What to expect from an Assessment of Regulatory Compliance (ARC) Audit

You’ve received notice that your company’s Safety Fitness Certificate has been changed to “Conditional” and you are required to hire a Third Party Auditor to perform an Assessment of Regulatory Compliance (ARC) Audit. What exactly does that mean and what can you expect?

An ARC audit is a quantifiable, performance-based audit designed to review a carrier’s compliance. Alberta Transportation uses the results to affect the carriers’ Safety Fitness Rating. Administrative penalties for violations detected in the audit may be assessed.

Preparing for an Audit

An ARC audit is thorough review of paperwork required to be maintained by commercial carriers. Audits will not include a physical inspection of equipment or an interview with employees. Instead, the auditor will review your company’s Safety & Maintenance Manual to ensure it meets minimum regulated requirements and review vehicle and driver files. 

While many companies have excellent safety manuals that cover Occupational Health and Safety requirements, the ARC Audit will be looking for a manual that covers the Transportation requirements under regulations. Alberta Transportation provides a compliant sample program for various types of operation here. CayCan can help review your current program or prepare a new program. Other companies may have a compliant manual but are not following it. Take some time now to review your current manual and ensure you are following each section as it is written.

Alberta has around 25,000 carriers and less than 30 Third Party Auditors. It is recommended that you reach out early and hire an auditor. If you do not have the audit submitted by the date Alberta Transportation requires, your company will have their Safety Fitness Rating changed to Unsatisfactory and all of your commercial vehicle licence plates will be canceled. We often get calls with clients trying to book an audit a few days before it is due, and many times we cannot accommodate. Alberta Transportation will not issue any extensions.

Performing the Audit

When performing an ARC audit, CayCan Safety’s auditors work with carriers to ensure the audit does not disrupt daily business as much as possible. Expectations and required materials will be discussed before the audit, both over the phone and in writing. Generally, you will need to provide:

  • A working space for the auditor;

  • An electronic copy of a recent Carrier Profile (request online here); (dated within 30 days of the audit date)

  •  The names, operator license numbers, license endorsements, date of hire and date of birth of all employees authorized to operate a commercial vehicle, including company mechanics and supervisors;

  • A copy of the letter you received from Alberta Transportation; and

  • A completed copy of the General Company Information Form (available on our website).

The auditor will also be examining:

  • Safety & maintenance manuals/procedures;

  • driver files;

  • training files;

  • accident and incident files;

  • transportation of dangerous goods documents;

  • equipment files;

  • hours of service records; and

  • insurance information.

How long an audit will take depends on document availability, and the number of units and drivers. 

Being selected to be audited can be intimidating for any company, but it doesn’t have to be. CayCan Safety can perform internal ARC Audits where the results are not shared with Alberta Transportation. This audit can identify areas where your company may need to focus on improvement before the actual audit is performed. By being proactive, your company can feel confident that there are no violations and you are safely operating.