Driving instructors seemed to be the focus of the meeting at yesterdays Truck Training School Association of Ontario (TTSAO) Meeting on December 11th which held a number of panels from insurance professionals to large carriers and had a full house of attendees. As I watched the moderators ask questions of the panel one common thread was instructor qualifications. Even the Ministry of Transportation is looking into instructors in the light of their M.E.L.T program implemented in 2017.
Board Member Gerald Carroll started things off with information on the TTSAO Conference coming up on February 27th and 28th 2019. An outline of the agenda and sponsorship opportunities were explained and Charlie Charalambous talked about the new instructor award being presented and sponsored by PayBright. You can register for the conference and learn more about the Instructor Award on the TTSAO website at www.ttsao.comMaybe this kicked it off in my mind that the focus was on instructor qualifications but each panel seemed to have that common thread. The first update by the Ministry of Transportation offered a look at the Mandatory Entry Level Program ( M.E.L.T.) for drivers and are expanding the program for “D” licensed drivers. It was mentioned that the next step for the M.E.L.T program would be instructor certification and qualifications. Currently the Ministry is collecting data over a 3-5 year period as to how well the program is working.Lisa Arseneau moderated the discussion for the Carrier Panel which included carriers Challenger, Kriska, and Rosedale offering tips on where drivers need help when applying for jobs with many carriers. Backing up and more complete training was commented as an issue for new applicants. All the carriers mentioned they were happy to have a M.E.L.T. as a base for looking at new applicants, and the carriers mentioned that positive promotion of the industry is required to bring in new people to the industry. Instructor certification and recognized teaching strategies were all good steps to improvement in training from a carrier standpoint.A discussion with the Insurance Group was moderated by Guy Broderick and the key point of this panel was instructor qualifications again. The insurance industry is trying to change some of the ways they insure carriers to help bring in more people to the industry. What they are seeing through their data is that many of the severe crashes are from inexperienced drivers and they feel instructor certification would be a big step to helping insure new people in the industry.
The meeting was closed off with an update from the MTCU ( Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities) on the training amounts allotted for schools to train new students. Chairperson Kim Richardson closed the meeting with remarks to the full house.Overall the training industry is working very hard to bring the status of the driver in the transportation industry to professional levels. TTSAO is at the forefront of many of the talks with Ministry officials and is moving the mark forward, but as mentioned by Geoff Topping of Challenger Motor Freight, “We all need to do our part to promote the professionalism of the industry.”
Improving the outlook of the industry will go along way to helping all of us for the long term and hopefully will solve the recruiting issues in the industry. If you are currently an instructor in the industry look for certification training in the near future. It’s being talked about by all groups in the industry. Register for the TTSAO Conference in February by clicking here.About the Author
Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is an author of the books Driven to Drive and Running By The Mile, and host of The Lead Pedal Podcast. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training vocation ensuring quality entry level drivers enter the transportation industry. To learn more about the TTSAO or to find a certified school in your area visit www.ttsao.com