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News & Press: FAQs on Certification

Experience Requirements - CDS and CSS

Thursday, April 24, 2014  
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  1. Q: I was a State/Federal DOT inspector or State Patrol Officer specializing in CMV enforcement.  Does law enforcement background count toward the CDS experience requirement?

    A: 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.

  2. Q: I was a safety officer in the military.  Does that experience count toward the CDS/CSS requirements?

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

  3. Q: I was in charge of industrial safety for a company prior to working for a fleet.  Does that experience count toward the CSS/CDS requirements?

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

  4. Q: I have been a driver for many years.  Does driving experience apply to the CDS/CSS or CDT experience requirements?

    A: 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.

  5. Q: I am a safety consultant, truck or bus association safety specialist, or insurance company loss control representative.  Can I apply for safety certification?

    A: 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.

  6. Q: I have more than one job (example: safety & maintenance, safety & HR or Safety & Security).  I'm not full-time safety.  Does my experience qualify?

    A: Yes, if at least 50 percent of your job is safety management.

  7. Q: I am a generalist -- CEO/Owner, General Manager, Logistics Manager, etc.  My responsibilities include fleet safety, but also many other things.  Does my experience qualify?

    A: 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.

  8. Q: We have a very small fleet and cannot afford to hire even a half-time safety director.  Can someone from our company become certified through NATMI?

    A. 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.

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