The Self-Assessment Model (SAM) is the cornerstone of the agency accreditation process. The Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) does not set standards, the Commission develops and approves a model of agency self-assessment that digs into the core of the agency and assures that the processes and programs typically found within a credible organization are being applied and measured.
The SAM has been used for agency accreditation since the inception of the CFAI process. The SAM is routinely updated to assure currency and compliance with today’s fire and emergency service trends and regulations. Exhaustive research is completed each time the SAM is updated to assure the self-assessment model remains at the leading edge of industry.
Today’s SAM (10th Edition) contains 250 individual performance indicators that help to define the agencies compliance. Eleven separate categories focus these performance indicators into specific criterion. In the end, an agency seeking CFAI accreditation will have described and appraised every aspect of their organization. When program gaps are identified, a plan for improvement is developed. All performance measurements are supported with up-to-date reference material.
Once completed, the SAM is submitted for peer review. A team of trained fire service professionals representing the broad range of fire departments recognized in the CFAI process take considerable time and effort assuring the SAM meets or exceeds the stringent CFAI performance measures. The SAM documents become a working plan for the improvement of the agency. Every critical aspect of the organization is documented for future reference.