Accreditation management can be a complex and daunting process, but document management software systems empower law enforcement agencies to prepare for accreditation efficiently. Digital technologies let you streamline processes surrounding document creation and editing, internal policy compliance and training management. Technology alone, however, will not get your agency accredited. Following these five tips will help you use advanced digital tools to simplify and streamline the accreditation process:

1. Get all of your materials in one place
You may have a large handbook sitting in a corner of the office somewhere, but chances are you also have training materials, revised policies and similar documents that are stored on diverse electronic devices and filed away in varied locations. Evaluating your internal guidelines and compliance to them is a key component in accreditation, and getting all of your files clearly organized and consolidated is vital.

2. Make sure users have signed off on policies
Constantly keeping track of who has signed that they understand and will comply with a policy is daunting. It’s easy to have a few workers slip through the cracks here. Double-checking your records on who has signed off on what, and making sure you tie up any loose ends, is essential to getting an accreditation process off to a good start.

There are plenty of boxes to check off before moving into an accreditation process.
There are plenty of boxes to check off before moving into an accreditation process.

3. Verify that your policies comply with industry regulations
Internal policies can easily end up falling behind industry regulations as you change your operations in light of new changes, but don’t get to doing the paperwork. With advanced document management systems, you can even put regulatory documents beside your internal policies to make sure you are covering all of your bases.

4. Get diverse stakeholders involved
Law enforcement operations are not only extremely complex, they are also incredibly specific to the context that officers operate in on a day-to-day basis. As you plan for accreditation, you should get a wide range of individuals involved in the preparation process so you can evaluate the full organizational implications of undergoing formal scrutiny.

5. Perform a self-audit
Self-auditing provides essential insights into the nuances of your organization and lets you get a sneak peek of what an accrediting body might notice as they analyze your operations. Completing an internal audit lets you tie up loose ends prior to accreditation.

All of these processes get easier when you have digital document management software in place. Such tools simplify ongoing document management and let you handle processes like editing, distribution and compliance management through a common Web app architecture.