Accreditation & Self Assessment
From Plan to Action
Staff Orientation. Announce the Program. The formal unveiling of the self assessment program marks the move from plan to action. This is usually accomplished through a memo from the director. This memo should define self assessment, explain its purpose, and describe the process by which it will be achieved. Examples of anticipated changes could also be included. The memo should be distributed to all members of the agency as well as other agencies who may be affected.
In addition, the self assessment project may be introduced personally by the program manager at any regularly-scheduled meetings.
Regularly-scheduled staff meetings are also a good forum for regular updates on the program's progress . Frequent reference to the program will help insure continuing support.
Public Information Plan. Where applicable, a file on the self assessment project should be kept in the Public Information office. This file should contain a public information plan, and sample public notices and press releases. If a public information session is planned, preparation of publicity regarding self assessment should also be prepared.
Training. At this point, the program manager should put into action a training plan. This training process should include everyone who will be asked to handle compliance documentation, including non-agency personnel, where applicable. Since other departments outside of the public works department are often responsible for establishing compliance with some of the practices, it is necessary to establish a liaison with them, review the self assessment project, and explain the methods for proving compliance.
The following elements should be included in all training sessions:
- Purpose and benefits of self assessment
- Introduction to Management Practices.
- Defining compliance
- Proofs of compliance:
- Define acceptable documents.
- Locate acceptable documents- the program manager may want to distribute a list of the various types of written materials relevant to each set of practices, as well as their location within the organization.
- Other types of proofs - Personal Interviews - Observation
- How to fill in compliance forms
- How to file documentation
- Cases of non-compliance
- Is agency exempt?
- If not, develop a plan of action for achieving compliance.
- Issuing written directives - the self assessment manager should thoroughly instruct employees on the system of issuing directives. This is particularly important if the operating manual has been recently revised in this regard.
The session should conclude with the assignment of specific practices, along with deadlines for the submission of documents.
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