Tool Kit

Driver Orientation and Training

Don’t assume an employee has the driving competencies they need just because they have a valid driver’s licence. Learn the steps to take when hiring, orienting, and training drivers to help them safely do the driving you assign them.

Make driving skills part of hiring

Many jobs you’re hiring for will include driving for work. Examples include staff making occasional trips between job sites or to visit clients, and part-time or full-time drivers making deliveries. Make sure the process you use to choose the best applicant considers their driving knowledge, abilities, and experience.

Here are a few ways to do that:

Communicate your organization’s expectations
Ask questions about the applicant’s driving experience and behaviours
Ask for driving references from previous employers
Do a ride-along assessment

Conduct thorough driver orientations

Before a worker starts a new job or is assigned new responsibilities, their employer is required to provide a thorough health and safety orientation. That includes orienting the employee to their driving duties and the vehicles they will drive for work.

Orientations are particularly important for young workers who have limited driving experience. Even experienced employees benefit from another orientation when they’re:

  • Asked to drive a new or different vehicle
  • Assigned a new route or schedule
  • Exposed to hazards they haven’t encountered before, such as winter driving
  • Returning to the workplace after being absent for more than 6 months

If the orientation reveals the employee can’t do the assigned driving, their employer needs to provide appropriate additional training. Learn more about employer responsibilities.

Who is a new or young worker?

Checklist, procedures for orientation

Especially for new hires, a thorough driver orientation is your first and best opportunity to explain what’s expected when they’re driving for work, and how to meet those expectations. It’s also a good time for you to answer their questions.

Depending on the driving tasks, a thorough orientation can involve several steps. Sometimes, you can do all of them in one sitting but often it will take a few interactive sessions to cover all the bases.

Step 1: Check driver’s licence and record
Step 2: Review driving-related hazards
Step 3: Review policies and procedures
Step 4: Conduct a vehicle walk-through
Step 5: Complete a driver assessment
Step 6: Schedule a follow-up meeting

Use our fillable driver orientation checklist (PDF 358KB) to make sure you cover the main points with your employee. The first few pages identify the key points for orienting drivers (e.g., hazards and procedures). The last 3 pages provide instructions to guide you through the process. As you work through each orientation, check the boxes and hang on to the completed form for your records.

Also download our Driver Orientation Procedures Template (27KB DOC) and edit it to suit your organization’s needs.

Provide effective driver training

Most drivers think they are better than average. But nearly every driver has room to improve their driving abilities — even the good drivers. Employers have the opportunity, and responsibility, to provide training that helps employees build safer driving behaviours. It can help prevent them from being involved in a crash while driving for work.

Check our events calendar to see when you can register for our next Improving Driver Behaviours Workshop.

Here are a few training options:

Online learning, quizzes, webinars
Tailgate safety meetings
Lunch and learn sessions
Coaching and mentoring
Driver training schools

Review training regularly

Your driver training program needs to keep pace with changing vehicles, equipment, and driving situations in your workplace. Check it each year to confirm that the training provides drivers with the knowledge and skills they need.

Driving skills are perishable. It is surprising how quickly driving knowledge and skills get rusty if they aren’t used regularly. Even though your employees may have had a winter driving refresher last fall, they will probably benefit from another one next fall.

People also change. Even though an employee shows you they have and apply the driving behaviours you expect this year, complacency can cause good driving behaviours to fade into poor driving habits. Regular reminders and periodic training can help correct those issues.

Vehicle, routes, schedules, and driving circumstances change too, sometimes daily. The changes might seem small on their own. But before long, you might be expecting employees to drive in situations and deal with hazards that are unfamiliar.

Review your driver improvement program annually to make sure it is achieving its objectives and keeping up with the evolution of your staff, vehicles, and driving assignments.



Driver Orientation Checklist – fillable

Employers need to provide orientation to drivers new on staff. Use this fillable form as a guide for reviewing hazards and procedures, and for familiarizing drivers with the work vehicle.

Driver Orientation Procedures Template

Driver orientation is an employer safety responsibility. Customize this template to create procedures to help ensure employees understand your organization’s driving requirements and how to safely operate the vehicles they’ll use.

Steering Toward Safer Driving Behaviours

A crash-free workplace is possible. Review the traits and behaviours of safe drivers and learn how to help your employees adopt them.
Tool Kit

Driver Assessment

Employers must ensure anyone driving for their business is doing so legally and safely. Use our driver assessment tool kit to assess and orient your drivers.