Becoming a TCP is a straight forward process with moderate expense. The work is interesting, the pay is good and after a year or two the prospect for advancement is excellent. Why so few young people consider this occupation is a mystery.
The basic requirements are a quick mind and an able body and, of course, the ability to communicate clearly in English. A driver’s license and a clean driving record are an asset and even essential if one wishes to advance to driving trucks. Having one’s own car is also a huge advantage because work locations can change from day to day and being punctual is essential.
The only training course approved by WorksafeBC is provided by the BC Construction Safety Alliance and their website contains a wealth of information. Ansan itself gives TCP Training courses. Call us to find the time for the next one. The BCCSA website provides a list of other instructors and courses they are holding. Another source of information is the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure website which contains more information about Traffic Control training.
The course is two days, usually over a weekend and it can cost anywhere between $150.00 and $250.00. It usually involves a day and a half of classroom time on theory and half a day of actual time on the road in real traffic situations. There is an open book exam which is usually a relaxed affair with lots of multiple choice questions. You can refer to the course material or whatever else you wish while you answer the questions. The exam is marked immediately and assuming you pass it, and most people do, you are certified. You are issued a temporary certificate immediately and then in a few weeks your real card arrives in the mail. But, once you get that temporary certificate, you can begin work.
Detailed information on the course can be found on the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure website. To really get a handle on the profession and the course, read the material here on our site and then follow the links and read what is available there. By doing that, when you take the course, you will know what is expected and the material will already be known to you.
Once you have completed the course you can begin your search for a Company that is hiring. We hope you will contact Ansan as your first stop in your job search. If you do join us, then your training really begins. Like so many professions, the initial training course is only an introduction to the real work of the trade. That is learned on the road. We take this phase of training very seriously and we do not throw new people onto the road to “sink or swim”.
The process is set out clearly in our Occupational Health and Safety Manual under New Worker Orientation. This process is actually a requirement of the WorkSafe BC Regulations:3.24 Additional orientation and training An employer must provide a young or new worker with additional orientation and training if (a) workplace observation reveals that the young or new worker is not able to perform work tasks or work processes safely, or (b) requested by the young or new worker.
Our new employees, regardless of previous experience, are assigned to a supervisor and they go out together to train. If the new person is an experienced flagger and demonstrates that they have the required skills they are immediately placed on regular duties. However, if they are new to the industry they will stay with their supervisor for several days while they gather the necessary “road smarts” to set up proper traffic layouts and keep themselves and everyone else around the work site safe. Regular written reports are submitted to the Company Health and Safety Officer and only when the new recruit is deemed to have sufficient knowledge and ability will they be sent out on their own. Even then, the new worker will receive the simpler straightforward assignments for several months as they build their confidence and knowledge.
As a rule of thumb, we like to see a year on the road before one calls themselves a competent Traffic Control Person.