Accreditation is a self-initiated process by which police agencies voluntarily strive to meet and maintain standards that have been established for the profession by the profession. The process consists of the following phases:
In this phase, the Commission provides information to agencies to help them evaluate the program. The information generally includes an overview of the six phases of the process, actual and potential costs, which standards must be met, procedural and process requirements, common program benefits and what support services can be expected from the Commission. Support Services generally include personalized training, creative problem-solving to comply with standards, sample compliance documentation from the Commission’s Resource Library, and access to the Commission’s private, interactive website.
Upon deciding to participate in the program, agencies must complete the Program Application Form and return it to the Commission with their Application Fee. The Program Application and Invoice consist of three parts. Part I simply requests some basic information about the agency, Part II deals with the agency’s eligibility to participate in the program, and Part III is the Invoice for the annual fee. To continue in the program, annual fees are invoiced on a fiscal year basis: July 1 – June 30. For partial year enrollment, a pro-rated monthly fee is $100 per month. The annual fee for FY2017 is $1,250. Agencies with 10 or fewer full-time officers pay 50% of the annual fee ($625).
As part of the Application Phase, agencies are required to appoint an Accreditation Manager (AM). This position is responsible for managing the agency’s accreditation process and is the agency’s primary liaison with the Commission on all matters concerning accreditation. A sample job description is available identifying the position’s major duties and responsibilities.
Upon receipt of the agency’s application, the Chief Executive Officer and the Accreditation Manager will be provided access to the Commission’s private website and will be advised of upcoming training opportunities to prepare the agency for the next phase of the process: Self-assessment.
This phase of the process involves a thorough examination of the agency, by the agency. It is the most labor intensive and time-consuming phase of the process because the activities in this phase initially begin with a comprehensive review of the standards and include all of the activities associated with preparing for the agency’s on-site assessment. The major activities in this phase include (1) analyzing each standard to determine agency compliance; (2) achieving agency compliance where noncompliance is determined and (3) documenting and centralizing agency compliance for the assessors to review. Corrective action generally involves policy writing, minor facility adjustments, and in some cases, equipment purchases.
This phase of the process is designed to give agencies an indication as to their readiness to be assessed by Commission-appointed assessors. It involves two preliminary reviews: one arranged by the agency and the other by the Commission’s Executive Director. The one arranged by the agency is commonly referred to as a “mock” assessment and is typically conducted by several of the accreditation manager’s peers. It serves as a dry run for the agency allowing agency personnel to interact with assessors relative to their respective areas of responsibility and affording the agency an opportunity to identify and address problem areas (weak or lacking compliance documentation) before the assessment conducted by the Commission. The review conducted by the Commission’s Executive Director is more administrative in nature. It ensures that the Commission’s requirements for preparing and presenting compliance documentation have been met, and includes some random samplings.
When all requirements for Certification and Accreditation have been met, the agency is invited to attend the Commission’s next regularly scheduled meeting. At these Commission meetings, a summary of the agency’s assessment is provided to the Commission based on the findings and recommendations of both the Assessment Team and the Commission’s Executive Director. Awards are granted for three-year periods and mid-point contact with the agency monitors compliance with standards during the three-year award period.
For More Information or to Attend one of our Accreditation Workshops
Please contact the Commission: