Certified Training is on the forefront with a host of other regulations for the transportation industry. The Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario (TTSAO) along with a number of other organizations are working to come up with an effective certification process that will be recognized across the Country. This will allow truck driver trainers to have certification that reflects their experience, qualifications, and training skills to properly train entry-level students.
While this is a good initiative and a step towards a skilled trades model in the industry I have to wonder what this will look like in the industry. Will the certification be recognized across Canada? Will it cover any kind of training available or just certain areas? Will it cover both in-class and in-truck training? Will it have training certification by topic or truck type? What about self-employed trainers? All of these questions need to be addressed in order to be effective at certifying trainers.
It is important to address these concerns up front as it will affect how training is done in the future and who does it. As a trainer myself and with an aging population in the industry more drivers will be looking to move out from behind the wheel and into different areas of the industry such as training bringing more variables. I took a certified course back into 2009 from an organization that has changed names and no longer is in place. I work as a part-time trainer doing only in-class training for a couple schools. Does this mean I have to be re-certified?
What about the second group that are self employed which is another group I fall into. Many self-employed trainers don’t work at the schools but offer safety training for carriers, will that be a different certification? After all they aren’t training entry-level drivers which is a different model than a training facility.
Different Provinces have different needs, for instance chaining tires and mountain driving are crucial for western provinces but used very little here in Ontario. I know a lot of trainers that travel outside of their province to offer training. How will the needs of the students be affected by the certification?
The Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has developed an Instructor of the Year Award that began in 2019. This award recognizes top instructors within the membership of the organization and those that have won it are well deserved of the honour. The award however doesn’t meet all the instructors within the organization as the guidelines state that the instructor must be employed by a carrier or training facility. This takes away from those instructors which are self-employed or contract instructors. The reason I bring this up is to show you that a certification process has to include many variables in our unique industry.
The transportation industry has been tightening up regulations year after year and in many ways for the better. The problem is that the trucking industry is a compilation of variables from equipment, weather, roadways, people, and much more. Not everything fits in a box and a good trainer has to work in and outside of the box to get the information across. It will be interesting to see how the industry develops the certification program which will help many and offer a place for people to develop as long as the variables have been covered.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge is a veteran in the transportation industry with over 40 years in the industry in a variety of roles from driver to fleet supervisor and more. Today he is a media entrepreneur in the industry producing a number of programs within the trucking industry. You can learn more about Bruce, his work, and his trucking podcast at www.theleadpedalpodcast.com
Disclaimer: This article is written and based on the opinion of the author and is for general information only.