Starting July 1, 2017, drivers seeking a commercial full Class A licence in Ontario must complete a mandatory entry-level training course before attempting their road test. The new requirement, announced last summer by Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca, will ensure commercial drivers have the experience and training needed to safely operate large trucks on Ontario’s roads.
The mandatory training course will apply to all new applicants for commercial full Class A licences – the class needed to drive trucks with air brakes and vehicles over 4,600 kilograms. Drivers who take a road test before July 1, 2017 and those who already hold a valid Class A licence are not required to take the course.
To complete the course, drivers must enroll with a registered Private Career College or another provider that is recognized under the Ministry of Transportation’s Driver Certification Program.
The curriculum for the mandatory training course will be set by the training providers, and must meet the Ministry of Transportation’s Commercial Truck Driver Training Standard (Class A). The course will cover entry-level knowledge and skills that a truck driver must possess in order to operate a Class A vehicle safely, including basic driving techniques, tractor-trailer off-road manoeuvres, vehicle inspection activities and more. The course is expected to take about four to six weeks to complete. Training providers will set the cost.
Upon a driver’s successful completion of the course, training providers will submit verification via a web-based system to the province. DriveTest centres will check the driver record to ensure the course has been completed before a full Class A road test can be taken. The course is valid for life.
“With the updated curriculum, coupled with new road and written examinations, and training being provided by Ministry approved training institutions, the MELT Standard will raise the competency of Class A drivers entering the industry”, said OTA President, Stephen Laskowski. “As employers, OTA carriers are looking for consistency in terms of the competencies possessed by newly-licensed Class A drivers and with MELT we are going to see this realized, added Laskowski.
Knowledge tests for entry level drivers and drivers renewing their existing Class A licences will be based on information contained in the Official MTO Truck Handbook available by clicking here or at select local retail stores across the province.
To learn more about Ontario’s new mandatory entry-level training, please visit www.ontario.ca/classAtraining