TORONTO, Ont.–The province of Ontario is introducing mandatory entry-level training for new commercial Class A truck drivers. A Class A licence is needed to drive a commercial truck exceeding 4,600 kg.
Individuals seeking a Class A licence in Ontario on or after July 1, 2017 will need to successfully complete mandatory entry-level training before attempting the Class A road test. Individuals who already have a Class A licence before this date will not be required to take training.
“The safety of all users of Ontario’s roads and highways is our top priority. The introduction of mandatory training in addition to knowledge and road tests is designed to ensure that commercial truck drivers are properly trained before they are tested,” said Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation.
The mandatory entry-level course will take approximately four to six weeks to complete and course fees will be set by individual training providers. Schools approved by the province have a year to develop a curriculum using a consistent provincial training standard. The new Commercial Truck Driver Training Standard (Class A) will be available early July, 2016, the province said.
These changes aim to improve road safety and address the trucking industry’s need for qualified and well trained commercial Class A truck drivers while eliminating inadequate training through unregistered truck schools. Mandatory entry-level training will be delivered by Private Career Colleges, Ontario Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology and recognized authorities under the Ministry of Transportation’s Driver Certification Program. Mandatory entry-level training course completion will be recorded by approved training providers on a provincial web-based system and verified by Drive Test Centres prior to allowing an applicant to attempt a Class A road test.
In 2014, there were approximately 291,155 large trucks in Ontario and 191,291 Class A drivers, representing 1.83 per cent of the entire driving population.
“By being the first jurisdiction in North America to introduce mandatory entry-level training for commercial truck drivers, Ontario is leading the way in terms of further improving highway safety and helping the industry to ensure it has an adequate supply of consistently trained, quality new drivers in the future. This is a game-changer,” said David Bradley, CEO, Ontario Trucking Association.
“The Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario, which represents the majority of Truck Driving Schools in Ontario, was very pleased to be invited and involved from the grass roots discussions of mandatory entry-level training. The TTSAO would like to thank the Ministry of Transportation and all of the industry stakeholders that have dedicated their time and resources in developing the components of the new standard. The new standard will help to produce higher quality commercial drivers and ultimately make our roads safer for everyone,” said Kim Richardson, TTSAO Chairman of the Board.
“The Ministry of Transportation and its team are to be applauded for their stakeholder engagement in regards to the mandatory entry-level training standard. The ministry included many levels of the industry in the meetings to develop the standard, and made it clear from the beginning that the industries view was not only wanted, but necessary. Overall the mandatory entry-level training standard is a great win for the industry and will help to raise the profile of the job of the professional driver in our industry. The standard will also go a long way in removing the unqualified licensing mill training schools from our industry,” said Mike Millian, President, Private Motor Truck Council of Canada.