The FMCSA's entry-level driver training (ELDT) rule affecting the training of commercial motor vehicle drivers is coming soon. The rule goes into effect on February 7, 2020, which gives carriers and driver training schools just over 7 months to implement any necessary changes to their training programs. How will this new rule affect your organization?
Requirements in the ELDT Rule:
- Training providers must register and have their program approved by the FMCSA.
- All subjects must be taught as outlined by the rule for the theory (classroom) and behind the wheel (BTW) training – this varies depending on the type of endorsement the student is seeking.
- The applicant must take an assessment covering the theory and BTW subjects and successfully pass with an 80% or higher.
- The applicant must conform to all US DOT and state or local requirements related to alcohol and controlled substances testing, age, medical certification, licensing, and driver records.
- Training providers must certify that applicants are ready to take the CDL examination upon successful demonstration of their skill proficiency.
- Training providers much disclose the applicant's BTW training hours on their certification form.
- All training instructors must have an active CDL and 2 years of experience of teaching or industry experience.
- Training providers must maintain certain records for no less than 3 years, unless federal, state or local requirements proscribe a longer time period.
ELDT Rule Impacts on Training Providers
What does all of this mean for schools and carriers that provide training to those seeking a CDL?
- First and foremost, you must ensure that your program meets the training requirements set out in the rule, including classroom training and BTW training (both on a range and on a public road) that covers the required subjects and skills – and be able to prove that your students are proficient enough to pass the examination with greater than an 80% average.
- You should also make sure that your training facilities and training vehicles meet all applicable federal and state regulations.
- Your instructors must also meet the requirements in item #7 above – this part of the rule may seem obvious, but you would be surprised how many instructors don't actually have an active CDL themselves.
- Once you are confident your training program meets these requirements, you must submit an application to be included in the Training Provider Registry, a website maintained by the FMCSA. Any training provider not listed in this registry will NOT be able to issue valid CDLs to its students once this rule goes into effect. The application must be filled out for each location from which you provide training; this is to ensure that all locations meet the same high standard and provide consistent training to its students. Training providers wishing to be included in this registry will be subject to FMCSA audits and investigations of their operations, which includes a thorough review of the required documentation and paperwork associated with the training and skills tests.
Your operation might have to make significant changes to your training program in order to comply with this ELDT rule. It's important to have the correct systems and processes in place for ultimate compliance with the regulations, including the record-keeping and documentation submittal portions of the rule. To make it easier for your training program to meet these requirements – and continue to do so in the future – you might consider implementing a Learning Management System, which not only provides a flexible platform for offering training to your students but also assists with managing the associated documentation. Such a system can collect, maintain and automate the submission of the required data to the FMCSA, meeting the rule requirements while also improving productivity for your staff.
EBE's Learning Management System is a paperless, web-based training platform that gives you the control, visibility, and insight into your program's effectiveness, as well as providing the accountability needed for successful regulatory compliance. To learn more, visit www.ebeships.com or call 800.447.0612.
EBE is the leading provider of transportation-specific content and process management software applications. Serving over 650 clients, EBE has made a positive impact throughout their organizations in the areas of billing, settlements and accounts payable; recruiting and onboarding; carrier management; fleet maintenance; and mobile capture. Our AI-enabled workflow solutions allow our clients to work by exception to maximize productivity, control costs, and increase profits across the enterprise. And our safety and compliance division, InfoStream, provides carriers with software and services to reduce liability and mitigate risk.