Submit your feedback on proposed National Occupational Standard for Truck Drivers by January 16th

Members of Canada’s trucking industry are now invited to review proposed National Occupational Standards that will more clearly define a truck driver’s job than ever before.

The draft standard – which includes a detailed list of the knowledge, skills and abilities that a commercial vehicle operator (truck driver) needs to demonstrate – can be downloaded at Comments must be submitted by 5 p.m. (EST) on January 16.

“The final document will offer the detailed information that can help guide training programs, ensure that graduating trainees are more employable, and better meet the trucking industry’s needs,” says Angela Splinter, CEO of Trucking HR Canada. “This project also represents an important step toward mandatory entry-level driver training, and efforts to recognize truck driving as a skilled occupation.”

The draft standard was developed over the past year through Trucking HR Canada’s Driving the Future project, which is supported by the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) and every provincial trucking association. The efforts were overseen by a National Working Group of fleet personnel from across the country, and content was reviewed line by line during regional consultation sessions that included drivers, trainers, assessors, managers and more.

This document reflects the core knowledge, tasks and subtasks that are typically developed early in a career and shared by the widest-possible array of commercial vehicle operators (truck drivers). The 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 lb.)

• Transport freight contained within a cargo-van-style trailer

• Handle general freight, Less-than-Truckload (LTL) or loose freight, tailgate deliveries, intercity Pickups and Deliveries (P&D), 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 (truck drivers) who have yet to meet the National Occupational Standard may, at the discretion of their employer, be excluded from operating in extreme weather.

The National Occupational Standard recognizes that other job-specific knowledge, skills and abilities also need to be developed, depending on the role that a driver performs.

The three-year Driving the Future project is supported with $1.2 million in funding from Employment and Social Development Canada. The work is also a direct response to recent recommendations by the CTA’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on the Truck Driver Shortage in Canada, and a landmark Conference Board of Canada report on the shortage.