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Continuing Education: The Fleet Manager’s Friend

Posted by Bill Sihksnel, Regional Sales Manager on August 24, 2017

Knowing your stuff inside and out is table stakes. To be competitive in today’s progressive and challenging industry, a fleet manager must not only be professional and highly skilled, but also have the credentials to back it up. 


School is cool

Continuing education is important for every type of career and it’s the lifelong student who stands to gain the most. If you’ve got money on your mind, the following statistic may be more than enough motivation to get you started. According to payscale.com, the average annual salary for a fleet manager is $56,041. Compare that to the Certified Automotive Fleet Manager (CAFM) who takes home $77,226 and that’s a difference of over $20,000! Money aside, there are a few other reasons to partake in continuous learning. Completing a recognized program or acquiring a specialized title provides validation. It’s a signal to the industry and future employers that you’re in it for the long haul. You’ve done the work, you’ve fulfilled the course requirements and, yes, you are legit. It also differentiates you from the pack and gives peace of mind to those reviewing your resume that you’ll be able to deliver for the business and its clients. And last but not least, you’re helping to raise the bar for professionalism in the fleet management industry. It’s a win-win-win for employers, customers, and fleet managers alike.  Continuing-Education.png

Be in the know

We’ve compiled some of the industry’s best resources, training, and educational programs and certificates to help you kick start your career, advance it, or simply brush up on the latest and greatest in fleet management. Bonus: In many cases you can complete the required courses from the comfort of your own home on your own time.  

NAFA

If you’ve never heard of NAFA, allow us to introduce you to your new best friend. The National Association of Fleet Administrators (NAFA) exists “to promote the highest levels of professional management of vehicles.” NAFA members can access a robust resource center including research, guides, and studies, networking directories, and safety and advocacy information. NAFA site visitors are welcome to explore chapter events, seminars, the international fleet academy, and a range of webinars covering topics such as risk management, sustainable fleet initiatives, and industry trends. NAFA is also host to an annual Institute and Expo that showcases cutting-edge products and strategic solutions. Touted as the largest show for fleet professionals and one of the best networking opportunities, it attracts over 1,000 professionals from around the world in all fleet segments including corporate, government, law enforcement, global, and more. The next show will take place in Anaheim, California April 24-27, 2018. 

Certified Automotive Fleet Manager (CAFM) Certification

This NAFA program has been around for over 30 years and is widely recognized as the industry standard. The three-year self-study program is the only one to be university accredited and students must pass the following eight disciplines to receive the CAFM designation:

  • Asset Management (AM)
  • Business Management (BM)
  • Financial Management (FM)
  • Information Management (IM)
  • Maintenance Management (MM)
  • Professional Development (PD)
  • Risk Management (RM)
  • Vehicle Fuel Management (VFM)

North American Transportation Management Institute (NATMI) Certification

Safety first! NATMI offers a number of professional designations that provide training on compliance, risk mitigation, and public image. The designations are listed below and courses can be taken in class or at your site:

  • Certified Director of Safety (CDS)
  • Certified Director of Maintenance/Equipment (CDM/E)
  • Certified Safety Supervisor (CSS)
  • Certified Supervisor of Maintenance/Equipment (CSM/E)
  • Certified Driver Trainer (CDT)
  • Certified Cargo Security Professional (CCSP)

According to NATMI, 86% of people who received the Director of Safety certification say it “directly enhanced their ability to lower the company’s accident rate.” Additionally, “100% of surveyed students said it helped them deal with costs that resulted from accident lawsuits.” 

Automotive Resource Network (ARN) Fleet Certification Program

The ARN serves to advance, connect, and positively impact automotive professionals. It offers two online credential programs:

Fleet Management Certification Program focuses on fleet operation, maintenance, and efficiency. Those who enroll can pick and complete 8 courses out of 19 to earn the fleet management certification.

  • Vehicle Maintenance Course
  • Vehicle Operation Course
  • Vehicle Preventive Maintenance Course
  • Procurement and Disposal Course
  • Budget Activity Course
  • Vehicle Parts and Supply Management Course
  • Loss Prevention Management Course
  • Energy Management Course
  • Auditing Home and Field Locations Course
  • Driver and Mechanic Hiring Course
  • Supervisory Management, Training, and Staffing Course
  • Tire Management Course
  • The Bid Process Course
  • Vehicle Replacement Strategies Course
  • Fleet Trend Reporting Course
  • Vehicle Delivery and Warranty Programs Course
  • Vendor vs. In House Maintenance Course
  • Vehicle Life Cycle Costing Course
  • Labor Relations Course
 

The F & I Compliance Certification Program focuses on regulatory and compliance to help fleet managers strengthen their organizational position. The curriculum is outlined below:

  • Section 1: Data Safeguard and Identity Theft
  • Section 2: Marketing and Advertising         
  • Section 3: Aftermarket Products: Selling and Advertising  
  • Section 4: Consumer Information: Collection, Use, Sharing, and Privacy
  • Section 5: Consumer Credit: Applications, Reports, and Contracts
  • Section 6: FTC Act, Dodd-Frank, State Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices

Whether your career is entirely focused on fleet management or if it’s just one area of your current role, there is a course or certificate program for you. For more information on these certificates and how they could strengthen your knowledge and skills, please visit the specific links above.

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