NATEF updates program standards

The National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) announced one of the most significant changes to the program in the organization's history. The update to the NATEF standards used to accredit automotive training programs at the secondary and post-secondary school level reflects the changing needs of the automotive industry for entry-level technicians.

"The industry mix of work has changed," said Trish Serratore, NATEF President. "Employers are seeing more maintenance-related services in their shops and want entry-level technicians with more foundational knowledge. The new standards address these needs and provide more flexibility for automotive training programs nationwide."

The new 2012 Automobile Program Standards were developed after extensive review and input by the NATEF Automobile Standards Review Committee and have been approved by both the NATEF Board of Trustees and ASE Board of Directors. "The standards were developed in cooperation with OEM's, employers and instructors," said Serratore. "NATEF realizes that the new model represents a major change in program accreditation and is committed to working with each state, program and instructor to ensure a smooth transition."

The new accreditation levels allow programs to more effectively use the limited number of hours available for instruction. Secondary programs will now be able to teach across all systems to help better prepare students to maintain today's vehicles. Post-secondary programs will have the ability to provide the complete spectrum of tasks and hours to allow for more in-depth training.

The new NATEF model establishes three levels of accreditation: Maintenance and Light Repair (MLR); Auto Service Technology (AST), and Master Auto Service Technology (MAST). The differences at each level are reflected in the number of tasks, number of instructional hours and the instructor qualifications. Each level builds on the previous one and covers all major automotive systems, but to different depths of learning.

"This new accreditation model reflects the real-world needs of employers for entry-level technicians and were carefully crafted by Subject Matter Experts from secondary and post-secondary institutions as well as industry, who volunteered their time to ensure students graduating from Automotive Career and Technical Education programs hit the ground running with the right skills," Serratore continued. "We thank these dedicated individuals for their hard work to provide the service-ready workforce our industry needs today and tomorrow."

For more information on the new NATEF Accreditation Model, contact Trish Serratore at 703-669-6633 or via email at