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AFP Fleet Academy to bring key online support for fleets amid coronavirus pandemic

The newly formed Association of Fleet Professionals (AFP), which merges ACFO and ICFM’s operations, will bring vital support for fleet operators to overcome the new work and personal challenges imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Peter Eldridge, sales & marketing director, ICFM

Fleet Academy sales and marketing director Peter Eldridge

The merger was announced earlier this week and will see AFP offer fleet industry training under the new Fleet Academy. And, as the industry looks to get to grips with the coronavirus pandemic, the organisation says it’s anticipating a membership boom with demand for its online distance learning courses increasing.

AFP offers both its Introductory Certificate in Car Fleet Management and Intermediate Certificate levels in Car and LCV Fleet Management programmes as online distance learning courses, backed by online tutor support.

Only its Diploma (Advanced Level) Programme is exclusively tutor-based and the Fleet Academy has, in the light of UK government advice and guidance, taken the decision to postpone further classroom-based training for that course as well as that for the Certificate course until September. The Introductory Certificate course is only available online.

Fleet Academy sales and marketing director Peter Eldridge said: “The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic is having a seemingly unprecedented in at least a generation impact on the world generally and the fleet industry as a whole.

“The Fleet Academy is committed to providing online courses that take into account the limitations on travel and social gathering that we are all facing, and will continue to do so over the coming months.”

Training courses are applicable to fleet decision-makers – fleet operators, but also including those with fleet responsibility working in HR, finance and procurement roles and the fast-emerging mobility function – as well as to employees of companies supplying a wide range of services to fleets including contract hire and leasing and fleet management companies and dealer-based corporate fleet personnel.

The Introductory Programme leading to the Introductory Certificate in Car Fleet Management is designed specifically for new entrants to the fleet industry. It gives a background on how vehicle fleet management has evolved, and also gives an insight into developing a fleet policy relevant to the needs of a business, the importance of asset management and the changing face of fleet-related roles in the future.

The Intermediate Certificate Programme leads to the Certificate in Car & LCV Fleet Management qualification and covers five modules on: Principles of people management, effective vehicle fleet administration, finance, acquisition and remarketing and legal compliance. There are also assignments and knowledge reviews following the completion of each module.

The study time is anticipated to be between 30 and 40 hours in total, but students can work through the course on a flexible time arrangement.

Peter Eldridge said: “The fleet industry and employee learning cannot grind to a halt amid all the sector-based challenges faced around, for example, changing legislation, tax regulations, new technologies and Clean Air Zones.

“The Fleet Academy is fully geared up to further enhance the skills and abilities of all employees with fleet responsibility and those working in the supply side of the industry as we all seek to overcome the new work and personal challenges imposed on us all by the coronavirus pandemic.”

Eldridge added: “Online courses are generally popular because the way the new generation of fleet decision-makers are working and studying is changing. We believe that as home-working is being introduced by many employers it simultaneously offers employees a greater opportunity to expand their knowledge-base and qualifications.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie edits all the Fleet World websites and newsletters, and loves to hear about any latest industry news.