You heard it here first, STC is predicting the end of the IRT (Item Response Theory) debate related to the CSA program. Here are a few reasons why STC believes FMCSA will not replace the current CSA SMS scoring algorithm with the much talked-about IRT scoring method:

  1. IRT is too obtuse, complex and almost impossible to explain and understand;
  2. IRT is too data-intensive and FMCSA is unable to get some needed data;
  3. IRT takes too long to calculate scores for hundreds of thousands of carriers;
  4. The industry has finally learned to adapt to CSA and its shortcomings; and
  5. The current CSA approach is too ingrained at FMCSA (i.e., there are too many institutional barriers and hurdles to overcome).

Tweaks around the CSA program edges will likely be made (e.g., to severity weights; peer groupings; and regional enforcement disparity), and IRT will inform those tweaks. But don’t expect fundamental CSA system and scoring changes. While we’re going out on a limb to make this proclamation, we don’t think we’re too far out there. You heard it here first.