The award of accredited status culminates rigorous preparation by the entire fire staff and scrutiny by the ICFD accreditation team. In April 2013, a team of fire service professionals recommended accredited agency status for the ICFD following a four-day site visit to Iowa City fire stations. The site visit, conducted by peer assessors from four states, confirmed the ICFD met all criteria established through the CFAI's voluntary self-assessment and accreditation program. The evaluation process included verification and validation of programs and services provided by the department, and in-depth reviews of city and ICFD policies, principles and practices.
The goal of the CFAI is to assist fire and emergency service agencies throughout the world in achieving excellence through self-assessment, accreditation and continuous quality improvement in order to enhance service delivery to their communities.
Accreditation status is for a five-year period. As part of the accreditation process, a report was given to the department listing strengths, weaknesses and recommendations for continuous improvement. The department is now tasked with prioritizing the task list and reporting on progress and/or obstacles to achievement. Annual compliance reports are required, and the accreditation process begins again in five years.