Preparing for Accreditation
Professional and Public Recognition
IACLEA Accredited agencies are an exclusive group, having demonstrated compliance with stringent professional standards as validated by expert campus public safety peers. They earn recognition for this achievement from across the community.
“Through meticulous effort, the College of Lake County’s Police Department was able to meet the nation’s highest standards, and serve as a model for excellency and professionalism.” -US Representative Bradley Schneider (D-IL-10) wrote to Chief Tom Guenther, College of Lake County, Illinois
Review the Standards
Agencies interested in accreditation are encouraged to review the IACLEA Accreditation Standards Manual.
The 215 standards are organized into 18 chapters that reflect the best professional requirements and practices for campus public safety agencies. The standards provide a framework to develop a system of professional practices in a variety of administrative and operational areas, such as:
- organization and administration
- administrative and technical services
- crime prevention and community involvement
- critical incident management
- patrol and operations
- Title IX
- training and human resources
Determining which standards apply to an agency is done in collaboration with IACLEA staff and is determined by the agency’s legal authority and functions performed.
The standards typically prescribe what an agency should do. The standards do not dictate how an agency should implement the standard. That is up to the agency and its director or chief.
Familiarity with the scope and complexity of the standards will enable the agency to make an informed and reasoned decision about beginning the accreditation process. Agencies should perform a side-by-side analysis of their existing written policies and assess whether the agency needs to develop new policies or modify existing ones.
Ensure the Agency’s Commitment to the Accreditation Process
Achieving IACLEA Accreditation requires an agency-wide commitment to excellence. No one person can do this on their own. Those agencies that successfully navigate the accreditation process take it on a goal for the entire agency. A quick, but effective, approach to gauging an agency’s preparedness for achieving IACLEA Accreditation is to ask and answer five key questions.
Being able to answer “yes” to all five questions bodes well for the agency’s success.
Those who answer “no” should take steps to ensure a “yes” answer before embarking on IACLEA Accreditation.
- Is the institution and agency leadership committed to allocating sufficient resources, delegating essential tasks, and implementing required strategies to ensure that the agency can achieve IACLEA Accreditation?
- Do we have an accreditation manager with strong project management skills who is empowered to lead the agency through the process?
- Are our management team and other key staff aware of their roles and responsibilities?
- Do we have a well-organized written directive system that will accommodate additions and revisions?
- Do we have a process for achieving compliance with standards?
Obtain Training and Technical Assistance
Obtaining training is an essential step to a successful accreditation effort. Training will help accreditation managers acquire a thorough understanding of its concepts and procedures to comply with standards, document their compliance, and prepare for the agency’s review by assessors.
IACLEA presents accreditation workshops during its Annual Conference in June, as well as webinars throughout the year for accreditation managers and others interested in pursuing Accreditation.
Instructional workshops at regional conferences may also be scheduled through special arrangement with IACLEA Director of Professional Services Jerry Murphy (email@example.com).
Join a Police Accreditation Coalition (PAC)
Each agency is responsible for developing and implementing the written directives and operational procedures that will ultimately lead to accreditation. However, many accreditation managers approach accreditation as a collaborative process, willingly sharing their knowledge, experience, and resources with each other. This can be accomplished by joining a Police Accreditation Coalition in your home state or through informal interaction and networking.
While specific technical assistance and formal interpretation of standards should only come from IACLEA staff, a wealth of information and assistance can be obtained from your counterparts. By networking with other campus public safety professionals, engaged in the accreditation process, strategies, techniques, and procedures can be shared and evaluated. This can save time and result in a better, more effective product.
For questions or clarification, please contact IACLEA Director of Professional Services Jerry Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 618-4545, or Program Coordinator Connie Pair at email@example.com or (202) 664-5168.
IACLEA thanks our friends at Corporate Partner D. Stafford & Associates for their generous sponsorship of IACLEA Accreditation.