Class 1 MELT implementation; changes to the ICBC-approved air brake course & certification program
This past summer, ICBC announced upcoming changes to its Class 1 and air brake knowledge tests to support B.C.'s Class 1 Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) requirement.
If you are a commercial driver training school, an air brake certification facility, or an air brake school, you will need to be aware of the following key changes to air brake training requirements in B.C.
Single-unit air brake course
On Monday, October 18, 2021, ICBC will replace the existing 16 hour air brake course and 20 hour air brake certification program with a new training stream for drivers of single-unit air brake equipped vehicles. These changes align with the new single-unit air brake knowledge test that better targets the vehicles these drivers will be operating.
The change applies to those with a Class 2, 3, 4 or 5/7 driver's licence who are applying for an air brake endorsement.
Applicants for an air brake endorsement to operate a single-unit vehicle (e.g., buses) must complete the new 7 hour air brake theory course before being issued an air brake course card to take the new single-unit air brake knowledge test.
A new 11 hour single-unit air brake certification program is replacing the current 20 hour certification program. Air brake certification facilities will be required to deliver a new 7 hour air brake theory course, as well as 4 hours of practical air brake training, totaling 11 hours.
|Air Brake Training|
Single-unit air brake course
Includes any Theory Assessments
Includes Practical Assessments
An air brake school or certification facility may choose to offer longer theory and practical training hours, but the minimum hours listed above must be taught. The practical training time of 4 hours includes the required air brake assessment(s).
ICBC will provide updated Certification Facility Agreements toward the end of October 2021 and an updated ICBC Driver Certification form (MV2067) to its air brake certification facility partners in late December 2021.
During this transition, ICBC driver licensing offices will accept an air brake course card that displays either the current 16 hour air brake course or the new 7 hour air brake course.
Air brake certification facilities may continue to deliver the existing 20 hour air brake certification, as they transition to delivering the new 11 hour single-unit air brake certification. In the meantime, facilities may continue to operate under their current Certification Facility Agreements and use the existing MV2067 stock they have on-hand.
Please ensure the number of practical and theory hours is clearly labelled on the ICBC Driver Certification form (MV2067), to indicate whether the student has completed the new single-unit air brake certification. An air brake course card must state the number of theory hours completed (e.g., 16 hours or 7 hours).
Class 1 driver's licence applicants and air brake training
The Class 1 MELT course contains all necessary air brake training for Class 1 driver's licence applicants - it targets both single-unit and combination-unit vehicles equipped with air brakes, and includes the following minimum hours:
|Air Brake Training|
Combination-unit with air brakes
(taken as part of Class 1 MELT course)
Only Class 1 driver training schools approved to deliver the Class 1 MELT course may provide air brake theory and practical training to a Class 1 driver's licence applicant, as part of the Class 1 MELT course.
However, in the case of new B.C. Class 1 driver's licence applicants who have completed an Ontario Class A (1) MELT course, they must first complete the 15.5 hours of air brake theory and practical training for a combination-unit vehicle in order to have their Ontario Class A (1) MELT course accepted in lieu of the B.C. Class 1 MELT course.
This training must take place at an air brake certification facility, OR it may be taken at a Class 1 driver training school approved to deliver the B.C. Class 1 MELT course, providing that school is approved by ICBC to deliver air brake certification.
ICBC will provide these applicants with a B.C. driver's licence number that may be recorded on the ICBC Driver Certification form (MV2067), as most of these applicants may still hold an Ontario Class A (1) driver's licence at the time they enrol in and complete the certification.
Important: Past air brake training taken as part of B.C.'s 16 hour air brake course or 20 hour air brake certification program does not replace the requirement to complete all modules of the Class 1 MELT course, which includes the air brake training hours above.
Those who choose to complete the new 11 hour single-unit air brake certification program will only be eligible to receive an air brake endorsement on their Class 2, 3, 4, or 5/7 driver's licence. This training will not count toward air brake training for a Class 1 driver's licence.
Air brake training course material
If you are an air brake school or an air brake certification facility who will be offering the new single-unit air brake course, or who will be providing air brake certification for a combination-unit vehicle for those applicants who have completed an Ontario Class A (1) MELT course, you will find the lesson plans and presentation slides within the Class 1 MELT course materials at: Teach Class 1 mandatory entry-level training
You may use additional materials to those provided in the link above. However, the Learning Outcomes and Performance Indicators in Module 10 of the B.C. Class 1 MELT Program: Course Standards and Curriculum Framework must be taught, as applicable to the vehicle configuration equipped with air brakes. This information is also available in the above link.
Updates to ICBC's Driving Commercial Vehicles (DCV) Guide
As a result of changes to air brake knowledge testing requirements for all drivers, ICBC has updated the list of study chapters in its ICBC Driving Commercial Vehicles (DCV) Guide. The content of this guide is otherwise unchanged.
ICBC is providing an updated chapter study insert for the DCV Guide. Please print the attached insert and add it to any printed copies of the DCV Guide that you have on-hand.
The electronic version of the DCV Guide, available on icbc.com, has been updated. New print copies of the DCV Guide will also reflect the updates.
Important: Starting October 18, 2021, students who are taking their combined Class 1 and air brake knowledge test or the new single-unit air brakes knowledge test should be advised of these new study requirements.
The Class 1 MELT course will be a requirement in B.C., starting Monday October 18, 2021, and we want to thank you for your commitment to safer roads.
If you have questions or concerns, please contact your driving school inspector.