Understanding Accreditation

WI-PAC & WILEAG Explained

Wisconsin Police Accreditation Coalition (WI-PAC)

  • Comprised of accreditation managers and assessors from all over the State of Wisconsin
  • Resource for agencies involved in the accreditation process
  • Provides guidance in file construction and Standards interpretation
  • Network for communication, support, and sharing of resources.
  • Works in cooperation with WILEAG to enhance accreditation through standards
    review and process recommendations
  • Meets quarterly – second Wednesday in Jan/Apr/July/Oct
  • Provides training and mentoring in achieving accreditation
  • Resource for sample policies and proofs of compliance
  • Assists with mock assessments to member agencies for both Full Accreditation
    and Core Verification
  • Primary trainers for Accreditation Manager training classes

Wisconsin Law Enforcement Accreditation Group (WILEAG)

  • The formal governing body to bestow accredited status
  • Develops, modifies, edits, and amends the Standards manuals
  • Resource for accreditation application process, copy of standards & all forms
  • Provides guidance & direction with standard interpretation
  • Promotes the development of quality policies, procedures and directives
  • Maintains current roster of Accredited Agencies to identify local resources
  • Facilitates scheduling of Core Verification reviews and on-site assessments
  • Primary trainers for Assessor and Team Leader training classes

When Applying with WILEAG for either Full or Core, both the application fee and annual fees include automatic membership to WI-PAC. However, Wisconsin Law Enforcement agencies who have not signed up with WILEAG for accreditation may elect to join only WI-PAC for $50 annually.

Interested in Accreditation? Learn about how to begin the process

Getting Started

Is your agency new to accreditation? Or, are you newly assigned to Accreditation?

  1. Attend Accreditation Manager Training ASAP
  2. Get involved with WI-PAC
    • Meets quarterly in-person (currently at Middleton PD)
    • Amazing networking opportunity to set agencies up for success
    • WI-PAC will assign a mentor to all new agencies automatically, and to any staff members newly assigned to accreditation (upon request)
    • Visit the agency map to see if neighboring agencies are involved and may be able to offer assistance
  3. Shadow a mock assessment and an on-site assessment
    • Helpful to see what assessors are looking for
    • Gauge what your agency’s on-site assessment might be like in the future
    • Gives a sample of the file set up and room set up
  4. Determine what type of file system to use
    • Paper
    • Homegrown digital system
    • Agency-purchased accreditation product
      • Considerations for on-site assessments in the future
      • Three (3) computers, dual monitors, internet access, product and/or system reliability in three years, archive ability

Cyclical Flow of Accreditation

Click the plus (+) at the beginning of each item to expand the section for more information.

  • Assign a staff member as the Accreditation Manager and attend training
  • Accreditation Manager and any other agency staff are strongly encouraged to become involved with WI-PAC
  • Review standards and determines agency’s current level of compliance
  • Begin policy development and file construction
  • Determine which standards are Not Applicable by Function
  • Agency assesses if they believe they are in compliance with each standard
  • Gathers appropriate proofs of compliance
  • After approximately ten (10) files are completed, connect with WI-PAC for a cursory file review

Once an agency is satisfied that it can demonstrate compliance with all applicable standards; a planned mock assessment should be completed in advance (at least three months) of an on-site date or Core File Review.

  • Use the contact list from WI-PAC to self-schedule – download the list and save it locally near the needed date. The list changes very frequently.
    • Strongly encouraged for Full Accreditation (In person – Agency should consider providing lunch)
    • Required for Core Verification (Remote vis Dropbox)
  • As the date nears, Team Leader will be in contact with Agency AM
  • Complete and print the required forms
  • On-site lasts three days (Tues-Thurs) and is conducted by a team of three trained assessors
  • The agency is responsible for the costs associated with the assessor’s per diem, lodging, and mileage – all billed after the fact
  • File review occurs remotely – make take up to 60 days to complete
  • Agency will be expected to make needed repairs
  • WILEAG Board reviews findings and makes an accreditation determination
  • Normal accreditation bestowal is for three years
  • Agencies recognized at the annual WI Chiefs conference in February
  • Attend Assessor class (Can attend the class anytime its offered; there is no requirement to wait until an agency receives accreditation before attending a class)
  • Respond to WILEAG inquiries for Assessor needs
  • The expectation is to pay in kind – Agency must provide an Assessor three times over the three-year cycle (see Guiding Principle 5.1)
  • The three-year cycle starts over
  • The agency will be asked to re-certify continued compliance each year when paying annual dues to WILEAG

What to expect during an on-site assessment

Full On-Site Chronology

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  • Introduction to accreditation manager, key staff, and Chief or Sheriff
  • Completion of static display and tour of facility
  • Assessor workroom
    • Private / Confidential / Uninterrupted
    • Telephone
    • Ample space for assessors to spread out
    • Supplies: pens, post-it notes, highlighters, legal pads
    • Agency resource table; policy manuals, labor contracts, emergency plans, organizational chart, staff roster w/ phone numbers, newsletters, budget, etc.
    • Accreditation files
    • Access to restrooms
    • Access to the accreditation manager for the 3 full days
  • File review
  • File review
  • Staff and community interviews
  • Public information – open phone line (mandatory for all)
  • Public information session (if applicable) – mandatory for first time agencies
    • Must be video recorded by the agency
  • Standard specific tours
  • Ride-along activities
  • Department meetings: Citizen Academy, Block Watch meetings, etc.
  • All compliance review activities should be completed, including all repairs
    conducted during the on-site
  • Assessment team will collaborate on a final report outline
  • All documents required to support the final report will be gathered
  • The assessment team will conduct an exit conference with the Chief or Sheriff

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