MTO officials reveal details of MELT

by Sonia Straface

KING CITY, Ont. – Sharpen your pencils, prospective commercial truck drivers. Mandatory Entry Level Training (MELT) in Ontario is coming next month according to officials at the province’s Ministry of Transportation.

Franca Ambrosio, manager, evaluation and training office with the MTO and Kim MacCarl, team leader for the standard revealed what MELT would look at the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada’s annual conference earlier this week.

Ambrosio and MacCarl confirmed that in the next few weeks, Ontario’s Transportation Minister will be announcing MELT’s introduction. From there, training centres will have one year to make the changes to comply with the MELT standard. The hope is that MELT will be officially rolled out and take effect in mid 2017.

MELT is going to look much different from what earning a Class A licence looks like today, said MacCarl. Gone are the days when one could simply pass a test and driver a transport truck on the highway.

After fully implemented in Ontario, MELT will require drivers looking to earn a class A licence with a minimum of 103.5 hours of training. Thirty-six and half hours are to be spent in the classroom, 17 hours in the yard (pre-trip inspection), 18 hours in the truck off-road and 32 hours on road.

The on-road test will ensure new drivers can safely complete four right turns, four left turns, four intersections (two stop and two through), two lane changes, one driving along, one expressway section, two curves (one left and one right), and one emergency roadside stop/start. Drivers will also have to complete either an offset backing (left or right) or an alley dock 90 degree backing to demonstrate their backing skills.

In addition, the knowledge test will now be 30 questions (before MELT tests were only 20 questions) selected at random from a new set of 120 competency-based questions the MTO and partners developed.

“For us (competency-based) means the required entry level knowledge and skills that a driver must have. We will ensure (these skills) are observable, measurable and attainable,” MacCarl explained. “MTO has aligned the training standards, the knowledge test and the road test to be competency-based using our source document – the National Occupation Standard.”

“By competency we mean, does the driver have the skills and knowledge to operate a Class A vehicle safely?,” added Ambrosio.

MacCarl said by having entry-level training standards across the province, licensing mills will begin to fall by the wayside.

“Unregistered schools that are out there, they can no longer train,” she said, adding that schools will have to have its curriculum approved by a MELT program expert before the proposed July 2017 deadline.

In simple terms, schools that don’t meet the requirements of the MELT standard  won’t be allowed to hand out licences anymore.

Ambrosio estimated that the full training program would take anywhere from four to six weeks before a new driver can earn his/her licence.

“The introduction of MELT will improve road safety by ensuring all new Class A drivers are trained to the same minimum standards,” MacCarl said in closing. “We will ensure that all organizations delivering the program are registered with the province.”

Have your say

We won't publish or share your data


  • It looks very much like a week in class study, but I’m wondering if the remainder of of 103.5 hours + 17 hours + 18 hours can still be qualified with a simple learners permit next to any licensed driver and what will qualify these training centres? Will the unregulated driving schools be drummed out of the business? Can the the required hours in class be completed open book by online accreditation?
    Seeing the strong desire to fill the driver shortage and to get people employed, I feel some gates will be left open to continue to be able to fill those seats – can’t wait to see the final incarnation.

  • While I applaud the positive initiative in training and road safety involving MELT, I question the final drivers test under SERCO. As this is a for profit company, I’ve heard of countless horrific horror stories of experienced accident free drivers being failed over and over, requiring additional monies to be paid for retesting. Commercial testing, IMO, should be a one price test, regardless of times needed to pass.

  • It’s about time. It should be like getting your drivers license on class G. It would save on paperwork,for cops due to inexperienced truck drivers. Also too,MELT should also have NEW DRIVERS,be trained in Winter Driving,and Winter Driving on up/down hills win Northern Ontario. ESPECIALLY between Sault Ste. Marie and ThunderBay.

  • Great idea. I hope this applies to ANYBODY who wants an Ontario AZ license! Like ” new Canadians ” who “say” they have driven in their homeland!

  • I took a course from an accredited school. It was basically double what the MELT requirements are. It took 8 weeks to complete and to take the course, one had to have a full G licence and completed the MTO written test.

