Accreditation is the process in which an institution is given a certificate of competence and credibility. The overall goal of the process is to evaluate and improve the performance of the institution. Educational and law enforcement institutions around the United States are working tirelessly to be accredited locally and internationally which will make them recognized all over the world. The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) is responsible for the formulation of the management of the accreditation process; its expenses are paid by voluntary organizations that are part of the process. International development of the police agencies has received close attention over the past years. However, to make the policing field professional, standards and practices are to be set. The standards set should be acceptable universally which would ensure that police agencies are accredited. This essay seeks to examine the process of accreditation in police development, advantages and disadvantages of international accreditation, the structure of the system developed and how this structure will ensure that the oppressive regimes will not be recognized.
Effectiveness of the Process
Accreditation provides police agencies with the ability to prevent and control international crimes in an effective and efficient manner. In order to ensure that law enforcement agencies are performing under the same regulations, a uniform set of ‘best practices’ is used to establish an accreditation system. This system is also used by law enforcement institutions to measure and ascertain how credible they are on the international scale. It is important to use standards to monitor how accountable and compliant these agencies are to their law enforcement professional services. Once an institution becomes accredited, it undergoes a lot of external reviews and assessments which are aimed at ensuring that the services offered are of high quality. A law enforcement agency that has been accredited is considered safe and trustworthy. Accordingly, this increases the faith and confidence of the society in the agency, creating a community that has effective law enforcement agencies that protect them.
International accreditation will ensure that police agencies around the world conform to those standards before they are acknowledged internationally. It also allows police agencies to voluntarily show how they are committed to ensuring that law enforcement around the world excels. Agencies also have the responsibility for ensuring that they meet the international accepted standards. They, therefore, have to conduct internal audits and reviews which ensure that their policies and procedures are in compliance with those set internationally.
The process provides many advantages not only to the agency but also to the community. It gives law enforcement the capability to prevent and control crimes happening around their community. The reason is that it grants these agencies an opportunity to perform their tasks in an effective and efficient manner. Additionally, it gives the community a chance for them to clearly understand the roles of law enforcement agencies. The community is, therefore, able to appreciate the importance of these agencies.
Most of the standards set during accreditation include operation and administration safety. The use of accreditation becomes advantageous to the police agencies in an international dimension since it ensures that top secret information is not easily hacked, thereby ensuring that the community is free from easy attacks that might occur due to leakage of information.
Accreditation grants law agencies certification to offer programs in which the community can enroll and participate. Programs such as defense classes and crime prevention programs are very useful to citizens and they directly benefit from them. Interaction of the agencies and the community creates a level of understanding which can be used to set the goals and objectives that address pressing issues that are affecting the international community. In addition, the employees receive training programs that are offered by the institution which increase their level of skills. The skills that they acquire help the officers get recognition internationally; thus, they can be deployed anywhere around the world.
Accreditation is granted to institutions whose departments are working efficiently and in accordance with the set international standards. The reason is that the standards that are set are used to measure and monitor the agency's activities. There is, therefore, an increase in the level of cooperation between departments which translates into efficient services being offered by the agency.
Employees tend to have confidence in their work and agencies if the institution has been accredited. The reason is that such award gives the institution international recognition since it is a symbol of how professional and competent the organization is. The employees have to comply with the set guidelines which will ensure that the services offered by the law enforcement agency are in accordance with the set professional standards.
Employees also have the responsibility for knowing and understanding all the policies and procedures. As a result, this will ensure that every activity that the institution undertakes is in accordance with those standards. It is evident that law enforcement agencies are to comply with the specified guidelines in their operations for them to retain their accreditation. If not, then their credibility would be questioned.
Disadvantages and Pitfalls
Accreditation is a voluntary process; however, it is very expensive for the organizations as they have to undergo a lot of reviews and audits that are usually costly. The reviews are aimed at ensuring that every department within the law enforcement agency complies with the international set standards. However, this process might cost the management a lot of money before the departments are organized to the set standards. Maintenance of the charter is also very costly to the organization. In some cases, the costs of accreditation and its maintenance are usually high in comparison to its benefits. Additionally, the process tends to be time-consuming before the agency is certified. The accreditation process has a lot of procedures that need to be followed, while reviews and audits also take a long time due to a lot of data collection, analysis, and interpretation.
