What is Accreditation?
Accreditation is the certification by an independent reviewing authority that an entity has met specific requirements and prescribed standards, and has long been recognized as a means of maintaining the highest standards of professionalism. Accreditation is a coveted award that symbolizes professionalism, excellence, and competence.
Our Accreditation History
On October 31, 2007, the Governor’s Chief Inspector General, along with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation, Inc. (CFA), initiated an accreditation program for the inspectors general investigative function of state agencies. The program was the first of its kind in the nation for agency offices of inspectors general (OIG). The accreditation program facilitates and ensures compliance with the Association of Inspectors General standards and Florida Statutes. The accreditation program determines whether the processes are in place and being utilized to ensure the professionalism of OIGs throughout the state. These processes establish minimum standards for all, enhancing the quality of investigations conducted by state agency OIGs. On October 28, 2009, the Department of Children and Families OIG Investigations Unit was the first state agency OIG to become accredited by the CFA.
Benefits of Accreditation
- Accreditation enhances community understanding of the OIG role as well as its goals and objectives.
- The accreditation process requires an in-depth review of every aspect of the OIG’s organization, management, operations, and administration to include:
- Establishment of goals and objectives with provisions for periodic updating;
- Evaluation of whether resources are being used in accordance with goals, objectives, and mission;
- Evaluation of policies and procedures, especially as documented in the OIG’s written directive system;
- Correction of internal deficiencies and inefficiencies.
- The accreditation standards provide norms against which OIG performance can be measured and monitored over time.
- Accreditation requires that OIG policies and procedures are in writing, and are available to employees and the public.
- The OIG is compelled to operate within specific guidelines. It is accountable to the CFA, and must stay in compliance with the standards set forth by the CFA in order to retain its accreditation.
The Accreditation Process
- An OIG must apply to the CFA to participate in the accreditation process.
- The OIG will be required to demonstrate compliance with all applicable standards.
- Proof of compliance with the standards is determined by an assessment team sent by the CFA, conducting an on-site review of the OIG's own policies, procedures, and practices.
- OIGs remain accredited for a period of three years. After the three-year period, they must be re-accredited.
Much of the above information was derived from the CFA. For further information about accreditation and the accreditation process, please visit the Florida Accreditation website at: www.flaccreditation.org/