Homeland Security and Emergency Services

Accreditation Process

The Accreditation Process includes the steps outlined below:

Application:

EMOs must complete a short application and submit it to NYS DHSES at: EMaccreditation@dhses.ny.gov. The application must be signed by the jurisdiction's Emergency Manager and the Emergency Manager's immediate supervisor. The application will also need to identify a point of contact (POC) responsible for providing all requested documentation and coordinating the on-site review.

Preparation:

EMOs will need to compile and/or develop the policies, plans and documents necessary to meet accreditation standards. Documentation will be shared or uploaded to a web-portal (NY Responds) so that materials can be reviewed in advance of the on-site review. EMOs interested in seeking accreditation should work to ensure they fully understand the standards and verification criteria before applying. DHSES and NYSEMA will provide technical assistance during the preparation phase.

On-site Review:

Once all of the requested materials have been obtained, DHSES will work with the EMO point of contact to schedule an on-site review. DHSES will select a team of at least two experienced assessors (from outside of the region to the extent possible) to conduct the review. NYS OEM Regional staff will also be invited to attend the on-site review. The review will include the further examination of any necessary plans and documentation, and interviews with the Emergency Manager, EMO staff, and others, if necessary. It will be incumbent on the EMO to demonstrate, document, and/or articulate how they meet each of the standards and associated criteria. The review team is responsible for reporting their findings back to the Accreditation Council through DHSES.

Accreditation Council Review:

DHSES will provide a copy of the Assessor’s report to the Accreditation Council for review and action at its next scheduled meeting, and the Council is responsible for making the final determination regarding accreditation. If accreditation is granted, it will be valid for a period of five years. If the EMO fails to meet one or more of the standards, they may be conditionally accredited if they commit to correcting any deficiencies. In doing so, they will have 30 calendar days to submit a corrective action plan to DHSES, and a total of up to 120 calendar days (90 days after the plan is submitted) to correct any deficiencies. If the EMO fails to submit a corrective action plan and/or correct the deficiencies within the 120 days, they will not be accredited and will need to wait one year before applying again. DHSES will coordinate with the Assessors and Accreditation Council to ensure they receive the correction action plan and proof that the EMO corrected any deficiencies.

Note: the Accreditation Council can choose to grant extensions due to extenuating circumstances (e.g., a disaster).

Recognition:

EMOs that receive accreditation will be recognized both locally within their home jurisdiction and at the annual NYSEMA conference. Recognition will include a plaque, challenge coins, and the ability to display the Program logo on the EMO website. Press releases and other ways to recognize the accredited EMOs are also encouraged. 

Reaccreditation:

EMOs will notify DHSES of their desire to be reaccredited by submitting a new application at least six months prior to the end of their five-year period of accreditation. DHSES will also send the EMO a reminder in advance of the six month deadline. The reaccreditation process is very similar to one described above for an agency's initial accreditation, although it may include a random sampling of standards for review and a demonstration of compliance with any new standards.   

Maintenance Period:

EMOs should conduct an annual internal review to assess where they are with their accreditation, what has changed, and if there are any issues or amendments that need to be considered for reaccreditation. EMOs that have kept up with the standards and regularly updated their plans should be in a strong position to be reaccredited.

Documentation:

EMOs will be expected to provide some degree of documentation to meet the various standards. Although the documentation may vary depending on the standard, unless otherwise noted, EMOs should provide the most recent example or copy of the requested documentation. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, all planning related documentation for which the EMO is seeking to use for verification purposes should be no more than five years old.

If the EMO cannot produce the requested documentation they must justify why such documentation is not available and/or provide other documentation suitable to meet the verification criteria. As it relates to plans, it is recognized that the EMO may not have the lead on all plans or processes; however, it is expected that at a minimum the EMO will coordinate with those that do and should be able to produce a copy of requested plans. If formal plans are not available, the EMO should at least be able to offer some degree of documentation or articulation (to the satisfaction of the Assessors) of how the relevant functions or processes are completed.

If plans exist but cannot be shared in advance due to security concerns for other reasons, hard copies should at least be made available to the Assessors at the time of the on-site review.