What is MELT – Mandatory Entry Level Training?
BC’s Ministry of Transportation has followed in the footsteps of neighbouring provinces by announcing details regarding the implementation of its MELT (Mandatory Entry-Level Training) program for commercial drivers on March 31, 2021.
As of October 18, 2021 – any drivers taking a Class 1 Road Test in BC must undergo a rigid training program that exceeds the minimum requirements set by the National Safety Code Standard, composed of a minimum of 140 hours of instruction and training. Read ICBC’s full MELT FAQ here.
What does that mean here at MTI?
This means that our 4-week Standard Class 1 Training Program will be discontinued in August and replaced by a new MELT compliant course.
The final runs of our Standard Class 1 Program begin on June 26th and July 24th, 2021. The inaugural MELT session is tentatively scheduled to begin on August 21, 2021. Our MELT Program will grow in length compared to our Standard Class 1, along with a corresponding increase in fees – the details of which will be released in the coming weeks. The MTI Way course will also be updated to ensure that it meets all MELT standards, expanding slightly before finishing up with the same 4 weeks of coach-mentorship with one of our partner carriers. Again, more details on this as well as the new MELT-compliant Air Brake course will come once our course design is finalized.
As a training institution that has always been dedicated to a higher level of learning and safety (just look at The MTI Way course that we have been teaching for years) – we welcome these superior training standards with open arms, believing them to be long overdue. Yes, more time, dedication and funding is required from students – but the end result will be better track records amongst commercial drivers in BC and safer roads overall, eventually leading to nationwide MELT standards.
A number of government programs exist to assist with these training costs, and to support new Class 1 drivers entering the trucking industry. These include:
- Community Workforce Response Grant
- Skill Enhancement Training Grant
- Indigenous Skills Training Development Fund
- B.C. Employer Training Grant
To determine eligibility and how to access government funding, Class 1 applicants can learn more here.
What else do you need to know about Mandatory Entry Level Training?
Licensed Class 1 Drivers, or even those with expired licenses (less than 3 years), are not required to undergo a MELT program.
MELT is only required for Class 1 commercial vehicle operators – Class 2, 3 and 4 requirements remain unchanged at this time.
Students are required to complete the B.C. Class 1 MELT course within 12 months from the date of
enrolment, but it is expected students will complete the course in a much shorter timeframe (i.e. 6 weeks).
There are many more details and specifications that are worth reading closely on ICBC’s FAQ.