International standards are usually very broad and expansive. Accordingly, this makes it very difficult for an institution to comply with all of them. Adherence to all these standards tends to be very cumbersome which discourages institutions from trying to attain international accreditation recognition. Additionally, the concepts used in the determination of these standards might not correlate with the objectives of the organization. Therefore, accreditation might not be what the agency needs.
There is not sufficient data to prove that accreditation really works. As a consequence, this might make many institutions very doubtful about the need of acquiring such recognition. Though not very common, small agencies might prefer to operate as they are. Thus, this is a pitfall in the system of law enforcement which might restrain the police sector.
Structure of the System
The organization of every system should ensure that there is a good relationship between leaders and employees in order to assure that there is a smooth flow of resources between departments. In a structure of the law enforcement system, the law enforcement leaders, departmental officers, and the community should cooperate. A structure that ensures that all the parties involved are being included will ascertain that accreditation works. The accreditation council is usually the overall management authority in the organization structure in an accreditation system. The top management usually comprises chiefs, commissioners of the states and the superintendent of the state. The council is also divided into categories that include programs. Talking about the administration, it is the first level in the structure. The roles of this level include management of personnel, resources and finance of the institution. After the management level, the next is the operational level which handles all activities that are being undertaken. Training programs are included in this department since it involves the officers and community participation. It encompasses the training of the supervisors, workforce officers and the community. Therefore, this level needs to operate efficiently for results to be seen and recorded.
Accreditation will ensure that police agencies that are not offering efficient services are closed and banished from the market. Institutions are to comply with the set international standards for them to be accredited and considered reliable. Accreditation requires institutions to undergo consistent reviews and compliance inspections that are aimed at ensuring that their policies and activities are in compliance with those set in the international standards. Regimes that have refused to comply with the standards are, therefore, abandoned since they do not receive international recognition. Accordingly, such actions will ensure that the security of the country and the world in general is effectively protected as the institutions that will be operating will only be those that are certified. It will also ensure that people gain certificates and training from institutions that are considered trustworthy due to their international recognition.
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Stance on Accreditation
The idea of international accreditation of police agencies should be passed due to the benefits that will be derived from having these institutions following the same standards. The community is bound to greatly benefit because the services that they will be receiving will be efficient and effective. Accreditation is gaining a lot of popularity around the world with institutions working hard to be certified, notwithstanding the fact that it is a costly and time-consuming process to institutions. Accreditation of law enforcement agencies in the United States in states such as Florida has been effective for the police agencies; therefore, international accreditation will go a long way in promoting reliable police services around the world.
Today, international accreditation is used in different sectors, for example, the health care services and higher education institutions. However, the transition has not been smooth with many not supporting the change and calling the standards set into question; this has lead to severe criticism and a number of concerns for those who do not fully support international accreditation. Online courses have been the most criticized as the institutions offering such services should be carefully analyzed and given a charter that proves that they comply with the set standards. As a result, this will prove that their courses and certificates are credible and recognized internationally. Law enforcement agencies can, therefore, be internationally accredited too so that programs and training they offer can be done internationally. Thus, accreditation provides formal recognition for any institution meeting and complying with the set international standards that ensure that there is quality in that field.
Accreditation implies the act of assessing the qualifications of individuals or institutions. The process in the police agencies ensures that the institutions work under a uniform code of ethics and norms. The structure of the process must ensure a smooth working relationship between the managers and the employees. International accreditation of police agencies provides a lot of benefits not only to the community but also to the whole law enforcement sector; thus, it is a viable idea. It is, however, very costly and time-consuming for the institution, especially small and upcoming ones. Therefore, in the debate over international accreditation, it should be acknowledged that police agencies need to set standards that will be obeyed by every institution.