Law enforcement agencies face pressure from a wide range of regulatory bodies. In many cases, the need to withstand regulatory pressure is a necessity that comes with significant costs and few opportunities for value creation. Organizations may benefit from following industry best practices, but they can also face significant challenges in terms of red tape and auditing costs when trying to verify their compliance with regulatory standards. Accreditation is an exception to this rule, as the process of getting accredited provides so many positive benefits that it serves as a major value creation opportunity. Five ways that accreditation can create value include:

1. Protection against litigation
This benefit extends across just about any regulatory standard. Following best practices and documenting them well enough to provide an indisputable audit trail can protect your officers, and the agency, in court. If you face any kind of lawsuit, you can prove that you provided the proper training materials and that officers were given the tools they needed to handle the situation appropriately. The departmental cost savings here can be huge, but this is just the beginning of the value creation opportunity stemming from accreditation.

2. Better everyday operations
The accreditation process forces law enforcement agencies to carefully analyze their operations and make sure their training and policy management processes are up to best practices. Having the right training and policy materials in place ensures that your officers are properly equipped to make the right decisions in the field and follow best practices on a daily basis.

3. Increased organizational flexibility
Law enforcement agencies frequently face new technologies, policing methodologies and other innovations that force them to revise and update their policies or training procedures. Normally, this is an expensive, time-consuming process. Accredited organizations, however, already have such a solid training and policy foundation in place that they can more easily add new updates in response to shifting organizational demands. It is almost always easier to expand existing best practices than it is to try to build new initiatives from scratch.

4. Transparency
Relations between police and the communities they serve are easily strained. Accreditation provides clear verification that law enforcement agencies are establishing and following best practices, creating greater confidence in the community. Furthermore, the best practices that go into accreditation ensure that officers understand the best ways to engage with the community and allow them to find the proper balance between transparency and privacy.

5. Support for funding efforts
Grants and similar funds are often delivered to law enforcement agencies that have the clearest, most defined plans for using the investment for the greatest gains. The measures that go into accreditation establish law enforcement agencies as advanced professional organizations, creating a framework that makes it easier to apply for funding and get ahead of other agencies competing for the same grant opportunities.

Gleaning value from accreditation hinges on being able to manage policies and training materials as efficiently as possible. Accreditation management solutions ensure that you can manage the processes around accreditation with speed and precision, ensuring you are well positioned to generate a return on your investment.