ON – Ontario’s private career colleges have received a stern warning
from the ministry that oversees them, after complaints that some schools
are trying to bypass newly introduced mandatory training for commercial
The Mandatory Entry Level Training (MELT) program was introduced by
the Ontario Ministry of Transportation on July 1, and sets a minimum of
103.5 hours of training for anyone looking to earn a Class A licence.
It's the first jurisdiction in North America to introduce such a
In a memo obtained by Today’s Trucking, the Ontario Ministry of
Advanced Education and Skills Development says it has heard some schools
may not be complying with approved training programs and conditions.
The issue includes programs designed to upgrade BZ or DZ licence holders
to AZ licences, or simple hourly lessons.
“Any AZ training which does not adhere to the MELT standard does not
provide the student with the ability to challenge the [Ontario Ministry
of Transportation] AZ road test,” the memo stresses, referring to the
Private Career Colleges Act’s potential fines of up to $250,000 for
corporations as well as $50,000 fines and one-year prison terms for
Schools must use an online portal to identify trainees who have
completed the ministry-approved training regime, before the individual
can go to a DriveTest Center to take the road test for the licence
Schools that don’t comply with the rules could have programs revoked,
requiring refunds for students, writes Terry Tretter, manager –
compliance and enforcement unit at the Ministry of Advanced Education
and Skills Development’s Private Career Colleges Branch.
Ads that promote unapproved licence upgrading programs and other
“non-vocational” AZ programs could also contravene the Consumer
Protection Act. That also carries potential fines of up to $250,000 for
corporations as well as $50,000 fines and two-year prison terms for
There are ways for trainees to be recognized for “advanced standing”
toward the required schooling. But schools must have their approach
approved before offering it.
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