Pre-Employment Screening and You

I have noticed that many companies are still are not using the PSP program from the USA. PSP stands for Pre-Employment Screening. As a driver you may not know what a PSP is but they have been around now for a few years and it is a program that is important to trucking and recruiting.

As a driver, you may think ‘this is a recruiting tool’ but it is more than that and you as a driver need to know about PSP. All recruiters and safety managers are using it. It is the USA’s version of Ontario or Alberta’s truck driver abstract. In Ontario it is called a ‘Driver CVOR’ and in Alberta it is called a ‘Commercial Driver Abstract‘. And YES, Canadians can apply for and receive a PSP.

What is on the PSP? It contains five years of crash data – a whole sixty months of crashes. If a Canadian driver has had a truck crash in the USA, the collision will likely appear in the PSP report. So drivers, you can no longer hide a USA crash. Recruiters too need to know about all crashes. So the recruiter will obtain your PSP. It also will show all your inspection events for three years – that is thirty-six months of info. If a driver has had a clean inspection, then it too will show up. If a driver has had a violation at the scale it will also show up (an inspection event could be at a scale or it may be a roadside inspection). So a PSP shows five years of crash data and three years of inspection events.

It also shows, under Event Information, the name of the carrier and the DOT number of the carrier. This information makes doing reference checks much easier. Recruiters can also match this up to an application form. For drivers, it may help their memory and assist them to list all of the past employers.

Drivers, you need to know what is on the PSP report. You can get your report for free at this link. It takes several weeks for Canadians to receive it, but you will get it.

Recruiters need to pay to receive a PSP report. For fleets of less than 100 power units the cost is $25.00 annually for the fleet and $10.00 per search. The larger fleets will have to pay $100.00 annually and $10.00 per search. Recruiters, you do need to have a DOT number to get a PSP for a potential driver. I have not heard of a way for non-cross-border carriers to get PSP reports. You also need to have the driver sign a release form before you can ask for the record. Recruiters, you need this valuable information to make a hiring decision. You need to view the current Driver Abstract, Commercial Driver Abstract, Criminal Record Search and of course the PSP. In this way, you improve your chances of hiring a competent, qualified truck driver. You need all of this information to make a decision and to justify your hiring decision.

Now you might be saying, justify my decision? I’m the recruiter. I make the hiring decisions. I don’t have to explain my hiring decision to anyone! Well, you might. If you hire a driver and that person has a serious crash, your company may get sued. If the suit is for either ‘Negligent Entrustment’ or ‘Negligent Hiring’ you may find yourself explaining your hiring decision to the courts. Your decision had better stand up as a reasonable hire or else your company could be on the hook for thousands or millions of dollars. In a catastrophic collision, you will be justifying your choice of driver. For you to sleep at night, you need to know your decisions will stand up in a court of law. If you hired a driver and that person goes out and kills someone with their/your truck, you and your company can be held responsible. Yes, I said you! Being personally named and being personally financially accountable for the hiring has happened many times in past lawsuits.

PSP is one of the many tools that a recruiter needs to use to make quality hires. Truck drivers need to know what is in the report so that they are equipped to answer possible questions about what appears on the PSP. You both need the PSP report.

Stay safe out there.

Chris Harris
Top Dawg, Safety Dawg Inc.
@safety_dawg (twitter)

About Chris Harris, Safety Dawg

Chris has been involved in trucking most of his adult life. He drove truck for and worked in various office/management positions for a major truck company. His last position of 5 years in the safety department where he was responsible for the recruiting of Owner Operators and their compliance. He joined a trucking insurance company in 2001 and has been in the insurance side of things until making Safety Dawg a full-time endeavour.