- The problem: Limited time and money for accreditation
- The solution: Accreditation management software
- The benefits of compliance monitoring systems
The problem: Limited time and money for accreditation
Fire department accreditation demonstrates competency and commitment to excellence, and shows your department follows the latest standard operating procedures and best practices. Fire departments want to demonstrate excellence in service, but their limited resources often mean accreditation is considered too expensive. One of the biggest challenges fire departments face is limited funding. In some departments, as much as 96% of funding is allocated to salaries, which leaves very little for equipment and everything else required for a functioning fire department.
With these constraints, fire department leadership often question, "Is accreditation worth the expense and effort?" In many cases, they avoid accreditation because of the perceived costs and time involved. Achieving accreditation requires a lot of time and money, especially when using manual, paper-based processes for document management. These systems can make fire department accreditation take a matter of years as administrators compile the necessary documentation for the audit.
Paper manuals also make it difficult to ensure all policies and standard operating procedures are up-to-date and enforce compliance across the department. This can lead to non-compliant staff, which can create safety risks, impact service quality, and jeopardize accreditation achievement.
The solution: Accreditation management software
PowerDMS' accreditation management software, PowerStandards, streamlines the entire process in a centralized location that can be easily accessed by your department staff.
PowerStandards offers policy to standards mapping which allows you to upload policies, procedures, and other materials (e.g., documents, videos, images) to assess compliance. You can also intelligently link policies to standards and receive automatic alerts when an update may impact a policy linked to that standard. Plus, the digital highlighting tool allows you to highlight and label areas of a document to emphasize how it meets the standards.
Furthermore, PowerStandards’ task management features enable fire departments to create one-time or recurring tasks associated with individual standards. Then, you can assign these tasks to relevant staff, which appear on the assignee’s To-Do list and in their PowerDMS inbox, to uphold a continuous cycle of review. And for streamlined collaboration during assessment prep, you can even assign specific standards to team members so they can upload narratives and evidence of compliance, and complete tasks.
Finally, the software lets fire departments perform mock assessments using reviewer tools that allow reviewers and visitors to leave comments or upload documentation to specific standards. You can view these comments to make appropriate changes and secure them for future reference, and set a “Met” or “Not Met” status on each standard to keep a record of your performance. Plus, during your accreditation assessment, PowerStandards’ dashboards track assessment progress along the way, including status reports broken down by standard.
The benefits of compliance monitoring systems
Serving with excellence and demonstrating excellence to the community is worth the price – and the good news is, PowerStandards will save you time and money and pay for itself. This accreditation management software streamlines the fire department accreditation process and helps you perform self-assessments 50% faster than the traditional paper method.
You can also save an average of $11,000 on paper and printing costs because you're no longer printing out dozens or hundreds of new policies for every employee in the department. Through the digital system, staff can access the information from their mobile phone, tablet, or laptop at any time and from anywhere.
Accredited fire departments are not only safer; they also have reduced liability risks that could lead to expensive lawsuits. Compliance monitoring systems ensure consistency, safety, and compliance across the department – and in the community – knowing policies and SOPs are up-to-date with accreditation standards.
If you want to see how PowerStandards simplifies the public service fire department accreditation process, schedule a free demo on our website.