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  • 1.  CAFM Certification Process - Feedback Requested

    Posted 11-15-2022 22:19
    Edited by Jacqueline Agel 11-15-2022 22:28
    Hello CAFM Candidate Community,  

    I recently enrolled to start my journey to obtaining a CAFM Certification.   I am a long time manager but new to Fleet Management about 5 years ago.   I would very much appreciate feedback from CAFM Candidates, who are nearing the end of your journey, regarding how long it has taken to nearly complete your certifications or to complete your certifications if you have obtained your CAFM certificate.   I know we have 3 years but it would be helpful to learn if others have completed in less time and approximately how many hours of study for each module, understanding that everyone's learning paces will differ to some degree. I am planning a road map to complete my certification in one year or less but want to ensure I am being realistic about the anticipated time commitment based on the aggregate of this community's feedback.    

    In addition, it's not clear to me if how the testing works.   I think I'm understanding that as each of the 8 modules are completed, CAFM candidates take the exam for the module, and that there is NOT a single exam, that includes all modules, at the end.   Is this correct?

    Any information you'd be willing to share would be much appreciated. 
    Thank you,
    Jacqueline Agel
    Manager, Fleet & Facilities
    Hampton, NH

  • 2.  RE: CAFM Certification Process - Feedback Requested

    Posted 11-16-2022 07:41
    Edited by Timothy Coxwell, CAFM CPFP CEM 11-16-2022 07:45

    Good Morning!  I enrolled in CAFM in 2017.  I waited to get involved until I&E that year which was held in Tampa.  I did not properly prepare.  I had always been a "student" who could listen in class, take notes, and pass easily.  I did not participate in the Pre Test.  I attended all of the CAFM Boot Camps, took notes, and tested on all 8 exams at the end of the week.  I passed 2 (barely) of the 8 exams I took.  I was close to passing 4 others and 2 I bombed.  I guess I had to test the waters before I realized what I had committed to.  After some reflection during the summer, I attended a FLAGFA Conference where there would be 1 Boot Camp and 1 test in September of 2017.  I read the Reference Guide stem to stern.  I answered all of the Study Guide questions USING THE EXACT TERMINOLOGY AND PHRASING from the reference guide.  I then read silently and sometimes aloud, the study guide questions and answers every night leading up to the test.  I probably spent about 20 hours studying the week before testing, and I passed one of the exams I bombed is the spring.  In November of 2017 I attended another conference in Jacksonville, Florida, where there was a COMIRA (NAFA APPROVED) test center.  I prepared the same way and I took another Test and Passed.  Even though the testing center was 180 miles away, I began scheduling the rest of the tests, a week apart in December of 2017.  The commitment of scheduling the test, forced me so stick to a timeline.  In December of 2017 I completed my CAFM.  I just recertified this year. 

    Today, I present boot camps and study sessions, at conferences or for our local organizations such as the Florida Sheriffs Association and Florida Association of Government Fleet Administrators, and sometimes for NAFA at I & E or in Virtual Sessions throughout the year.  Today you the CAFM Candidates have the advantage of CBT.  You can test at your leisure from the comfort of your office, home, or hotel room.  ​I see a lot of folks attend a Boot Camp and they don't test right away. If you don't test, you aren't committed.  

    If I were starting out in the program today, I would use the same process as I did in late 2017.  Commit to the objective of completing one course each week.  Test at the week's end. Select the next target, prepare for a week, and test at the week's end.  Complete it in 8 weeks.  

    I used this process to prepare for other exams including ASE certifications along with the CPFP and CEM programs.  I also used to prepare flash cards.  What worked for me might not work for another living soul but at 51 years old, I've learned that if I don't commit and establish deadlines, then I wander through completing things when I can, and there always seems to be more pressing issues than studying.  Golf, Fishing, Traveling, Football, Basketball, Baseball, Racing, holidays, you name a task and I can find a reason to put it on the back burner.  

    Hope this helps.  Good Luck!

