The role of an Accreditation Manager is varied, dynamic, and perpetual. Policy has to be kept in compliance with applicable standards and proof of compliance have to be identified and place within the appropriate accreditation file on an ongoing basis. The Accreditation Manager does not have any time off between assessments. He/she is tasked with keeping their agency in continual compliance or risk organizational failure through non-compliance. The New Jersey Public Safety Accreditation Coalition (PAC) has developed copyrighted proprietary programs and material to virtually guarantee an agency’s success in accreditation. These programs are develop to meet the unique needs and challenges of New Jersey Law Enforcement and Public Safety Agencies.
After an Accreditation Manager successfully completes their New Accreditation Manager with either the Commission of Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agency (CALEA) or the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police (NJSACOP) they are accepted as full Accreditation Manager members of the PAC. As new Accreditation Managers they will begin their training with the PAC in the twelve (12) specialized accreditation seminars as part of their journey to becoming a Certified Accreditation Manager. These seminars are provided throughout the State of New Jersey throughout the year and at the annual Police Accreditation Conference.
Accreditation Managers for the New Jersey Law Enforcement Accreditation Program (NJLEAP) also meet around the state in three different regions, quarterly each year, to comprehensively review a set of accreditation files during a File Review Meeting. After each meeting every Accreditation Manager in attendance will either have the assurance that all the files reviewed are fully compliant for both policy and proof, or, they will know exactly what is weak or incorrect so that they can fix them right away. The quarterly File Review Meetings are taught by experts in the New Jersey Law Enforcement Accreditation Program and student Accreditation Managers are supervised during the review process. The quarterly review process is designed so that every Law Enforcement Accreditation Program standard is comprehensively reviewed on the accreditation file level, right down to the bullet, every three (3) years; which is a normal accreditation cycle.
When an agency is approaching the end of their current accreditation cycle, typically four (4) to six (6) months before, they will contact the PAC to perform a “Pre-Assessment Review” of their accreditation files. The Pre-Assessment Review is a comprehensive unbiased analysis of every accreditation standard’s file for compliance with the standard for both policy and proof. The Pre-Assessment Review is entirely confidential as the PAC has no affiliation with any accreditation body. The report generated for the Chief of Police, Director, or Officer in Charge is provided only to them to distribute how they deem fit. The team who performs the Pre-Assessment Review does not keep a copy of the report, nor does the PAC. Agencies can rest assured that any weaknesses identified or non-compliance issues found will not be shared with anyone other than the agency’s Chief Executive Officer.
Once the Pre-Assessment Review is complete the agency’s Accreditation Manager will contact the PAC for their agency’s Facility Inspection right before their official assessment visit by the NJLEAP assessors. The purpose of the Facility Inspection is to catch any issues or problems that may violate a standard prior to the assessors visit. The Facility Inspection is not an assessment of the agency’s facility. An assessment of the agency’s facility should be performed when they either begin the accreditation program as a new agency or when changes are made to their facility’s structure or design during an accreditation cycle.
After the agency has had their Pre-Assessment Review and Facility Inspection they are ready for their official off-site file assessment and on-site file and facility inspection by the accreditation body’s assessors. Agencies will be not only well prepared and ready for the official inspection, they should pass it with Honors!