Accreditation Standards

Standards of Accreditation - Six Law Enforcement Subjects

The standards address six major law enforcement subjects:
  • Role, responsibilities, and relationships with other agencies
  • Organization, management, and administration
  • Personnel administration
  • Law enforcement operations, operational support, and traffic law enforcement
  • Prisoner and court-related services
  • Auxiliary and technical services
The standards help law enforcement agencies strengthen crime prevention and control capabilities; formalize essential management procedures; establish fair and nondiscriminatory personnel procedures; improve service-delivery; solidify interagency cooperation and coordination; and boost citizen and staff confidence.


Agencies that seek accreditation are required to comply only with those standards that are specifically applicable to them. Applicability is based on two factors: an agency's size and the functions it performs. Applicable standards are categorized as mandatory or other-than -mandatory. Agencies must comply with all applicable mandatory standards and eighty percent of applicable other-than-mandatory standards.

If an agency cannot comply with a standard because of legislation, labor agreements, court orders, or case law, waivers can be sought from the commission. Seeking to establish the best professional practices, the standards prescribe "what" agencies should be doing, but not "how" they should be doing it. That decision is left up to the individual agency and its chief executive officer.

Staff of the commission's four law enforcement founders drafted the initial standards. Law enforcement practitioners and researchers reviewed them, and they were subjected to structured field tests in different sized law enforcement agencies before being finally adopted by the commission in 1983. The commission's committees monitor the standards for needed additions, revisions, and interpretations.