    Timothy E. Coxwell CAFM CPFP CEM
    Fleet Management Division Director
    Leon County Sheriffs Office
    Tallahassee, Florida

  • 3.  RE: CAFM Certification Process - Feedback Requested

    Posted 11-16-2022 09:11
    Hello Jacqueline, and welcome to the CAFM community.
    Congratulations on your decision to earn your CAFM designation, I am certain you will find the journey very rewarding.
    As far as how long it takes a candidate to complete the program really depends on the candidate themselves, but to complete all 8 modules in a year is very doable. The biggest challenge for most candidates is balancing work and other commitments in their life, while finding time to study and work through the CAFM materials. 
    You are correct in your understanding of the examination process, there is one exam for each, once all 8 exams are passed you are done, except of course to hopefully come to I&E so you can walk the stage with the other graduates.
    The two best pieces of advice I can give you is to first remember that the exam questions are primarily application of knowledge type questions, so you need to understand the concepts being taught as opposed to just reading and memorizing make sure you follow the study guide. Secondly, I recommend connecting with other candidates, either in your region or through this community, and if possible join or start a study group. Many folks find it beneficial to have others to bounce questions off of, or to help them understand concepts that they may be having trouble with, because of course we all come from different backgrounds so some modules will be easier than others for some candidates, again, depending on their previous education and work experience.
    Anyway, I hope this helps, and I wish you all the best in your pursuit of CAFM certification.
    President, NAFA Fleet Management Association

    Raymond A Brisby, CAFM
    Provincial Manager, EMS Fleet Operations
    Alberta Health Services
    Calgary, AB

    NAFA Fleet Management Association

  • 4.  RE: CAFM Certification Process - Feedback Requested

    Posted 11-17-2022 08:51
    Good morning!

    Congratulations for signing up for your CAFM certification.  I have been working on mine and I am down to the last test model, so 7 modules completed of the 8.  I am working on Business Law now and plan to test by the end of the month.  Fingers crossed on successfully complete it.  
    I have been working on this for two years, just because of a busy life with career and family.  I wasn't lucky enough to work from home during the pandemic to knock this out as some have.  So jealous!  
    I am not the best test taker, so I have to study.  I ready the section manual, take notes, use the study guide, and watch the mini-boot camp's video.  I also use Quizlet as a study material, using the study guide questions, lots of prep time but I can listen to the material while I am driving.  I feel this has been very beneficial for me and my learning style.  
    I have had to take some test multiple times, so far, the Professional Development module was the one I struggled with the most.  It gets very deep into the psychology of human behavior.  Each module required different level of hours spent to prepare, for me personally.  I started with the area that I felt strong in, which was FMIS and Asset Management. This was a way to get the feel of the testing and get rolling.  
    I find for myself, that I can't answer the situational questions as how I would react in the real world of Fleet Management, it's about knowing the material being covered and how to apply it from the manual.  I hope this makes sense.  I believe that is why test takers believe they can just pass it without any preparation and don't succeed, just my opinion.  

    Good luck!


    Elizabeth Casillas
    Fleet Manager
    City of Buckeye, AZ
    Buckeye, AZ

  • 5.  RE: CAFM Certification Process - Feedback Requested

    Posted 11-16-2022 09:29
    Hi Jacqueline,
    I am still early in my journey (I have taken and passed two modules so far) but I have a similar strategy as Timothy. I set aside time specifically to study and I schedule the exam on my work calendar to hold myself accountable. 

    The testing is computer based and you can take the test at any time or location that is convenient for you. Your computer will have to undergo some system compatibility checks before you take the test and I recommend doing that now (or at least several days in advance of when you plan to take the test) so you have time to fix any issues that arise. There is no proctor, but the test is monitored with AI and the system will flag your exam if there is any unusual activity on the screen such as if it appears you are using notes or talking to someone else. For this reason, I schedule a conference room in a building away from my worksite so I reduce the risk of interruption but also am still in "work mode" mentally. You have 60 min to complete the exam and I have felt that this is more than enough time.  

