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CALEA Update Magazine | Issue 100

Executive Director’s Message: Cost-Saving Measures Instituted

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CALEA understands the importance of controlling the cost of accreditation. This concept has become even more relevant in light of the troubled economy, which has impacted both private and public organizations. To this end, CALEA has developed a new strategy for the delivery of on-site assessment services with the intent of reducing the cost of accreditation activities, while maintaining the validity and credibility of the proven accreditation model. 

The Commission first reviewed the new concept during the Tulsa, Oklahoma, conference in December 2008, where it was approved for beta testing. During the most recent conference in Raleigh, North Carolina, the Commission decided to extend this cost-saving opportunity to all agencies in all programs. Commissioners indicated this action will provide cost-saving opportunities for all client agencies, but also noted that agencies are not required to participate and can elect to apply the traditional assessment protocol. 

Under the new assessment strategy, agencies will send significantly greater numbers of files to assessors for off-site review. Additionally, law enforcement accreditation assessment teams will be composed of only two members who will arrive earlier on the first day of the scheduled on-site assessment and depart one day sooner, when compared to the traditional model. Although honorariums will be increased for the two participating assessors from a four and one-half day to a six day rate, the assessment team will require fewer lodging nights and fewer days of per diem. The result is approximately a seven percent reduction in costs, which translates to about $1,000 on average for most client agencies. 

On-site cost savings are accomplished through the following strategies:

  • Increasing the number of standard files reviewed off-site.
  • Reducing the number of assessors deployed for the on-site.
  • Decreasing the number of lodging nights for the assessment team.
  • Increasing the number of days worked by the assessment team off-site.

Although the new process certainly does provide financial benefits for agencies participating in the accreditation process, it also provides greater opportunities for participating assessors to conduct agency tours and interact with the staff of assessed agencies. Furthermore, accreditation managers will have more time to repair files that are found to need work during the off-site review, which can result in smoother on-site activities and less stress on accreditation managers and those assisting in the assessment process. The overall result of this model is a better process that is less impacted by the temporal constrictions typically associated with on-site assessments. And, the new process provides an enhanced opportunity for assessors to view not only the policies of an agency, but the practices that complement its written directives. 

Agencies still send their off-site files to the assessment team four to six weeks prior to the on-site assessment. If circumstances exist that impact this timeline, the agency can coordinate with their CALEA Program Manager for assistance. 

The Commission is pleased to offer this new assessment process to client agencies and has made a commitment to continuously review its programs and processes to ensure clients are well-served, and that the accreditation model continues to foster professionalism across the field of public safety. CALEA staff is always eager to work with our client agencies, especially as the Commission develops and delivers new service strategies. This new assessment process is an example of the importance placed on continuous growth by the Commission and a strategic work plan that strives to provide the best client services in the most economical manner.  

Sylvester Daughtry, Jr.
Executive Director
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