Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need a safety program manual?

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Alberta Regulation AR/314 2002 Section 40(1) states that the registered owner of every commercial vehicle who is required to operate the vehicle under the authority of a safety fitness certificate must establish, maintain and follow a written safety program that, in a manner clearly documented, addresses items relating to the safe use and operation of commercial vehicles.

In addition to a  Safety Program, Alberta Regulation AR/121 2009 Section 6(1) states a carrier shall prepare and carry out a maintenance and inspection program that pertains to the carrier’s commercial vehicle and a maintenance and inspection program under subsection (1) must be in writing.

I have received a letter from the Government requesting an NSC Audit. What do I do?

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Chances are you received another attachment to that letter advising you to pick a 3rd Party Auditor to complete an NSC audit by a certain date. You must have an NSC Audit completed by the date stated in that letter or risk having your Carrier Safety Fitness Certificate downgraded to a conditional or unsatisfactory rating. Conditional ratings can carry various conditions registered against your profile that must be met within a set timeframe as stated or risk being downgraded to an unsatisfactory rating. An unsatisfactory rating means the carrier cannot operate a commercial vehicle while subject to an unsatisfactory Carrier Safety Fitness Rating.

Why do I need driver and vehicle files?

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Alberta Regulation AR/314 2002 Section 41(1)  states the registered owner of every commercial vehicle who is required to operate the vehicle under the authority of a Safety Fitness Certificate must maintain, for each of that owner’s drivers, a driver record file .

In addition to driver files, Alberta Regulation AR/121 2009 Section 37 (2) states a carrier shall maintain, or cause to be maintained, records pertaining to each commercial vehicle used in the carrier’s business and a carrier shall maintain, or cause to be maintained, the records referred to in subsection (2) at the carrier’s principal place of business.

What is a COR Audit vs an ARC Audit?

Certificate Of Recognition (COR)

A COR shows that the employer’s health and safety management system has been evaluated by a certified auditor and meets provincial standards. These standards are established by Occupational Health and Safety (OHS). 

An audit instrument organizes audit procedures into steps and actions for the auditor. Each Certifying Partner develops their own audit instrument, which is approved by the Partnerships in Injury Reduction. All audit instruments will conduct:

  • employee interviews at all levels
  • a review of documentation
  • observations of workplace conditions and practices

The audit will determine how well your health and safety management system is working, and if it complies with your Certifying Partner’s standards. 

Assessment of Regulatory Compliance Audit (ARC)

An Assessment of Regulatory Compliance audit is a detailed evaluation of a commercial carrier’s compliance and their administrative requirements as identified in several Alberta and Federal Acts and Regulations that form part of the National Safety Code (NSC) program. These audits are typically conducted by Certified 3rd Party NSC Auditors appointed by the Government of Alberta or Carrier Services Regulatory Officers.

Is an OH&S Manual Good Enough?

NO!

An Occupational Health and Safety Manual is a safety program for a company that addresses the needs for workplace safety and best practices, but they do not address the transportation safety and maintenance requirements under the National Safety Code Standards. Occupational Health and Safety Manuals are geared solely on Occupational Health and Safety Legislation.


A proper Transportation Safety Program addresses transportation safety laws, safe operation of vehicles, driver documentation and retention as well as driver conduct, discipline, hours of service, cargo securement, bills of lading, use of safety equipment and driver training requirements. The Transportation Safety Program must also address preventative and routine maintenance intervals on all NSC vehicles as well as under vehicle inspections, collisions, repairs, record retention and driver trip inspections. These manuals must be implemented and maintained as written. JPMT Consulting has  performed carrier audits in the past and has been presented OH&S Manuals by many carriers often resulting in a high non-compliance score and an audit fail. A carrier is only allowed a non-compliance score of 15% or less to pass an NSC audit. 

How long does an NSC audit take?

Initial NSC Audit

An initial audit will depend on the size of the carrier, the number of drivers, number of vehicles and the location and availability of all documentation required for the audit. An audit can be as short as 6 hours or as long as 3 days. 

Verification Audit

A Verification Audit is a follow-up audit usually as a result of conditions placed on a carrier for failing an initial audit. The conditions placed on a carrier will state a time line for the carrier to correct any deficiencies identified in the audit. Once the carrier submits notice the conditions have been met, an auditor will re-attend the carriers facility to verify all conditions have been met. Hence the name Verification Audit. A Verification Audit usually  takes about 1-4 hours.

What Records are required for an NSC Audit?

Driver's Files

.a. Driver’s abstracts, obtained at intervals no greater than 12 months, for the previous 5 years or since the driver was hired  

b. Drivers’ abstracts obtained within 30 days, either before or after, the driver’s hire date.  If driver was a previous employee and was laid off, then re-hired, the abstract is to be within 30 days of the later date.  Intermittent employment?  

c. Current and up to date NSC Training Certificates 

d. Drivers’ resumes or job application forms

a. Previous 3 years working history if employed less than 5 years 

b. Six months records of Hours of Service for all drivers 

c. Hours of service log sheets with proof that drivers are submitting same within 20 days of completion

e. Record of drivers’ hours of service monitoring and training certificates dated within past three years

f. Record of convictions of safety laws in the current year and each of the 4 preceding years

g. Record of all drivers’ collisions, if any

h. Valid records and certificates of drivers’ Transportation of Dangerous Goods training

Vehicle Files

a. Copies of repair records, each recorded with:  date; vehicle identification; nature of work performed; and, if equipped, one of the following:  odometer reading, or hour meter reading, or hubometer reading

b. Copies of lubrication records, each recorded with:  date; vehicle identification; nature of work performed; and, if equipped, one of the following:  odometer reading, or hour meter reading, or hubometer reading

c. Copies of scheduled maintenance records (A Checks), each recorded with:  date; vehicle identification; nature of work performed; and, if equipped, one of the following:  odometer reading, or hour meter reading, or hubometer reading

d. Records of all Commercial Vehicle Inspection Program (CVIP) inspection certificates and completed “Record of Inspection” forms related to each CVIP inspection completed on all vehicles

e. Records of all Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance Commercial Vehicle Inspection Reports pertaining to every vehicle

f. Copies of notices of defect(s) being recorded when a defect is identified (trip inspection reports showing defects) for every vehicle

g. Copies of vehicle trip inspection reports for previous 6 months

Safety Program and Maintenance Worksheets

a. Copy of Carrier Profile dated within past year 

b. Updated name of designated person (Safety Officer) to maintain and implement the safety program and ensure compliance with safety laws

c. Evidence of applicable legislations available at principal place of business. If only regulatory references are made, carrier to produce the legislation referenced and staff must have access to it

d. Records and recording of information, including as required: bills of lading; manifests; 2 years of dangerous goods documents; time records; driver’s daily logs; and weigh slips

e. Copy of current insurance policy identifying liability limits

f. Copies of Dangerous Goods shipping documents for at least the two previous years

g. Copies of 30-day follow-up incident reports filed with Transport Canada as required

h. Records that all driver violations have been reported to the carrier (cross reference with current Carrier Profile)  

i. Proof of a recall system for CVIP Inspections

j. Proof that only certified Heavy Equipment Technicians complete repairs and conduct regular maintenance on carrier’s owned vehicles (copy of Heavy-Duty Journeyman Certificates on file)