NAFA's Certified Automotive Fleet Manager (CAFM) program has been approved by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Veterans, eligible dependents, and reservists may now apply directly to the VA for reimbursement of the cost of the CAFM tests, making it easier for millions to acquire both basic and advanced fleet management education. The benefit covers the entire cost of each test.
Designed to identify and recognize exceptional fleet management professionals, NAFA's CAFM program is the oldest, largest, and most widely acclaimed professional certification program in the fleet management industry. The program is comprised of a two-tiered system, which covers the eight disciplines of fleet management. The first tier is comprised of Fleet Information Management, Maintenance Management, Professional Development, and Vehicle Fuel Management. Successful completion of the first tier earns the certification, Certified Automotive Fleet Supervisor (CAFS). The second tier is comprised of Asset Management, Business Management, Financial Management, and Risk Management disciplines. Successful completion of both tiers is necessary to earn a CAFM certification. Participants may choose to undertake both tiers simultaneously.
"The NAFA CAFM program is the only certification program that proves an individual's expertise in fleet," said Phillip E. Russo, CAE, and NAFA's Executive Director. "Other certification programs may attest that a person has minimum basic knowledge of fleet, but the NAFA CAFM program proves the person is an expert."
In 2008, the CAFM program formed a partnership with Ferris State University of Michigan to offer 12 college credits for the successful completion of the CAFM program. The combination of college credit and VA approval means that military personnel can now receive "promotion points" for going through the CAFM or CAFS program. Thus, the CAFM program can benefit them whether they are looking towards a career in fleet while in the military or in the private sector, or wish to move up in rank.
"Having military fleet technical skills certified and translated into a civilian certification through NAFA is a huge plus for service members looking to enter the commercial or government fleet management trade or to increase their knowledge in their current role," said SSG David Mellon, Minnesota National Guard and current NAFA Member. "Finally there is a Fleet Management program approved by the VA beyond ASE technician certifications!"
The CAFS program is open to those who work within a fleet department, including technicians, assistants, and others in fleet-related positions who wish to develop and enter into a fleet management career. The CAFM program is open to anyone with at least one year experience as a fleet manager, assistant manager, fleet supervisor, or other fleet-related position.
Many employers have begun to require or strongly encourage fleet managers to obtain the CAFM designation prior to or shortly after employment. A CAFM certification clearly makes a fleet professional stand apart from the competition. Currently less than 400 fleet managers have joined the exclusive ranks of CAFM certification holders. The addition of the CAFS designation, in the beginning of 2009, has already brought many fleet professionals into the greater CAFM program as a whole.
About NAFA Fleet Management Association
NAFA Fleet Management Association (nafa.org) is a not-for-profit, individual membership professional society serving the needs of members who manage fleets of sedans, public safety vehicles, trucks, and buses of all types and sizes, and a wide range of military and off-road equipment for organizations across the globe. NAFA is the association for the vehicle fleet management profession. NAFA's Full and Associate Members are responsible for the specification, acquisition, maintenance, and remarketing of more than 3.5 million vehicles – including in excess of 1.1 million trucks. In fact, NAFA Members across the North American continent have more than 350,000 medium-and heavy-duty trucks in their fleets, totaling more than $21 billion dollars in assets for medium- and heavy-duty trucks alone.