Certification FAQs

Certification Frequently Asked Questions

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Certification Questions

The shortest answer is: register for one of the programs.  Look for upcoming dates and locations on the course calendar.  Select the most convenient date/location for you.  Register for the full certification program.  Once you register, the process takes care of itself.

NATMI will ship pre-reading materials to you (if applicable).  When you attend the course, you’ll be provided with the certification application materials, a guidebook explaining the process, and the instructors will also explain the certification process in detail during the courses.  You’ll take all the required courses and the certification exam onsite.  You’ll have 60 days following the exam to turn in your online submission for certification.  If you pass the exam and your online submission is approved, you will be issued your certification.

The time it takes is largely driven by you, the applicant.  Applicants are requested to turn in their application for certification within 60 days of taking the certification exam.  Depending on when the application is submitted, it generally takes between 3-9 weeks for your application to be approved and your certification designation certificate to be issued.

If your application is not complete, the process will take longer, sometimes significantly longer.  We recommend that you have your application reviewed by a Certification Mentor before submitting it.  Mentors are local individuals who are currently NATMI certified and can help ensure that your application is complete and in order so that the process is not delayed.

The cost depends on which program you’re participating in and, in some cases, where you are taking the program.  For all designations other than the Certified Cargo Security Professional (CCSP), the price is all-inclusive and covers: all required courses for that designation, the certification application and testing fee, the certification kit and membership for one year in NATMI.

Pricing for Certification Programs:

Certified Director of Safety – See Certification

Certified Safety Supervisor (CDS/CSS) See Certification

* Prices may vary in Canadian provinces and some states.  Currently PA, GA and TN program fees differ from NATMI standard pricing. For specifics, see the individual registration pages on the course schedule.

Certified Driver Trainer (CDT) – See Certification

Certified Supervisor of Maintenance/Equipment (CSM/E) – See Certification

Certified Director of Maintenance/Equipment (CDM/E) – See Certification

Certified Cargo Security Professional (CCSP): 

Although the CCSP test prep course is not required to become certified, it is highly recommended.  See Certification

Courses remain valid for five (5) years.  If you fail to apply for certification within 5 years, the courses will expire and you will have to retake them if you wish to apply for certification.

Applicants must provide data on their job performance for the number of years required for certification.  The Certified Safety Supervisor (CSS), Certified Supervisor of Maintenance/Equipment (CSM/E) and the Certified Driver Trainer (CDT) require two (2) years of experience, so two (2) years of job performance data must be provided.  The Certified Director of Safety (CDS) and Certified Director Maintenance/Equipment (CDM/E) both require five (5) years of experience or four (4) years experience if you meet the college degree or CMV Enforcement requirements (CDS applicants only).  Thus, either five (5) or four (4) years of job performance data must be provided.

In such cases, a minimum of 3 years of actual data is required to be provided.  If a previous employer refuses to provide data beyond the 3-year requirement, the applicant may provide a written description (vs. actual data) of performance outcomes for the two years at the previous employer, so long as a representative of the previous employer signs off on the description as true and accurate.

Yes.  If you feel you meet the requirements for the certification designation you are applying for, but your application has been rejected, you may appeal the decision.  Initially, your application will be sent to a second reviewer for a second opinion.  If the second reviewer agrees with the first, there are further steps you may pursue in the appeals process.  A full description of the appeals process is downloadable here.

No.  If you have a 4-year college degree, it reduces by one year the number of years of job experience required for the CDS or CDM/E designations.  Instead of 5 years of experience in safety/maintenance management, applicants with a 4-year degree only need to have 4 years of experience.

Required documentation - what if I can't obtain it?

Yes, you must provide documentation and data. Without exception, a minimum of 3 years of actual data is required to be provided.  If a previous employer refuses to provide data beyond the 3-year requirement, the applicant may provide a written description (vs. actual data) of performance outcomes for the two years at the previous employer, so long as a representative of the previous employer signs off on the description as true and accurate.

Explain that the information will not be shared with anyone other than the individual exhibit reviewer approving your application.  Your exhibit will be returned to you after it is approved and no copies will be retained by NATMI.  The company can block out sensitive data or provide aggregate data if it is concerned about revealing proprietary information.  Regardless, if you are unable to produce the required documentation and data, you will not be approved for certification.  NATMI makes no exceptions — all applicants MUST provide required documentation.

Experience Requirements - CDS and CSS

Yes, but with stipulations.  If the candidate has a minimum of 5 years of experience in Commercial Vehicle Enforcement and that experience included auditing and training, not solely roadside inspection or traffic enforcement, the experience requirement for Certified Director of Safety is reduced to 4 years instead of 5.

Only if your safety responsibility included the motor vehicle fleet.  If it did not, the experience does not apply.

Only if fleet safety was within your area of responsibility.  If your experience was only general industrial safety, then it does not apply.

Generally, no.  However, if as a driver you are involved at least 50 percent of the time in non-driving safety related activities such as training other drivers and conducting driver safety meetings, the experience might apply to the CSS or CDT — but not CDS — experience requirements.

Maybe.  If you meet the minimum experience requirements and you advise fleets, providing recommendations on how to improve fleet safety performance, develop safety policies and comply with federal regulations relating to CMVs, etc., then, yes, you may be eligible to apply for certification.

No.  The CSS and CDS designation is for professionals whose full-time (or at least 50% of their time) is specialized in fleet safety management only.  While a qualified individual may have a dual title like Safety & Security, Safety & HR or Safety & Maintenance, at least half of what they do must be entirely safety-related and they must have the responsibility for administering safety as a function.

No.  Because this is a certification designed for full-time safety professionals, if a fleet is too small to hire one, then there is no one that would qualify.

This is much like other professional certifications (for example, Professional in Human Resources (PHR), Certified Public Accountant (CPA)), which require that you must be a full-time HR or Accounting professional to attain the designation.  If you work for a company too small to hire a full-time accountant or a full-time HR professional, you would not have someone qualified to apply for either of those designations.

The National Private Truck Council (NPTC) offers a Certified Transportation Professional (CTP) designation for fleet management generalists, which might be an option for an individual overseeing a small fleet.

Experience requirements - CDM/E and CSM/E

Generally, no.  However, if as a senior technician you supervise other technicians either full-time or when the shop supervisor is off duty, because you perform a supervisory role your experience may apply to the CSM/E designation, but not the CDM/E designation.

Maybe.  If you meet the minimum experience requirements, and advise fleets on development of maintenance policies and procedures, help fleets control costs, manage preventive maintenance programs, technicians, shop safety, etc., then, yes, you would be eligible for certification.

Experience Requirements - CDT

Maybe.  If as a driver you are involved at least 50 percent of the time training other drivers, the experience could apply to the CDT experience requirements.