The Province of Ontario led by the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) and a group of industry stakeholders have been at the table for a couple years trying to put together the outline and processes for certification for Commercial Driver Instructor Certification. This is long overdue. Currently the criteria is very lax when it comes to the criteria and there is little if any enforcement by the Province for those who don’t play by the rules.
So why certification? First is road safety, these big rigs are on the road with all road users, also, the customer, the student deserves it. Not only do they deserve it the instructor needs education on the why and how to properly deliver in class, in yard and over the road training properly. Learning how to drive a tractor-trailer properly is no easy task. Being an instructor of these big rigs is a huge responsibility and cannot be taken lightly. To become a competent instructor takes time, you don’t go from driving one day to being a instructor the next, working with seasoned experienced lead instructors who have experience is important.
This is not a cost it is an investment. The Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario (TTSAO) and its membership, which includes schools, insurance companies, carriers and suppliers, support in principle Mandatory Commercial Driver Instructor Certification. They have shared their outline and discussion document with government and industry.
Here’s what it looks like;
TTSAO Commerical Instructor Course -Discussion Document
Meet eligibility requirements as defined by Ministry of Transportation (MTO) and Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario (TTSAO).
3 day course approved by MTO
Full ELT Course as defined by MTO
From time of hire schools will be obligated to ensure all new instructors hired will be fully certified with 1 one year of employment.
The hiring and education of to ensure quality instructors is a large undertaking and involves a lengthly time commitment from both the school and the potential instructor. The majority of the potential instructors come from existing drivers currently employed in the trucking industry. Hiring quality people to become Commercial Instructors is much more difficult and time consuming than hiring professionals drivers.
Some industry experts have commented 2 in 10 professional drivers will make it as an instructor who attempt the career. Many professional drivers are not interested in becoming a Commerical Instructor. In some cases candidate’s who pursue being an instructor find it to demanding and stressful. They prefer the independence of being a driver and go back on the road with in 3-9 months of hire creating turnover and additional investment of training dollars for the school.
The TTSAO surveyed school membership and the current hiring process for initial interview to placement is to be estimated between 6-9k.
Methodology of 1 year for full Certification:
A one year timeline for the certification process is important for the continued success of educational facilities for Commerical Truck Training facilities in the Province of Ontario and is reasonable solution.
TTSAO would appose ALL of the certification needing to be completed prior to being able to deliver training.
Example of the process:
- Potential instructor would meet all company, industry, government and insurance eligibility requirements.
- New In truck / In Yard instructors – must attend 3 day TTSAO Commercial Instructor Course with in 4 months of hire. The stipulation would be that school lead instructor(s)would deliver competencies based training and evaluations and sign off on competencies and work in a modified supervised environment with schools lead instructor(s).
- New In Class Instructors – must successfully pass the TTSAO Commerical Instructor Course with in 4 months of hire and cannot teach a class independently until certified.
Delivery of Course:
TTSAO would offer the TTSAO Commercial Driver Instructor Course a minimum of 4 times per year or as demand may dictate. Consideration for course delivery would need to be in class and virtual at multiple locations across Ontario and schools will need to have the flexibility of offering the course at their facilities. TTSAO would hire and approve Instructors to deliver the TTSAO Commercial Instructor Course.
The instructors would meet all provincial criteria and qualifications.
TTSAO’s Success Delivering Courses:
TTSAO has been a leader of the delivery of the MTO approved Air Brake Program for years. If not the biggest MTO partners and service providers – certainly one of the top 3.
Our administrative team at TTSAO has a proven track record of meeting compliance with all regulatory bodies and administrative and program management capabilities.
The TTSAO Insurance group has played a key role in the
Pre Qualification an Re Qualification of Schools across the Province. The addition of this TTSAO requirement for full membership has raised the standard for Commercial Truck Driving Schools.
The TTSAO Insurance Group has endorsed and will support the TTSAO Commercial Driver Instructor Course.
The TTSAO Carrier Group has played a key role in the development with TTSAO in recruiting and retention strategies that are focused towards entry level drivers. Many of the TTSAO Carrier Group members have Driver Finishing Programs with certified instructors and those Over The Road Instructors will benefit from the Certification. The TTSAO Carrier Group has endorsed and will support the TTSAO Commercial Driver Instructor Course.
TTSAO will continue to work closely with the Private Motor Truck Council (PMTC). The PMTC President, Mike Millian is a Board of Director of the TTSAO.
Other Association’s / Carrier Relationships:
TTSAO school members have developed relationships with the membership of the PMTC and the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA). TTSAO will continue to consult with these organizations and their carrier members along with other industry stakeholders through the process of the development of the course.
It’s time to move on with Commercial Instructor Certification, for those in the industry who don’t want to see the bar raised one would question why not, what is the motive? Road safety and higher standards is everyone responsibility.