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North Peace Commercial Driving Academy: From Concept to Creation

In April 2023 the Peace River School Division excitedly announced they had received collegiate school status for a driver training school offering a Class 1, Mandatory Entry Level Training (MELT), and air brakes Q endorsement program.

From here, the North Peace Commercial Driving Academy, a partnership between the Peace River School Division and Northwestern Polytechnic, began to take shape.

Since April 2023, the Peace River School Division has hired, and obtained training for, two Class 1 MELT Driver Trainers, constructed a beautiful new classroom and office space for the Academy, and completed the construction of a driver training yard site. Both the classroom and training yard are located at the PRSD's Central Operations location in Grimshaw, Alta.


It is the vision of the North Peace Commercial Driving Academy to help fulfill a need in the local economy for highly-skilled Class 1 and Class 2S drivers. Prior to obtaining approval for the driving academy, the PRSD had a long history of successfully offering a Class 2S driver training program. This program will continue under the North Peace Commercial Driving Academy.

Additionally, it is vision of the Peace River School Division that the North Peace Commercial Driving Academy will positively impact high school completion rates and overall enrollment numbers within the PRSD. The public school division hopes to be able to offer students who meet the minimum requirements for the Class 1 MELT program, the ability to enroll in the driver training program while also completing their high school education. The PRSD knows how important it is to not only equip students with academic knowledge, but to also prepare students for life outside of high school by exposing them to the necessary skills they require to obtain employment.

Industry Support

The PRSD has heard time and time again from representatives of local industry that they see tremendous value in the Class 1 MELT driver training program in Grimshaw. Ahead of our opening, the response continues to be overwhelmingly positive.

The north relies heavily on the transportation of goods and having Class 1 Drivers is essential to the current market and local industry sectors. Currently, access to the MELT program in northern Alberta is limited, and many industry representatives have stated that they see the Academy as a means of meeting the needs of businesses in local and surrounding communities.

Stay tuned for more information on an official opening date.