Beginning October 18, 2021, anybody applying for a Class 1 commercial driver's license in BC must complete a mandatory entry-level training (MELT) program.
BC's MELT program, which exceeds the minimum requirements of the National Safety Code Standard for Class 1 entry-level training, was developed following a review of best practices in other Canadian provinces as well as consultations with BC's trucking industry.
Those enrolled in the program will be required to complete 140 hours of in-yard and around the vehicle training, on-highway driving and theoretical instruction, including 15.5 hours of air brake training. Successful completion will be required before a Class 1 license applicant can attempt the road test. The course curriculum will place special emphasis on safely navigating through mountainerous regions and challenging road conditions, ensuring drivers can confidently handle BC's highways and rapid changes in weather patterns.
Those with existing Class 1 driver's licenses are exempt from the requirement to complete this course.
The program is being delivered through driver's training schools authorized by ICBC - there are currently 46 across the province. See the full list here.
Those seeking support to cover the cost of a MELT course may be able to access funding through the following government programs:
- Community Workforce Response Grant
- Skill Enhancement Training Grant
- Indigenous Skills Training Development Fund
- BC Employer Training Grant