Fleet management certification credentials show employers your commitment to expertise and continued learning. According to Monster.com, holding a certification can increase your pay—for fleet managers, typically 27%. But with so many certifications out there, which fleet management education will be most helpful to your career?
Many job postings specify Certified Automotive Fleet Manager (CAFM) or Certified Public Fleet Professional (CPFP) certifications, but there are many other fleet online training courses to choose from. Every employer has their own requirements, and federal fleet management adds more.
If you want guidance about which fleet management and logistics courses will lead to the right certifications for you, read on.
What is fleet management certification?
Fleet management is important and challenging, relying on extensive skills and training. Certifications show that you have proactively attained the expertise to perform the job at a high level.
Two of the most sought-after and recognized certifications are:
- NAFA Fleet Management Association Certified Automotive Fleet Manager (CAFM)
- American Public Works Association Certified Public Fleet Professional (CPFP)
These certifications cover most of the bases, including fleet risk management, and many fleet managers lists both on their resumes. If you are interested in federal fleet management, you'll want to consider the Federal Fleet Manager Certification Program (FFMCP), a comprehensive training program developed by the General Services Administration (GSA). There are a few other certifications worth looking into as well.
NAFA Certified Automotive Fleet Manager
NAFA Certified Automotive Fleet Manager (CAFM) requires mastering the following eight fleet management disciplines within a three-year period:
- 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)
CAFM is designed as a self-study program, but there are CAFM training courses and boot camps to help applicants who want guidance and additional information. To be eligible for CAFM training and certification, you must either have at least one year of experience in a fleet-related position, be enrolled in a fleet-related course of study at a college or university.
For those who are unsure, or prefer a smaller commitment, NAFA also offers the Certified Automotive Fleet Specialist (CAFS) credential, which lets junior fleet professionals select any four of the eight core disciplines to study.
APWA Certified Public Fleet Professional
The American Public Works Association (APWA) launched its fleet manager certification program in 2006, and the Certified Public Fleet Professional (CPFP) designation has become a desired qualification for fleet management positions.
There are a number of fleet management training seminars and online courses to help applicants prepare for the CPFP test, an online exam consisting of 150 multiple-choice questions that must be answered within three and one-half hours. You can also study independently using books and other materials recommended by APWA.
Other fleet management certifications
Although CAFM and CPFP are quite popular in the industry, there are a few other certifications that can prove valuable for fleet professionals. Among the many fleet management training institutes and courses of study, here are a few more credentials that stand out.
NPTC Certified Transportation Professional
Since the National Private Truck Council (NPTC) introduced the Certified Transportation Professional (CTP) program in 1993, it has become a popular certification for managers and executives in the fleet and transportation industries. This certification shows that you can manage operations and regulatory issues, control costs, and implement practices and systems to meet your company's fleet and transportation objectives.
The CTP focuses on five core areas:
- Human Resources/Legal
- Vehicle Equipment and Maintenance
Eligibility is determined with a points-based system designed to take into account your education, work experience, and industry involvement.
The North American Transportation Management Institute (NATMI) exists to help fleet safety directors, maintenance managers, and driver trainers improve fleet and driver productivity safely. The goal of NATMI training is to reduce vehicle accidents and employee injuries while controlling vehicle maintenance costs.
NATMI offers six levels of certification:
- Certified Director of Safety (CDS), a complete fleet safety program
- Certified Director of Maintenance/Equipment (CDM/E), focusing on using fleet data to improve vehicle maintenance and control cost
- Certified Safety Supervisor (CSS), a subset of the CDS program
- Certified Supervisor of Maintenance/Equipment (CSM/E), a subset of the CDM/E program
- Certified Driver Trainer (CDT), a "train the trainer" program for driver education
- Certified Cargo Security Professional (CSSP), a comprehensive course covering hazardous materials, border crossings, and other security topics
Like other programs, NATMI courses have eligibility requirements including two to five years of related work experience.
ARN fleet management certification
The Automotive Resource Network (ARN) is a non-profit and professional organization for the automotive industry. The ARN certification program focuses on operations and fleet maintenance, including performance and cost reduction strategies. This program is designed for fleet professionals with at least three years of hands-on experience.
Federal fleet management certifications
For fleet professionals who wish to enter federal government positions, two federal fleet management certifications, in particular, are strongly recommended: NPMA and GSA.
NPMA Federal Fleet Certification
The National Property Management Association (NPMA) provides training and certification in federal fleet management. There are three NPMA certification levels:
- Certified Federal Fleet Specialist (CFFS) 1st Level, for a fleet manager who supports fleet activities part-time
- Certified Federal Fleet Administrator (CFFA) 2nd Level, for a fleet manager in charge of a GSA-leased fleet
- Certified Federal Fleet Manager (CFFM) 3rd Level, for a fleet manager in charge of an owned/leased or fully owned fleet
The NPMA Federal Fleet Certification program helps fleet managers learn and navigate the additional rules and regulations related to federal fleets.
GSA Federal Fleet Manager Certification Program
The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) offers the Federal Fleet Manager Certification Program (FFMCP), which covers federal vehicle policies and procedures for fleet management of all levels. The program consists of six core courses and two electives. To complete each course, participants must score 70% or higher in the course exam. Upon completion of all courses, a certificate will be issued. View FFMCP Course Descriptions.
Your individual agency may have additional policies that you must adhere to. Direct all agency-specific policy questions to your agency’s headquarters, fleet manager, or general counsel’s office.
How can Lytx help?
As you bring your fleet management training into practice, you might rely on technology to help you keep drivers safe and productive on the road. Lytx can help fleet managers (both certified and not) with many aspects of fleet management, including:
- Building safety programs
- Driving efficiency with GPS fleet tracking
- Stay on top of fleet vehicle maintenance
- Manage DOT compliance paperwork
To learn more about Lytx's fleet services, contact Lytx today.