    Once I graduated I had my choice of carriers competing for me because of my training and the school I attended. I was told in spite of that, less than 2% of new drivers were accepted by the carrier. In many cases, they saw which school trained them and the applications were refused. Many of these “fly by night” schools offer the basics to get your licence but carriers won’t hire them as they lack too much for the carrier to train them. All they do is provide money for their schools and the student has to find an accredited school to improve their skills.

    My total training time from beginning the truck driving school, to graduating, to completing my carrier’s training period to being on my own, 6 months in total.

    Do I think MELT is necessary? Yes. Driving the biggest vehicle on the road is a great responsibility not taken lightly and the repercussions from a crash can be devastating.

  • It’s good beginning, maybe AZ license temporary with 300 hours on the job with a review on the drivers competency, before he or she gets the full license. Plus learning about the different cargo may encounter for a career in driving.

  • This is welcomed news. MELT is the move this industry needed for the past few decades. I’m appalled this change has taken SO long to happen. Here is the problem I know to be fact. Thousands and thousands of drivers behind the wheel of A class trucks are NOT trained to new standards and haven’t been. Now the issue is current A class drivers still roam the roads and will continue to do so. What is the ministry going to do about non qualified drivers sharing the public roads? I suggest adding mandatory driver exams on all licenced drivers to confirm pre trip inspections, Z endorsement, un couple and coupling, and road safety are to standards. This stands for all drivers not just class A. If they fail the exam the license should be revoked and re training should take place. After the education is completed another road test should be completed. If failed at that point a 6 month suspension takes place.

    The reason for my thoughts on this subject is I perform exams on current drivers and most fail the ministry standard currently in place. This standard should be enforced as the safety records, collision rates, death and carnage are clearly unexceptional. The ministry is to blame for this current situation.

    However all being said this is the step in the right direction. With MELT I hope the trainers are to a standard that should only be achieved by the highest qualified, 15 plus year experienced, certified driver trainer, and professional people this industry has to offer. A new standard should be adopted let’s set the bar as high as it can possibly be.

  • Hello,
    If someone has taken the test before July 1st,2017 and failed. Would he be able to retake test without MELT program or he needs to go for road test only?

  • I think the candidate should be able to take the road test only and he/she was deemed sufficiently trained by the driving school or signing authority.

  • MELT program is a good program for improve the truck driver’s skills and it Will help the transportation industry we need to spot this program At the end i want say special to the Ontario’s Government

  • I think the M>E>L>T Program is great to know; BUT when you have to say this Verbatim to whats on all the pages … IT’S STUPID !!! The schools around Ontario are failing at an high rate… London; Chatham are @ a 100% fail rate and Kitchener is around 90% fail rate!!! Read this program , you would think that it was a Grade 6/7 student wrote it …SAD! Fact: A 40 year AZ Veteran with over 1 Million KM under his belt ; failed his test , because of the M>E>L>T program. Now he can’t drive anymore until he passes!!! So I came to a conclusion… The Government as found another way to Steal money from us! A re-test cost around $95. This problem needs to be addressed ASAP!!!

  • Hi .
    I gave class a road test in june 2017 and failed. Now they have new training something. Can i still apply for road test or i ll have to go for training.?

  • It doesn’t matter, “A” class drivers still won’t be classified as a skilled trades and the costs for this M.E.L.T. training won’t be subsidized in anyway.
    The employer that hires a driver that has completed this training will still need to verify that the driver can, drive at night, understand and follow delivery schedules, operate various tractors with different power, transmissions, etc., be away from home, and drive in extreme weather and traffic conditions.
    I could go on here, but I think you get the point. With the overwhelming driver shortage that Canada has today and it doesn’t look like its going to get any better, Ontario for one has to recognize that being a commercial driver needs to have the benefit of being classed as a skilled trade, and there needs to be assistance provided for those that would be interested in pursuing a career as a professional driver.
    Then the program could grow from there.
    Let’s get people interested in driving as a career path, as opposed to learning how to drive because they can’t find any other job and they know that they stand a good chance of landing a job if they get a Class “A” licence.

  • Now that the MELT program has been put in place and been running for over a year now I cant help but wonder who is enforcing the program and doing inspection at the various Schools who are registered with the MTO to generate the road test bookings. I have been the manager of two different PCC Schools going back as far as 1996 and I agree that the MELT program is a great tool however it does not work if the Schools are not audited to ensure that the training is really being done properly. I would like to speak with someone about getting the contact information for who ever is overseeing this program because it’s not really working without the enforcement being done.

