpose of ministry sanctions and intervention is to reduce the number and severity of collisions, and reduce risk to the public.  This program ensures that operators demonstrating non-compliance are approached in a consistent, fair and objective manner, yet is flexible enough to allow for special circumstances.

When contemplating an intervention action with an operator, the ministry considers:

  • Predetermined stages established
  • Information in the operator’s profile
  • Operator’s monitoring stage (if any)
  • Audit information collected
  • Information collected through an investigation or inspection
  • Other appropriate information about significant incidents related to safety or compliance to safety laws
  • Disciplinary letters sent regarding unacceptable performance
  • Charges laid resulting from a facility audit
  • Direction to the operator to arrange for a compliance audit
  • "Conditional” Carrier Safety Rating
  • Suspension/cancellation of the operator’s operating privileges
  • "Unsatisfactory” Carrier Safety Rating
  • Fleet limitation
  • Seizure of plates

When considering an intervention, the level of risk that the operator represents to the road safety will be considered.  Operators representing the greatest risk to the road safety will be given the least amount of time to make adjustments to their practices.  Operators that present an immediate risk to public safety will be dealt with using any of the available tools considered appropriate at the time.

Sanctions and interventions are progressive in nature, and ensure that all operators are treated in a consistent and fair manner.  They are used to modify an operator's behaviour and obtain positive change.  An operator might progress through some or all of these intervention actions until their activities are managed appropriately and safely.  If an operator fails to properly manage their administrative and safety processes, they may be issued an unsatisfactory or conditional safety rating, or ultimately lose their privileges and have their CVOR certificate cancelled.  This would mean that they could no longer operate commercial vehicles on any highways in Ontario.

Appeals

If the operator believes a penalty imposed by the Deputy Registrar was not appropriate, then the operator has the option of initiating an appeal to the Licence Appeal Tribunal as per subsection 50(1) of the Highway Traffic Act.

The HTA allows the operator to file an appeal within 30 days of notification of a decision, or an action, that has been imposed on them by the Deputy Registrar.  For a fee, appeal hearing application forms can be obtained from the Licence Appeal Tribunal.

For additional information, visit the Licence Appeal Tribunal website or call (416) 314-4270.

Appendix A - Sample Calculation

Qualification, Records and Reporting and Hours of Service Profiles

  House of Service QR and R
   
Name QM OE
(90%)
Data
Items
(10%)
Driver
Score
(100%)
Qualigied
Driver (60%)
Driver
Abstract (15%)
Driver
Convictions
(15%)
Driver
Score
(90/100%)
Reported
(5%)
Action
(5%)
Operator
Score
(10/100%)
Driver 1 0.00 8.00 8.00% 60.00 15.00 15.00 81.00%      
Driver 2 90.00 6.00 96.00% 60.00 15.00 15.00 81.00%      
Driver 3 0.00 9.00 9.00% 60.00 15.00 15.00 81.00%      
Driver 4 0.00 6.00 6.00% 6.00 15.00 15.00 81.00%      
Driver 1               50.00% 50.00% 100.00%
Driver 2               50.00% 50.00% 100.00%
Driver 3               50.00% 50.00% 100.00%
Total Points             No Collision ADO 10
Eligible Points            
Compliance
Acheved
           
Compliance
Rates
           
Hours of Service Compliance Rate:
29.75%
Qualified Compliance   90.0%   Collision Compliance:   10.0%
QR and R Compliance Rate: 100.0%
Back to Top