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Accreditation Process

The South Carolina accreditation process is a five-phase process, consisting of:

  1. Application
  2. Self-Assessment
  3. On-Site Assessment
  4. Council Review
  5. Maintain Compliance and Reaccreditation

APPLICATION PHASE:

To apply for State Accreditation, complete the Memorandum of Understanding and Agency Survey and email both documents to the SCLEA Program Administrator. Click on the Accreditation Application link to the left to get started.  

The application fee is currently $200.  The agency will be billed upon receipt of the Memorandum of Understanding. 

SELF-ASSESSMENT PHASE:

Self-Assessment provides an opportunity for an agency to conduct a review of its organization, management, operations, and administrative activities to determine whether it believes it meets the requirements of applicable standards. A systematic approach should be used to identify the requirements of each standard, reveal those areas in which the agency is out of compliance, and determine how compliance can be met and verified.  The typical self-assessment will include the following steps:

  1. Communicate self-assessment plans to all personnel;
  2. Hold training for personnel who will be assigned specific self-assessment responsibilities;
  3. Conduct a comprehensive policy review;
  4. Prepare proofs or other evidence to verify compliance with the applicable standards;
  5. Establish agency systems to ensure accreditation maintenance (inspections, audits, reports, analyses, etc.);
  6. Create a virtual or actual folder for each standard; and
  7. Conduct a "mock" on-site assessment using outside practitioners familiar with the SCLEA accreditation process to act as assessors. 

NOTE: The candidate agency's CEO must notify the SCLEA Program Administrator in writing when the agency has completed self-assessment and is prepared for the onsite review.

ON-SITE ASSESSMENT PHASE:

The SCLEA Program Administrator will work with the agency's assigned Accreditation Manager to determine the best on-site review dates.  Assessors provided by the South Carolina Police Accreditation Coalition (SCPAC) will conduct a comprehensive review of the agency's accreditation files and produce a written report of their findings.  If the agency is using an online data management system, files may be reviewed prior to the actual on-site visit. 

The agency should publish a Public Notice prior to the on-site and provide the SCLEA Program Administrator with a copy of the following documents, within ten (10) days of request:

  1. Agency Survey (Appendix B)
  2. Agency Self-Assessment Log (Appendix D)
  3. Public Notice (Appendix F)
  4. On-site Assessment Schedule (Appendix G)
  5. Statistical Data Tables (Appendix N)
  6. The agency's most recent Annual Report, if available
  7. A list of future issues facing the agency and its service community

NOTE:  Candidate agencies must provide an adequate workspace for the visiting assessors and are responsible for the assessors' hotel/motel accommodations and meals. 

COUNCIL REVIEW PHASE:

Agencies are requested to complete and return an Agency Critique (Appendix J), after the on-site review. 

The agency CEO and other individuals, as determined by the agency, will be invited to attend an assessment hearing, as part of the SCLEA Council's quarterly meeting.  During the hearing, the agency's CEO will be asked to answer questions regarding the on-site review and the accreditation process.

MAINTAIN COMPLIANCE & REACCREDITATION PHASE:

After receiving SCLEA accredited status, the agency must renew their Memorandum of Understanding (Appendix A).  At this point, the agency reenters the Self-Assessment Phase and must maintain and prove compliance with applicable SCLEA standards during each subsequent three (3) year cycle.