What is a PSP Report & How Are They Used?

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Carriers are always looking for ways to make better hiring decisions, because they know the cost of a poor hire can be big for the company. Fleets can utilize PSP reports as part of their recruiting strategy. The motor carrier industry uses these reports to perform pre-employment checks and can avoid expensive mistakes this way.

In this article, we will outline what a PSP report is, explain how it works, and what information is included in it. In addition, we will outline why you need PSP reports for hiring purposes,

What is a PSP Report?

Established in 2010, the Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP) provides five years of crash data and three years of roadside inspection data on drivers. Being able to obtain this information on prospective drivers is an invaluable part of their recruitment strategy. 

There are restrictions on PSP records. They are only permitted for pre-employment screening and aren’t for investigating current employees.

How Does PSP Work

The PSP information is obtained from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS). Most fleet managers know this system as the same one that provides the data used to calculate a motor carrier’s CSA scores.

The Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) program in use today by the FMCSA to track a carrier’s safety performance is the same framework used to track individual driver history within the PSP program. Each violation was also evaluated as to whether the driver would be responsible for the violation or the violation was totally the company’s responsibility.

It’s important to realize that drivers only have information in PSP if they have had a reportable crash or been subject to a roadside inspection. And these CSA scores are for internal use and are not available to prospective employers.  

Info in a PSP Report

PSP reports are comprehensive documents that contain a great deal of information on drivers. Certain things will naturally not be disclosed in the employment application, so the PSP report is a good source for notable points that prospective employers should be aware of. The information in a PSP report includes the following:

  • The driver’s personal information including name, driver’s license number, state of issuance, and date of birth
  • If existing, five years of DOT reportable crash data
    • This data will contain a summary of each accident, based on the original crash report. This includes date, state, location, crash report number, carrier name the driver was operating under, and U.S. DOT number.
    • A statistical summary of all accidents reported. This includes total number of crashes as well as a breakdown of the total number of crashes with fatalities, injuries, tows, or hazmat release.
  • Three years of roadside inspection data, if any occurred. The date, U.S. DOT number and carrier name under which the driver operated, reporting state, report number, level of inspection, if a hazmat inspection was included, and the number of violations cited for that particular roadside inspection are all included 
    • Similar to the DOT reportable crash data, the report gives a summary of the driver’s roadside inspection violations by regulation, a description of the violation, the number of times the driver violated this regulation in the past 36 months, and the number of times the violation resulted in an out-of-service order

Why You Need PSP Reports for Hiring Purposes

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, transportation companies that used PSP had an 8 percent decline in crash rates on average. The same source found that out-of-service rates dropped on average 17.2 percent for motor carriers participating in PSP.

It’s unfortunate to admit, but many drivers with a poor driving record continue to make the same mistakes. It’s important to mitigate the risk of the fleet by doing everything possible to avoid drivers with a history of frequent accidents and violations. Of course, training programs may also be a solution to a potentially problematic driver that is identified from the outset.  

Conversely, drivers with strong PSP scores will likely have fewer driver issues. It’s possible to accurately anticipate the performance of a driver using PSP reports and doing this due diligence helps ensure you hire the best person for the job.

Drivers with reckless driving violations are 325 percent more likely to be involved in a future crash.

Those with a past crash on their PSP record were 87 percent more likely to be involved in a future crash.

When your drivers are aggressive on the road, fail inspection reports, or get into more accidents, they damage your CSA scores. You should understand CSA scores and how they impact your fleet. Your CSA score is like your safety record, the score that insurance companies use to calculate your premiums (along with insurance scores), and what companies use to determine whether or not to work with you. CSA scores are very important for your fleet.

How is a PSP Report Used

PSP driver reports are used by both carriers and drivers. Each party uses the PSP driver record differently.

How Carriers Use PSP Reports

PSP reports help carriers interpret a driver’s safety habits. Carriers use the data as a retraining tool to correct any potential safety performance concerns identified within the report before allowing the driver behind the wheel.

PSP also helps identify the candidate’s past employers, employment dates, and compare that information against the candidate’s employment application for accuracy. It helps determine to hire or not hire, along with other data collected. As mentioned several times above, PSP records may only be requested for the purpose of conducting pre-employment background checks. Additionally, written consent from the applicant is necessary before the carrier can perform a check.

How Drivers Use PSP Reports

An individual driver may order their own PSP report, since it has a strong potential to influence whether they will get hired or not.

As it affects job eligibility, every driver is recommended to verify their PSP report data at least twice per year. Inaccuracies should be challenged through the DOT DataQ process to keep one’s record clean.

Pre-employment screening program reports help carriers hire better-qualified drivers. Using a PSP is just one way to optimize your fleet. Get access to industry-leading technology solutions that can boost your fleet’s efficiencies at Azuga.