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Centennial College digs in over in-car assessment as “crucial” to safety, success for new drivers

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Both of Centennial College’s submissions provided for consideration in Toronto’s vehicle for hire driver training program include an in-car assessment, says Janna Erichsen, Chair of Part-Time Learning at Centennial’s School of Transportation.

Erichsen helped develop Centennial College’s Taxi Driver training program shortly after Toronto cancelled its existing training program in 2016. She says Centennial has submitted proposals for two types of training: 9 hours of on-line with an in-car assessment, and its existing program which is 25 hours of in-person training including 6 hours of in-car training and an in-car assessment.

“Even if the City opts to deliver the hybrid program which is 9 hours of on-line training with an in-car assessment, the in-car assessment is still a crucial part of the program,” Erichsen says. “It is the only way to determine whether the student can implement the skills he or she learned through on-line study.

“Further,” she notes, “with on-line training, the in-car assessment is the only chance we get to ensure the person being licensed to transport passengers is in fact the person who completed the on-line training. They have to come in person, and show us their drivers’ license and Centennial Student identification card.”

The explosive growth in on-line training in recent years has resulted in a cottage industry of professional “test takers” who will complete on-line programs for a fee.

“Centennial made a firm decision to take a stand on this for the benefit of consumers,” Erichsen says. “No student will graduate until we have been able to put a face to a name, and confirm that you are who you say you are.”