Fleet representative group ACFO and fleet training body the ICFM have today (Wednesday, March 18) merged operations to create the Association of Fleet Professionals.
The new combined organisation aims to give fleet decision-makers ‘increased voice through combined strength’, but also cater those with fleet responsibility working in HR, finance and procurement roles and the fast-emerging mobility function.
ACFO national chair Caroline Sandall said: “We believe that both organisations are two sides to the same coin and will deliver an increased fleet industry voice through their combined strength.
"Bringing both together creates a true fleet body for the industry - giving fleet operators a true voice via the lobbying of ACFO with the training and education of the ICFM.
“The combined Association of Fleet Professionals unites the two organisations in both structure and leadership teams.”
ICFM chairman Paul Hollick added: “Both organisations have been in active dialogue for a few years on this topic and now is definitely the best time to join forces.
“As the fleet industry is going through significant challenges with changing legislation, tax regulations, new technologies and clean air zones, the merger seems to be a great time for the ACFO team to focus on the fleet manager’s voice within Westminster, Whitehall and UK cities, while the ICFM team can then devote its time of being a true fleet academy to educate and develop the current and future leaders within fleet and those coming into fleet from other areas of business.
“Both organisations are well run and organised for a sustainable future. That said, a united Association brings more resilience and scale that can improve the lobbying and training needs of members of both organisations, now and in the future.”
The board of the Association of Fleet Professionals will comprise: Caroline Sandall, current ACFO national chair; Paul Hollick, current ICFM chairman; Stewart Lightbody, current ACFO deputy chairman; and Peter Eldridge, current sales and marketing director of ICFM.
The Association of Fleet Professionals will become ‘the organisation for fleet professionals’ and will oversee fleet training through a newly established Fleet Academy with a number of committees launched to take responsibility for organising more webinars and seminars and an annual conference and other events as well as campaigning/lobbying. The organisation will also exhibit at other events organised across the fleet industry.
The Association of Fleet Professionals’ board will oversee the continuation of the work of both ACFO and ICFM, whose respective boards will continue in situ, while also managing subscriptions and sponsorship.
ACFO, founded 48 years ago, will continue to represent the interests of fleet operators in the UK promoting their views to Government and its agencies, local authorities, motor manufacturers and industry suppliers.
Meanwhile, ICFM, founded more than 25 years ago, will continue to provide fleet managers, administrators, fleet service providers and those whose job responsibilities include fleet with the highest standard of education and training programmes which foster and promote best practice in all aspects of vehicle fleet management.
Additional fleet decision-maker benefits will include an Association of Fleet Professionals’ website - www.theafp.co.uk - featuring white papers on key issues and informative blogs; an online members’ forum; and thought leadership and guidance on major taxation and legislative changes;
There will also be additional online training and educational ‘masterclass’ content on a wide range of business-critical issues.
What’s more, the Association of Fleet Professionals will provide enhanced support to the Fleet and Mobility Management Federation Europe and the Global Fleet Consortium Network. ACFO is already a member of both organisations.
Creation of the Association of Fleet Professionals builds on existing close links between ACFO and ICFM. Four years ago, the two organisations forged closer ties to promote the benefits of professional fleet management and the importance of training and education, coupled with the implementation of best practice. That move built on an initial tie-up announced in 2010 when the two not-for-profit organisations agreed to work in association with one another on areas of mutual benefit and promote their respective organisations to their membership bases.
Billing itself as ‘the organisation for fleet professionals’, the Association of Fleet Professionals is aiming to recruit anyone that works within the industry.
It is focused on two key mandates:
- To give a voice to policy setters for fleet managers and corporates operating vehicle fleets within the UK, protecting their interests and driving their agenda to ensure organisations can adequately run fleet vehicles within the UK and abroad.
- To train, educate and develop fleet professionals, to raise the standards of corporate fleet operators and associated support service providers, promoting best practice and developing the current and future generation of fleet professionals.
Fleet operator membership of the Association of Fleet Professionals will cost £299 per annum. However, it will be possible to join the ICFM only at existing membership rates - £60 per annum (associate member), £70 per annum (member level) or £80 per annum (fellowship level).
Corporate membership of the Association of Fleet Professionals is at three levels: Platinum costing £2,000 per annum and providing eight employee memberships; gold costing £1,000 per annum and providing four employee memberships; and silver costing £500 per annum and providing two employee memberships.
Depending on membership level a wide range of added value benefits are available including: discounts on employee training, the ability to provide company information on the Association of Fleet Professionals’ website; and promotion during Association of Fleet Professionals’ webinars and other events.
Read more in the next edition of Fleet News.