What to Expect During a Mock Audit

Posted: Aug, 10th 2021

Suppose your company has ever been part of a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) compliance review. In that case, you know how stressful that can be trying to check all of your information and hoping that everything is in place. If you are trying to make a good business decision and stay compliant with all federal regulations, ITI recommends completing a mock audit once a year. The idea behind a mock audit is to review all of the areas a federal or state investigator would look at and any areas that need improvement. The mock audit process allows employers or safety consultants to understand what an actual audit would look like and how to prepare for one preemptively. 

 

Several factors can trigger a DOT compliance audit. An audit could be triggered after an accident, road violation, a roadside stop gone wrong, or CSA scores. CSA stands for Compliance, Safety, and Accountability.  It is the compliance and enforcement program of the FMCSA. A company’s safety data is collected on FMCSA’s Safety Management System (SMS) and is updated monthly with data from roadside inspections, crash reports, driver and vehicle violations. The data is factored into a CSA score, and this could trigger an audit.

 

The mock audit service will examine all of the items a Federal or State investigator would examine when they come to perform a compliance review. The results from a mock audit will identify anything that has been overlooked and therefore avoid hefty fines and unfavorable ratings. A compliance review resulting in an unfavorable “Conditional” rating or, even worse, an “Unsatisfactory” rating could lead to the loss of loads and increased insurance rates. The following two examples are situations that should have resulted in a successful compliance review with a “Satisfactory” rating.  However, the issues that were not identified prior to FMCSA review it resulted in a “Conditional” rating and hefty fines instead:

? A company took a driver in for a reasonable suspicion drug test.  As it turns out, no one at the carrier had received the required “Supervisor’s Reasonable Suspicion Training” (382.603) for drugs and alcohol. Without this training, the carrier did not have legal grounds to send the driver for a reasonable suspicion drug test.  A mock audit would have quickly discovered this problem and avoided the repercussions that ensued.

? A company had maintenance files but did not properly document the files with the required annual inspections and maintenance info per 396.3(b)(1).  They also failed to have certification for their mechanic to be an inspector and/or brake inspector. The driver was involved in a fatal accident, and a full compliance audit was required. This situation could lead to an enormous amount of problems for the carrier.

 

A seasoned ITI DOT Consultant performs a Mock Audit. ITI consultants have years of experience in preparing clients for precisely what they will need to prepare for an audit and how to navigate an audit effectively. The consultants provide specific feedback tailored to each company’s particular needs. Consultants are available to answer questions based on each company’s unique situation.  An in-depth ITI mock audit will focus on the following areas:

 

  • Insurance Documents
  • Accidents
  • Driver Qualification Files
  • Drug and Alcohol Testing
  • Hours of Service
  • Disciplinary Policy for Violations
  • Vehicle Maintenance Requirements
  • Roadside Inspection
  • Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports

 

For more information about mock audits and FMCSA compliance reviews, please email safety@itihq.com.

Other resources: https://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/NewEntrant/Regulations.aspx