The Fleet Management Ladder

The National Association of Fleet Administrators offers technicians a new avenue for professional advancement

Industry salary surveys bear out that those fleet managers with a CAFM occupy the better compensated positions on average. However, successful completion of the CAFM program is challenging. While more than 450 professionals have been certified over the past 25 years, typically fewer than 12 percent are successful each year. There are now over 500 currently enrolled. The program's curriculum and testing are college level, which makes successful completion a true challenge.

In fact, those completing the CAFM program may apply to Ferris State University (FSU) in Big Rapids, Michigan for 12 college credits at $85 per credit and use that toward a degree there or transfer credits to another school. Those completing the CAFS may apply for six college credits. The college credit is offered through the FSU Colleges of Business and Engineering Technology.

Recertification of the CAFS or CAFM is required every five years through demonstration of continued active participation and education in the fleet profession. Recertification is an administrative process and requires no additional testing.


NAFA is committed to pursuing agreements with other fleet industry associations, trade groups, and universities in order to build the strongest fleet certification alliance possible. In addition to Ferris State University, other partners already include the National Conference of State Fleet Administrators (NCSFA) and the State of Ohio. NAFA is in discussion with several other prominent fleet associations, which will likely grow the alliance further.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has approved the CAFM program for test fee reimbursement. ASE promotes and cross-markets the CAFM program. The National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA), International Automotive Remarketers Alliance (IARA), Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS), Mercury Associates and other fleet consultants, and Bobit Business Media all have graciously contributed to NAFA education references used in the CAFM curriculum.

Every partner in the CAFM fleet certification alliance brings additional support to it. Each also broadens the perspective of the CAFM program by helping to identify the needs of their members or students and the future direction of the fleet management industry so that the curriculum continues to proactively evolve to meet those needs.


The content of the CAFM curriculum is regularly updated to keep it current and relevant. It is in its fourteenth revision since its inception. There are four new, expanded or updated references in NAFA's education development program recently completed which will become integrated into the CAFM curriculum in 2009. There are at least six others under development for publication in 2009/2010 which will be integrated into the CAFM curriculum in 2010/2011.

Excellence is a much overused term, but it is nonetheless applicable to those fleet professionals who undertake and succeed at becoming Certified Automotive Fleet Managers. It isn't easy to attain, nor should it be or it would not be worth the effort of challenging one's self. Yet, rewards in the form of versatile, practical knowledge for the individual and dividends from application of that knowledge to employers make it a worthwhile undertaking. CAFM is the standard of excellence in fleet management.


NAFA Fleet Management Association 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. NAFA's brand promise is "Fleet Solutions for Fleet Professionals." For more information visit

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