The Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE) is a not-for-profit 501 C 3 corporation that helps high-performing fire departments and emergency services professionals in their efforts to continuously improve.

We do that in three main ways:

  • Fire department accreditation, a process in which departments undergo a thorough self-assessment focused on identifying strengths and areas for improvement.
  • Credentialing fire and emergency services professionals, instilling the principles of life-long learning and self-accountability and helping them grow and plan for a successful career.
  • Education programs offering individuals and departments the information they need to expand their knowledge and capabilities, and stay on the forefront of the profession.

Our History

In 1986, the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) came together to develop a framework for continuous improvement of the fire and emergency service. By 1996, this led to the formation of the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) to award accreditation to fire and emergency service agencies. In 2000, the Commission on Chief Fire Officer Designation was established to credential fire and emergency service officers. In 2006, the corporation’s name was changed to the Center for Public Safety Excellence, with CFAI and the, now-titled, Commission on Professional Credentialing became entities under CPSE.

 Our Future

From its inception, CPSE has valued having a diversity of involvement from a variety of stakeholders, including fire chiefs, city/county management, labor, standards development organizations, the insurance industry, and the federal government on our board and commissions.

In February 2024, we unveiled our 2024 – 27 Strategic Plan. This stakeholder-informed and holistic plan has four areas of strategic priority for CPSE to effectively embody its mission and achieve its vision. This new plan was preceded by a nimble two-year plan (2021-23) and a comprehensive five-year plan (2016-2021).

Annual Reports

Each year, we publish an annual report highlighting our activities and accomplishments. Click on the images below to download reports for 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017 or 2016.