  • i am in the program right now. Just completed two weeks of classroom studies. I scored 100% on my A written. I am leaning so much more than just driving the truck. I am learning how to be a safe driver, one that will be equipped to handle the truck properly and understand all regulations. It is not easy, there is a lot of information in a short time and it requires home study as well as classroom. next is my in truck training for 20 days, 4 weeks, m-f 7am- 4pm. With three students per truck. Looking forward to being a new trucker that knows, obeys and respects the law. My priority will be safety, not money. The shcool I am in is extremely professional and very well run. Thanks to the government for making this career move a challenge that takes dedication and skills learned before I am allowed to run the highways with a very lethal weapon. this is long over due and will in the end make our roads safer.

  • i lost my A knowledge test passed paper. i need to register in school for truck driving classes and school is asking for that paper. what can i do now.
    serivice ontario and drive test centers are not helping me in any way.

  • This programe does not work at all. Class room trainings does not delivered. No enforcement. No qualified instructors. Yards are full of students more than….

  • This program was developed to suck an honest persons hard earned dollars! People that actually wanted to pursue a rewarding career as professional dedicated drivers-sorry we are out of luck unless you paid out of your ass and are willing to be failed by mto instructors that wouldn’t even be able to shift an 18spd in 2nd or 3rd! Why was this program created? Because, very simple-cuz of all these new immigrants that claimed to competent in driving big rigs back home in there country where rules, laws, regulations means shit caused accidents drifted off took innocent lives. Truth be told this hasn’t just happened to new drivers but also seasoned. That being said yes there are some that actually share a passion for this work, rig and can drive better then most of the veteran locals! Years ago there was still big rigs on the road but how many accidents The system failed those good drivers or wanting to be and started giving their jobs away and those capable, natural skill confidence running rigs stepped away and looked for something else. New training cuz of accidents, let’s review how many can even write alphabets or even their own names backwards let alone understand BOL or log books yet get hooked with licences everyday and jobs with reasonable companies everyday. How many kept made up logs or push the limits to fatigue carelessness! Go to MTO watch for couple hours and see how many come with fake letters claiming experience etc or show so called PCC has completed their full training. Let’s face the truth the facts that this MELT is just another way to add $$ into PCC then back to MTO then back to policy builders operations, CEOs pockets so they can fill their bonuses and shares! You spend your hard saved 6-7K, or more to get a AZ job that pays $20hr yet mean while buddy next you speaks 10% if that makes same. You know they will w/o the truck or got helped to get their licence or financial aide cuz the system is rigged. 6-7K or more and still not skill trades yet plumber pushing their experience through is. Same AZ job 15yrs ago you made you $130-150k & now lucky to get long haul at $22-23hr. Unfortunate that all this hype on new training protocol is just a PR show that someone’s doing something about something-that’s all so others can say oh something got done! How much audit or actually random unannounced visits by actual competent mto officers are done at these facilities or Better yet someone watching see testing at mto if the tester even had their knowledge base. Hardly any! Nothing changes improves unless there are REAL checks put in place for ALL things.

  • Ontario melt program for Az license is disaster. It became cash cow for testing centre’s and student went schools to trains costing ten thousands of dollars.
    Brampton driving centre is the worst in North America
    80% percent student failing. And the location the test centre should be moved outside the city. Some one should tell the premier is time to privatize the system
    Give to privet examiners . Same USA .It is discrimination
    For one community who is the majority drivers.
    If the majority driver are white this program never come to Ontario and that is fact.
    What even worst the examiners never drove a truck .
    The have G license and they are examiners give me a break. This is shame for Ontario.

    • I’ve had a spotless CVOR and commercial abstract for 19 years… When the speed limiter legislation came in most of the drivers who COULD do something else, did.
      I still drive occasionally, as do most of the drivers who do it because they’re skilled and passionate about it.
      However, with E-Logs and GPS-tied Hours of Service rules forcing me to drive tired in order to stay compliant, I now use the money I make from driving to pay for my tuition as a nursing student.

      Cash grabbing “Saftey” regulations have been making it more dangerous for everyone on the road for years, hopefully this is a new start for the industry.