How To Get Your Agency Accredited

– Accreditation Manager’s Guide –


Accreditation provides a Chief Executive Officer with a permanent process that promotes continual self-evaluation, commitment to “best practices” and the efficient use of resources to improve service delivery regardless of the size, geographic location, or functional responsibilities of the agency. Much work and a high level of commitment are necessary to achieve and maintain accredited status. Fortunately, there is help. The New Jersey Public Safety Accreditation Coalition (NJPSAC) boasts a staff of highly qualified, experienced personnel who have accumulated years of experience assisting agencies in achieving and maintaining accreditation.

New accreditation managers need help in getting started. The information contained within this document reflects the aggregate experience of New Jersey’s existing accreditation managers.

Phase I: Research and Planning

Researching and planning your agency’s approach to the accreditation process is an important first step to ensure your accreditation program is successful.

There are different accreditation programs available to agencies.  The standards utilized by the different accrediting bodies have many similarities.  State-specific programs tend to lean toward best practices geared toward specific requirements of one particular state.  New Jersey Law Enforcement Accreditation Program (NJLEAP), for example, contains some standards which incorporate best practices derived from Attorney General directives and guidelines and New Jersey Supreme Court decisions.

Currently, there are two accrediting bodies providing accreditation programs to New Jersey agencies.

The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) is a national program offering law enforcement agencies two options for their program.  The Law Enforcement Accreditation Program (tier 1) option requires an agency to establish and maintain compliance with 189 standards or the Advanced Law Enforcement Accreditation Program (tier 2) option consists of 459 standards.*  CALEA also offers accreditation programs for public safety communications agencies, training academies, and campus security agencies.   The CALEA Advanced Law Enforcement Accreditation Accreditation program is the Platinum Standard of the four CALEA accreditation programs.

All programs utilize the same standards; only the number of applicable standards is different.  Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) Accreditation requires an agency to establish and maintain compliance with either 189 standards (tier 1) or 484 standards (tier 2) that are regarded as the best practices in public safety.  CALEA’s program seals are the “Marks of Professional Excellence” for today’s public safety agencies and reflect the gold standard benchmark associated with CALEA.

The New Jersey State Law Enforcement Accreditation Program (NJSLEAP) is a program administered by the New Jersey Association of Chief of Police (NJSACOP)  requires an agency to establish and maintain compliance with the 105 standards.  Agencies can obtain information directly from the CALEA website ( or by contacting CALEA at 800-368-3757.

Agencies can also obtain information directly from the NJSACOP website ( or by contacting the NJSACOP at 856-988-5880.

* The number of individual standards published by CALEA’s tier 1 and tier 2 Law Enforcement Accreditation Programs at the time of this writing.