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CSA Reviews Expected to Increase This Year
Mariah Barr
6 mins read

Both onsite and offsite CSA reviews are on the rise in 2022.

According to the latest Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Analysis & Information Online data, both state and federal inspectors are on track to conduct more audits this year compared to 2021. The biggest hike is to onsite comprehensive reviews, which are projected to increase by 25 percent.  

And while it may not be great news for FMCSA-regulated businesses, it does fit with the agency’s increased commitment to enhancing compliance and safety this year.   

On top of this, the majority of CSA scores given in 2021 were Conditional. If you’re one of the many companies that received this rating, or the lower Unsatisfactory rating, you know it means that an auditor determined you did not have adequate safety management controls in place.  

It’s also safe to say you’ve become familiar with the consequences of your Conditional rating – some being long-term in nature. Your company may be having difficulty maintaining a strong reputation, keeping partnerships and customers, and attracting quality drivers.  

These challenges could be in addition to paying higher insurance premiums and facing continuous scrutiny from the FMCSA and enforcement officers (in the form of fines and increased audit risk).  

The Road to Recovering Your Rating 

Now that you know the likelihood of facing a CSA review is higher than in years past, it’s time to step up your game with safety management and compliance so you’re ready when an audit inevitably comes along.  

Get Your FREE DOT Audit Survival Guide Today! 

The FMCSA will expect to see your safety management plan that addresses the violations cited in the investigation that ended in the Conditional rating. You’ll need to include an outline of the reasons that lead to the rating and the progress you’ve made toward correcting those issues. 

Your plans will have to point out the steps your company is taking to identify the issues at hand, show proof of company training or use of outside experts who are helping assist with training, and provide documented statements showing that deficiencies have been or will be corrected. For this last piece, an internal or external audit verifying that violations are no longer occurring, or roadside inspection reports showing that the violations are no longer occurring, will fulfill this requirement.  

The plans should also include methods being put (or that will be put) into place to correct issues and prevent them from recurring. For instance, new or improved policies and procedures, new and improved roles and responsibilities, and improved or increased self-auditing will all suffice.  

As soon as you’ve created and put the plans in place, you can then formally request a rating change from the FMCSA. The agency typically provides a decision within 30 to 45 days of receiving said request.  

They will make their final decision based on whether you’ve taken enough corrective actions to meet their safety standards. If they find you’re not demonstrating the problems have been corrected or at least being addressed, your Conditional rating will remain. Whenever any carrier finds they’ve been denied an upgraded safety rating, they must continue to make improvements to safety programs (and properly document them) before requesting any additional safety rating reviews. 

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It’s important to keep in mind that, even though many companies with Conditional ratings have resolved their compliance issues, they haven’t been able to get the FMCSA back for an audit to have their ratings upgraded. As a result, they continue dealing with the consequences we stated above after receiving the lower ratings – sometimes for years on end!  

How You Can Avoid Reduced Ratings in the First Place

Conditional or Unsatisfactory ratings don’t have to be the end-all-be-all for your company. We know you have a business to run, and your drivers need to get back on the road to help with just that.  

Like with nearly everything else the FMCSA is concerned with, it’s all about compliance. And if that isn’t necessarily your strong suit in terms of your keeping your fleet safe and operating at full capacity, Foley will take care of it for you. 

Our digital platform includes a range of resources to help you remain compliant, including: 

And to help you prepare for your next audit before it happens, we offer comprehensive audit support to keep you on track toward a better safety rating.  

You can customize your compliance services as you need them, but we highly recommend taking advantage of our MVR Monitoring service in particular if your goal is to improve your CSA safety score. After you’re enrolled, you’ll be alerted in real-time when new information appears on a driver’s motor vehicle report—so you can act quickly when a serious driver violation occurs.  

Ready to get your company’s compliance in order? Contact us now to get started! 

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