The Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario (TTSAO) has been alerted to the fact that there is at least one school operator which is falsely claiming to be a member of the TTSAO.
“We have solid evidence of one trucking school’s certificates being emblazoned with the TTSAO logo, yet they are not members,” says Philip Fletcher, TTSAO President.
“One of our legitimate operators had someone come in to upgrade their training. This school operator said, ‘Bring your certificate to show that you’ve got your MELT’…there on the left side of the certificate – the first thing you see – is the TTSAO logo.”
Fletcher says that when he was shown the non-member certificate bearing the TTSAO logo, he personally visited the organization onsite to deliver a Cease-and-Desist letter.
“It appeared to be a one-man operation, and the owner was not in the office when I arrived,” Fletcher told Road Warrior News. “Later the same day, I visited a trucking industry job fair in Barrie and confirmed that this operation was not a TTSAO member.”
Fake trucking schools have been in the news in the past year, as the police case against six men arrested in Ontario and Quebec for offering counterfeit truck licensing credentials is progressing through court. A trucking driver examiner told RWN “We have been flooded with students travelling from the Greater Toronto Area…they are pumping out way too many students for the hours in the month.”
“Students paying for training believe they have graduated from a TTSAO-member school,” Fletcher notes. “This can further cause confusion for carriers which believe they are hiring a new driver who has successfully completed the Minimum Entry Level Training (MELT) program from a reputable TTSAO school, when they have not.”
TTSAO advises anyone looking to enroll in a truck training school to check to see if they are members of the TTSAO by visiting its website at ttsao.com/accredited-schools
Drivers who have concerns about whether their certificate is from a valid TTSAO school should also check the website.
“As a carrier, you should also be verifying that a school that sends a graduation certificate that says TTSAO is, in fact, a member of the association,” Fletcher says, adding that there are very likely insurance implications for a firm hiring a driver they believed had genuine credentials.
Fletcher has a meeting scheduled with Ontario’s Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney this week and plans to include the topic of fake credentials on the agenda.