Institute of Car Fleet Management chairman Roddy Graham proclaimed the organisation’s 2010 conference as a “huge success” after 95 delegates were treated to a day of expert speakers and discussion workshops.

Hosted by BMW at the Mini plant in Oxford, the ICFM’s 17th annual event took place earlier this month under the event theme of ‘Driving forward for a stronger fleet management future’. Graham reiterated his desire to see fleet management recognised as a profession in its own right with the training requirements that go with that status.

“We’ve had an interesting couple of years as an industry and faced challenges we’ve never faced before,” Graham told the audience in his fifth conference as chairman. But despite that, Graham claims all ICFM courses have been fully subscribed.

He also touched on the closer links the ICFM is forging with fellow business car industry associations. “BVRLA has added our expertise to the BVRLA training,” said Graham. “The success has been astounding – all of our courses have been fully subscribed.”

The ICFM has also started working closer with fleet operators’ association ACFO. “There was an opportunity to forge closer links with ACFO and add value to ACFO members,” he said. “Myself and [ACFO chairman] Julie Jenner got together to see how we could make the partnership stronger going forward.”

Later in the day BMW fleet boss StĀ­eve Chater took to the stage to welcome visitors to Mini’s home plant. “The ICFM is something I feel passionate about in terms of raising standards in my organisation and in the industry,” he told delegates. BMW is working with the ICFM to develop training programmes for the manufacturer’s fleet team.

Graham said early feedback indicated the event had been successful. “Our decision to integrate the best of both worlds, a national conference programme with free practical training workshops, proved a highly popular format,” he said. “Like last year, a third of attendees were guests invited by members, allowing us to showcase the very high, award-winning standards of the ICFM and its forward-thinking approach.”