THE WOODLANDS, Texas — Automotive Compliance Education (ACE) announced that it partnered with American Financial & Automotive Services to certify the F&I training and product provider’s entire agent roster at its annual national sales and marketing conference last week.

American Financial’s president, Arden Hetland, said he seized on the opportunity when it was presented shortly before the event.

“ACE certification keeps us on the leading edge as we try to stay ahead of compliance requirements,” Hetland said. “It’s a badge of honor for our agents, and we believe it will benefit our dealers as well.”

The group of 65 American Financial agents earned Automotive Compliance Specialist certification after several hours of independent study and a 90-minute, 150-question exam. The ACE curriculum covers a range of topics relating to the legal and ethical sale and financing of new and used vehicles and F&I products. Those who successfully complete the program must earn recertification on an annual basis.

Attorney and compliance expert Jim Ganther said American Financial made a wise investment in the certification program, which he helped design and bring to market.

“American Financial is the first F&I provider to introduce ACE certification to their field force, but I doubt they will be the last,” said Ganther, who serves as cofounder and CEO of Mosaic Compliance Services. “ACE was designed for the express purpose of elevating the level of compliance education throughout the industry, and agents have much to gain from certification.”

Following the successful certification of his field force, Hetland moved quickly to add the ACE component to the business class curriculum of American Financial’s F&I University. A group of 30 students, including dealers and F&I professionals, earned ACE certification shortly after the close of the company’s sales and marketing meetings.

“I think everybody in this industry should get this certification. It’s the only way we as an industry are going to get the CFPB off our backs,” Hetland said. “ACE has put these educational materials out there to make us all better.”