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Tracking Your Law Enforcement Accreditation Progress

Keeping pace with hundreds of proofs doesn't have to be a daunting task with these five easy tips.

Largely a self-regulated task for much of the accreditation cycle, tracking progress and ensuring that an agency is on target can weigh heavily on an Accreditation professional.

When explaining the accreditation process to new officers, I always throw in a joke that, "at the start of a new cycle, I might seem a little depressed because I have done zero work." Knowing the status of hundreds of items at any given time can seem IMPOSSIBLE.

Whether you're subscribed to a state accreditation program or CALEA, there are hundreds of proofs and written directives from multiple years that need to be collected. How can an AM keep it all collected and know where they are in the process?

Here are five simple tips for keeping establishing a tracking system for your process:

1. Start with a location

Decide ahead of time where you want to track your progress. Will it be on a whiteboard in the office or will you use a file on your computer? This will be your one place to go back to and mark progress or changes. You will be able to return here on a daily or weekly basis to record your tasks. The level of detail is up to you!

Recording progress could be as simple as determining if a standard is complete, drilling down by year if it needs attention, or having a way of notating which proofs are still outstanding.

Finally, figure out how you plan communicating your progress to other parties.

2. Be consistent

The most important part of your organization system is YOU. Staying on top of your progress ultimately comes down to your commitment to the plan.

Just like a houseplant, neglect will slowly and silently kill your best planned system. When an item or task is complete, don't wait or procrastinate - mark it down. Make a habit of checking on your system regularly to keep your progress a growing and transforming figure. This can keep you motivated to continue if you ever start to feel bogged down.

3. Keep it convenient

There's nothing like having a physical board staring you in the face reminding you of what you still need to do. If you prefer electronic tracking, make sure that you actually open your file daily. If possible, schedule regular reports that can provide meaningful progress updates and highlight items that need your attention.

4. Start with the Easy Stuff

Starting a fresh cycle? Not to worry, you likely have quite a few standards that you can N/A right away. Get those out of the way. Next work on some of the easier standards - ones that may only require a written directive or a single proof. Seeing your status board or electronic reports fill up with completed tasks ought to give you the fuel to tackle some of the harder files.

5. Share Your Progress

Many are familiar with the idea of an accountability partner. An exercise routine is more effective when you have someone else to keep you on track - either through competition or as a partner. Now I'm not suggesting competitive file building, but networking with experienced accreditation professionals can be a powerful way to keep on task. If you have a road block, something difficult that you've been putting on the back burner, or something that you are confused about - reach out!

When I first started on my own as an Accreditation Manager, I relied heavily on the experience of others both within and outside of the agency. If you don't know where to begin, reach out to me here at BlueIQ. Give me a ring or send an email -I'm always happy to help.

Tracking your accreditation progress doesn't have to be hard! In fact, it can be a great tool to stay motivated, identify problem areas, and to effect change at your agency. By identifying a solution that suits your preference, being consistent and staying organized you can set yourself up for a stress free daily workflow and a flawless assessment.


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