College of Trades looking to step up enforcement

CONCORD, Ont. — The Ontario College of Trades will be ramping up enforcement, to ensure that the province’s coach and truck technicians are properly trained and qualified.

That was the warning issued by the Ontario Trucking Association’s Rolf VanderZwaag, when speaking at the Canadian Fleet Maintenance Seminar this week.

Enforcement officers representing the College of Trades have done 7,084 field inspections to date, but they’ve been focusing on education, VanderZwaag said. That could soon change.

“Right now they’re coming in the front door. Soon they’ll be coming in the back door and they won’t be announcing themselves and they will be asking for qualifications from your people, to be working in your shops,” VanderZwaag warned.

Among the things they’ll be looking for are technicians guilty of professional misconduct, for doing things such as issuing PMVI stickers without conducting a proper inspection.

“In the past, if an improper safety was done in your shop, you risked losing your inspection station licence,” VanderZwaag said. “Today, the mechanic also risks losing his licence. It’s very important you come to an understanding with your mechanics what the requirements are of these annual safety inspections.”

As of June 1, there were 30,969 truck and coach technicians registered by the College of Trades in Ontario. The average age of technicians is 52 years, while apprentices average 30 years of age. There are currently 3,200 truck and coach apprentices in the province.

James Menzies is editor of Today's Trucking. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 18 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies.

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  • Hey glad to see my money going to somebody staying employed in the Industry. In the small town I live in several people including my self have there truck and coach paid up but have not worked as a mechanic in years no money in it. Good luck catching them city folk who have not done proper inspection’s for years Mur

  • When will we be having standards a a checking of noise levels emitted from jake brakes that are modified to be excessively loud. This should be tied in to the inspection and if set too loud or modified there will be no safety issued until repair. Training is also needed as most drivers are decent however 5% of drivers want to be seen and heard and are jerks in operating the jake. Do you really think we want to hear the jake going thru every gear till it almost stalls and then have the jake come on between gears on the upshift. Respect goes 2 ways. I respect them but they also need to respect the common citizen as well.


  • . “Today, the mechanic also risks losing his licence. It’s very important you come to an understanding…
    umm, ever heard of the MOT? Mechanics have always known they could lose their license if they do improper or fraudulent safeties, so nothing new here. Surprising James with all those years in the trucking industry didn’t know about the MOT.

  • While this *may* appear like the regulator (College of Trades) is performing the role it has been tasked, this is nothing but a puff piece. Why?, Because mechanics have long known that if they do not do a proper inspection on a vehicle, and an accident or worse happens, then the paper trail will flow down to them. Noting new here. What is new is the enhancement of enforcement. From having the enforcement done on the ground by regional inspectors, and a team of former mechanics, the task is being relegated to computer screen analysts. Both have their place, However this is just a PR piece from the College of Trades to ensure that their value is highlighted to the diaspora.