Driving Standards Unveiled, Part of Mandatory Training Goal

OTTAWA — The job of a truck driver has been defined more clearly than ever before, at least according to the new National Occupational Standard unveiled Monday by Trucking HR Canada, which is expected to pave the way toward establishing mandatory driver training regulations.

The extensive list of knowledge, skills and abilities was assembled for a national project known as Driving the Future. Over the last year it joined together Trucking HR Canada, the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA), provincial trucking associations, individual fleets, truck drivers, trainers and other industry experts in union and non-union workplaces.

“This National Occupational Standard will help to guide everything from training programs to certification initiatives and it will support national efforts to recognize truck driving as a skilled occupation,” said Angela Splinter, CEO of Trucking HR Canada. “Fleets can use this document to determine if new or existing employees are prepared for the job, while training schools will be able to use it to ensure their programs meet employer needs. It also serves as a foundation for any discussions about mandatory entry-level driver training.”

According to Trucking HR Canada, the standards reflect the core knowledge and tasks that are typically developed early in a career and shared by the widest-possible array of truck drivers.

It claims people who meet this standard will be prepared to:

  • Operate a straight truck or tractor-trailer with a gross vehicle weight of up to 45,000 kg (100,000 lbs.)
  • Transport freight contained within a cargo-van-style trailer
  • Handle general freight, less-than-truckload or loose freight, tailgate deliveries, intercity pickups and deliveries, inner-city travel, and potentially heated, but non-refrigerated loads
  • Operate on urban, regional and national roads in any terrain except mountain passes
  • Operate in all types of weather. Commercial vehicle operators who have yet to meet the National Occupational Standard may, at the discretion of their employer, be excluded from operating in extreme weather.

The standard also recognizes that additional job-specific knowledge, skills and abilities also need to be developed, depending on the role that a driver performs, accordign to the group.

In March 2014, Trucking HR Canada, CTA, and provincial trucking associations joined together in this three-year project to establish benchmarks for the goal of seeing mandatory entry level driver training introduced across Canada.

The new National Occupational Standards can be downloaded for free from the Trucking HR Canada website.

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