Fleet Safety Certification: What It Is and How to Become Certified
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IntelliShift Team

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Road safety doesn’t just happen inside the vehicle—it’s a comprehensive approach. This makes educating yourself and others on the dangers on and off the road the key to any effective safety management strategy. Fleet safety certification is an essential piece of protecting drivers from incidents and saving your company from liabilities.

A fleet safety certification provides you with training that enables you to effectively manage risks. It also gives you the tools needed to identify risky behavior before it leads to an incident—preventing injury and costly accidents. 

Getting certified teaches defensive driving and safety best practices, and helps your drivers’ career growth as well. We’ve put together a guide on what it means to be fleet safety certified, how to get certified, and popular online safety certification programs.

What Is a Fleet Safety Certification?

A fleet safety certification is training that indicates a fleet driver or manager has taken a defensive driving course and completed fleet safety education courses. Courses are available online or in-person depending on your preferences and the training program you choose. 

There are many safety courses out there, each one differing in the tools and resources they offer. The right certification program should offer solutions around accident liability, how to reduce motor vehicle incidents and insurance premiums, how to practice safe driving, how to quickly adopt new fleet safety technology, and how to boost fleet efficiency over time using driver scorecards and analytics.

What Does Fleet Safety Certified Mean?

Fleet safety certified means that someone has gone through training to understand the dangers associated with driving and to identify risky driving behaviors that cause incidents. Participating in courses through a credible curriculum provides you with the knowledge necessary to follow protocols and train your drivers effectively. 

Common topics that a fleet certification course covers include:

  • How to establish a driver training program to maintain a safe and professional workforce.
  • Guidelines around road risks, including how to avoid collisions and identify dangerous situations. 
  • How to avoid common distractions, such as keeping your eyes on the road and your hands on the steering wheel.
  • Accident investigations, including implementing an accident response plan and taking preventative measures. 

Each of these topics are critical precursors to establishing a safer fleet, and you should ensure that they’re a part of your certification requirements.

How to Become Fleet Safety Certified

To become safety certified, you first need to complete the necessary training led by a fleet trainer and pass any relevant tests during the program. A fleet trainer is responsible for presenting educational course material for the purpose of instructing drivers and managers how to abide by the industry’s safety standards and procedures. 

While training support differs depending on the certification you choose and the line of work you’re in, popular safety management resources include DOT and FMCSA compliance requirement courses and Osha safety training.

It’s your job to understand the compliance and safety requirements that are relevant to your fleet and ensure that your drivers are trained in those areas. Implement a certification requirement into your hiring or onboarding process to make sure all your drivers are covered.

Read: Everything you need to know about fleet safety

5 Popular Fleet Safety Certifications

There are many different fleet safety certifications available, with online training being the most commonly sought-after form. Whichever format you choose for your drivers, remember that the more engaged they are, the more likely it is the information will stick with them.

An online fleet safety certification program teaches you necessary defensive driving tips from the comfort of your home or office. This way you can learn to recalibrate your safety policy and coach preventative actions wherever you are.

We’ve put together some of the most popular safety certifications to consider.

1. Osha Fleet Safety Certification

OSHAcademy covers a wide range of legal topics targeted toward fleet supervisors and managers. It also details important preventative actions and safety screening topics to implement in your own fleet safety program.

Topics covered include:

  • The cost of vehicle accidents as it pertains to company liability and physical injury.
  • Driver qualification standards, including how to properly screen drivers and conduct background checks.
  • How to transport people and equipment in the safest ways possible while reducing costs. 
  • Accident investigations, including implementing an accident response plan and taking preventative measures. 

The OSHA safety certification will teach you how to effectively manage the various components of a fleet safety policy while minimizing liability and costs.

2. National Association of Fleet Administrators (NAFA) Certification

NAFA offers a variety of fleet certification programs. They offer two different courses for current managers and specialists looking to develop their career paths. Each one is focused on the required material needed to be successful in your position and lead your fleet toward safer standards.

Topics covered include:

  • How to build a sustainable fleet by tracking fuel and supporting renewable goals and practices. 
  • Establishing driver training to maintain a safe and professional workforce while focusing on upward mobility.
  • Defining safety metrics and protocols, such as keeping up with vehicle inspections and automating maintenance logs.

You’ll come away understanding how to establish a sustainable driver training program, implement change management principles, and achieve strategic mobility concepts.

3. DriveSafe Online Certification

The DriveSafe online course aims to establish safety requirements to minimize accidents and promote savings on insurance premiums and can be completed in as little as an hour.

Topics covered include:

  • Guidelines around road risks, including how to avoid collisions and identify dangerous situations before it’s too late. 
  • How to prevent driver fatigue-related incidents, such as getting enough sleep, taking breaks, and recognizing the signs of drowsiness.
  • How to avoid common distractions, which include keeping your hands on the steering wheel at all times and eating before driving.  

4. NSC Defensive Driving Certification

The NSC certification teaches defensive driver training that aligns with specific state regulations. NSC offers courses that cover basic safety guidelines and best practices to reduce incidents. 

Certifications they offer include:

  • Safety training, which includes defensive driving, first aid, work zone, and international best practices. 
  • Roadway safety that addresses the most common causes of accidents and how to prevent them.
  • Workplace safety, which focuses on drug abuse, fatigue, and violence.
  • Community safety that covers pedestrian safety resources as well as how to get involved.

Each of these certifications encourages a well-rounded understanding of safety practices on and off the road.

5. NTSI Certification

NTSI offers a variety of courses that train fleet drivers on safety and efficiency, operating dangers, and the knowledge and skills needed to be successful.

Certifications they offer include:

  • The Safer Driver Challenge offers an in-depth look at fleet driver safety and efficiency.
  • The Utility Vehicle Course emphasizes the importance of maintaining a safe driving attitude.
  • The CDL Refresher is focused on the skills and knowledge drivers need to ensure their safety.

NTSI certifications offer deep subject matter expertise that encourages safe driving.

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