TORONTO — Ontario’s new, modernized CVOR and Facility Audit program takes effect this week, on April 1, 2009.
The revamped audit system still requires carriers to maintain proper driver and vehicle records. However, the system changes from "performance based" assessments to "risk based" assessments triggered by elements more likely to cause or contribute to crashes such as hours-of-service violations, driver qualification and behavior, and fitness of equipment. The facility audit focuses on how effectively the operator monitors and manages these risks.
Total scores in those three ‘profiles’ (each of which contain their own subsections) will mostly determine carriers’ safety ratings (CSR). Operators may also voluntarily request audits in order to improve their safety rating.
Audits are expected to focus on carriers who have exceeded 50 percent of their CVOR threshold, although they can be triggered based on a specific incident as well.
Trucking groups like the Ontario Trucking Association and the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada welcome the new system as it supposed to consider a carrier’s actual safety program as well as adds consistency and standardization to the facility audit process while harmonizing Ontario’s system with inter-jurisdictional requirements.
(Ontario Trucking Association members can participate in a webinar detailing the new facility audit program on April 15. Click here for details.)
Meanwhile, Ontario is also planning to develop a New Entrant training program for the trucking industry which will require new trucking carriers to demonstrate a level of knowledge and ultimately pass a facility audit.
This idea is modeled around the U.S.’s New Entrant Safety Assurance Program, which applies to all motor carriers and owner-ops (including Canadian cross border truckers) seeking authority to operate in the U.S.
The MTO could have been motivated to toughen up new entrant standards and other procedures after a critical 2008 Auditor General’s Report, which found, among other things, that as many as 20,000 operators have never applied for the required CVOR certificate.