Ontario first in Canada to introduce mandatory entry-level training for Class A truck drivers

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 road test, the Ministry of Transportation has announced.
A Class A licence is needed to drive a commercial truck exceeding 4,600 kilograms.

“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 mandatory entry-level course will take approximately four to six weeks to complete and course fees will be set by individual training providers. 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. Schools approved by the province have one 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.

These changes will 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, said the provincial government.

In 2014, there were 291,155 large trucks in Ontario and 191,291 Class A drivers, representing 1.83 per cent of the entire driving population.