Agency Accreditation

About Accreditation & CFAI


What is "Accreditation"?
 Accreditation is a comprehensive self-assessment and evaluation model that enables organizations to examine past, current, and future service levels and internal performance and compare them to industry best practices. This process leads to improved service delivery.
CPSE's Accreditation Program, administered by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) allows fire and emergency service agencies to compare their performance to industry best practices in order to:
  • Determine community risk and safety needs and develop community-specific Standards of Cover.
  • Evaluate the performance of the department.
  • Establish a method for achieving continuous organizational improvement.
Local government executives face increasing pressure to "do more with less" and justify their expenditures by demonstrating a direct link to improved or expanded services. Particularly for emergency services, local officials need criteria to assess professional performance and efficiency. The CFAI accreditation process provides a well-defined, internationally-recognized benchmark system to measure the quality of fire and emergency services.
CFAI Mission
The Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) is committed to assisting and improving fire and emergency service agencies around the world in achieving organizational and professional excellence through its strategic self-assessment model and accreditation process that provide continuous quality improvement and enhancement of service delivery to the community and the world at large. CFAI provides fire department training to assist departments with the tools necessary to begin and maintain the self-assessment process.
A task force of highly qualified and dedicated chief fire officers, trainers, city/county administrators, and academic professionals worked together to create the self-assessment model -- the basis for CFAI accreditation. The goals that guide the model assure that the process is:
  • Applicable across the broad spectrum of the fire service industry
  • Challenging
  • Contemporary, not revolutionary
  • Able to evolve over time
  • Achievable!
  • Useful for a comprehensive organizational evaluation
  • A practical management tool for fire and EMS agencies


For assistance with Agency Accreditation, contact Karl Ristow, CFAI Program Director, at (703)691-4620, X 204, or email: