The National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) has updated the standards used to accredit automotive training programs at the secondary and post-secondary school level. The new NATEF model establishes three levels of accreditation: Maintenance & Light Repair (MLR), Auto Service Technology (AST) and Master Auto Service Technology (MAST). The differences at each level are reflected in the number of tasks, number of instructional hours and instructor qualifications. NATEF says each level builds on the previous one and covers all major automotive systems, but to different depths of learning.
NATEF calls the update one of the most significant changes to the program in the organization’s history.
“The industry mix of work has changed. Employers are seeing more maintenance-related services in their shops and want entry-level technicians with more foundational knowledge,” said Trish Serratore, NATEF president. “The new standards address these needs and provide more flexibility for automotive training programs nationwide.”
The new automobile program standards were developed after review and input by the NATEF automobile standards review committee and have been approved by both the NATEF board of trustees and ASE board of directors. “The standards were developed in cooperation with OEMs, employers and instructors,” Serratore explained. “NATEF realizes that the new model represents a major change in program accreditation, and is committed to working with each state, program and instructor to ensure a smooth transition.”