    My goal is one test a month. I believe you could do it more quickly, but it just depends how much time you have to dedicate to studying. I have small children, outside interests, and a heavy work load, so one test a month is a good balance of progress without having other parts of my life suffer.  I read the reference material, listen to the boot camp webinar (I put in on in the background while I am working), and I make flash cards from the study guide and study those (I use the brainscape app). I started with the module I felt most comfortable with and and working through them in order of perceived difficulty.  I also highly recommend the CAFM Office hours (there is one tomorrow 11/17) because it gives good information about what may be on the test and you can hear from others regarding their strategies. Plus is is motivating to know that others are on the same journey and hear from them as well.  I am happy to chat more about my process and hopefully you are able to attend some of the future Office hours! Good luck!

    Jannah Waters
    Acting Sr. Fiscal Analyst
    City of Mesa, AZ Fleet Services Department
    Mesa, AZ

  • 6.  RE: CAFM Certification Process - Feedback Requested

    Posted 11-16-2022 10:41
    I completed my CAFM in 13 months. I did it in 2020 during COVID shut down. I read each chapter and used the study guide. I wrote (that helps me) all the answers to all the questions, Then when I had finished a chapter, my husband kindly quizzed me. When I had finished a whole book (module), he would quiz me again on all the chapters and all the questions. Sometimes we did this a couple of times as there is so much information to assimilate. When I felt comfortable, I took the test for the module. I only had to take one test more than once, and that was the first test I took, so I look at that as part of my learning curve of what was expected. Each module took about 5-6 weeks of reading and studying.
    The results of the tests show you clearly which areas you did well in, and which topics you did not do well in. I averaged in the mid 80% for most of my tests. (I was an A student in school/college, so don't know if I am just getting older and having trouble remembering and absorbing new info as well, or if these were more difficult. Perhaps a bit of both. I have been working in a fleet setting for about 12 years and doing most of the administrative side, so while I was familiar with the surface of most of the modules, I learned an amazing amount and have been able to implement a lot of knowledge into my current job. I recently interviewed and was offered a fleet position with a large city fleet, which would have doubled my current income, but decided against the move to a new location. I am currently (tomorrow) interviewing for a different fleet position more all in all I feel that my investment in CAFM has been and will be of immense benefit to me. Good luck.

    Jill Mead, CAFM
    Quincy-Columbia Basin Irrigation District
    Quincy, WA

  • 7.  RE: CAFM Certification Process - Feedback Requested

    Posted 08-24-2023 11:51

    Hi Jacqueline, how is your journey progressing? Have you learned any new tips?

    I am finding flashcard programs (Brainscape and Quizlet) helpful and I discovered an app called Speechify that reads documents out loud to be helpful as well. I upload the reference material and the study guide questions and answers to the app and listen to it on my commute. Good luck!

    Jannah Waters
    Assistant Fleet Services Director
    City of Mesa, AZ Fleet Services Department
    Mesa, AZ

  • 8.  RE: CAFM Certification Process - Feedback Requested

    Posted 08-25-2023 13:35

    Hi Jacqueline, 

    I also just achieved my CAFM certification in April this year.  The entire process took me 14 months. Some months I worked hard than others depending on how much time had to spare.  I am going to say that I also used the mini-boot camps to expose myself to each module before attacking the chapter material. 

    I agree with Jannah, that I used Quizlet for a study resource from the study guides.  I created flashcards and the app will read the content aloud.  I used this while driving to and from work to study the content.  I personally took a module that I felt very comfortable with, which was FMIS for me, and did the reading and tested to get a feel for how the process goes.  I am not the best at testing, so this was a critical step for me.  I had modules that were easier than others.  I had modules that I enjoyed more than others, so could also be the reason I devoted more time and finished some faster.  

    Hope this helps. 


    Elizabeth Casillas, CAFM
    Fleet Manager
    City of Buckeye, AZ
    Buckeye, AZ