Better Collaborate & Communicate for Fire Department Accreditation

Learn how compliance management software improves internal and external collaboration and streamlines the fire department accreditation process.

October 3, 2022

Article Highlights

Fire departments that seek accreditation are committed to performing at a higher level of service. But the fire accreditation process is time-consuming. There are many important leaders and stakeholders involved, and if you're still working with a paper-based policy manual, gathering all the required fire department documents can take years.

The problem: Inefficient communication and collaboration

Too often, fire departments don’t have an efficient way to collaborate and communicate, both internally and externally, throughout accreditation preparation. This is especially true if they use paper-based policy management methods. These manual processes make it difficult to update, track, and manage compliance documents in accordance with fire department accreditation standards.

Department leaders often struggle to work efficiently with key stakeholders and subject matter experts for assessments, and paper systems don’t provide an effective way for them to review policies and provide input. Navigating disorderly manual systems makes the accreditation preparation process longer and more laborious, and puts the department’s ability to achieve fire accreditation at risk if it can’t prove compliance.

Most importantly, departmental leaders have difficulty communicating expectations and new policies with the rank-and-file firefighters scattered throughout the city. They often have to travel from firehouse to firehouse, hand-delivering new and updated policies and trying to track down signatures of acknowledgment.

The solution: Compliance management software

PowerDMS' compliance management software, PowerStandards, helps you manage all your accreditation materials in one centralized system, with key features for streamlined, efficient collaboration across teams and partners. 

Task management

PowerStandards’ task management tools let users create one-time or recurring tasks associated with individual standards and assign them to relevant staff. Tasks appear on the assignee’s To-Do list and in their PowerDMS inbox, with automated alerts when a due date is approaching. 

Departments can also assign specific standards to team members so they can upload narratives and evidence of compliance, and complete tasks. Create automated reminders to review, update, or archive current policies to ensure your staff members are only accessing the most up-to-date information.

External review tools

In PowerStandards, external visitors and reviewers can leave comments or upload documentation to specific standards, which you can view to make appropriate changes and secure for future reference and records. For example, set a “Met” or “Not Met” status on each standard and keep a record of the agency's performance that can be exported for analysis and inclusion in the final visit report.

Map policies to standards

Finally, standards mapping lets you upload policies, procedures, and other proofs of compliance (documents, videos, images) needed for your fire department audit. Intelligently link policies to standards and receive automatic alerts when an update may impact a policy linked to that standard. Additionally, you can highlight and label areas of a document in PowerStandards to emphasize how it meets the standards.

The benefits of compliance document management software

PowerStandards improves collaboration with a streamlined system that allows you to assign specific tasks, standards, or chapters to subject matter experts and decision-makers both within and outside of your department. Not only does this speed up fire department accreditation preparation by 50% on average, but it also enforces better relationships with partners by reducing frustration and errors throughout the process.

The software also supports improved communication with automated notifications and reminders to keep staff informed of their tasks, updates to standards, and policy/SOP changes. This makes accreditation management much more efficient, and it’s easier than tracking down and reprinting paper forms and documents. Consequently, with PowerStandards, customers save an average of $11,000 on paper and printing costs, which they can instead put towards other vital resources.

Get started

To learn how PowerStandards improves communication and collaboration to speed up your fire department accreditation, you can schedule a free demo of the system.

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