The Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) provides an assessment tool to determine when a fire department has achieved an appropriate level of professional performance and efficiency. The CFAI has been providing this service since 1988 when it was created by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the International City/County Managers Association (ICMA). In 1996, the CFAI became a trust organization in cooperation with the IAFC and ICMA, and in 2001, the CFAI incorporated to create a unique standalone organization. The cooperation among all three organizations remains excellent. Members of the IAFC and ICMA serve on the board of directors of the Center for Public Safety Excellence, Inc., the CFAI and the Commission on Professional Credentialing Excellence (CPC). The CFAI is the result of a decade of hard work by many fire service leaders and local government officials. The success of this program depends upon the support of the two founding organizations as well as a strong board of directors.
The center’s board of directors is composed of the following representatives:
- Two IAFC representatives;
- Two ICMA representatives; and
- One member-at-large representative.
The commission is composed of the following representatives:
- Agency head representing a fire department serving a population of greater than 250,000;
- Agency head representing a fire department serving a population of 100,000 to 249,999;
- Agency head representing a fire department serving a population of 25,000 to 99,999;
- Agency head representing a fire department serving a population of up to 24,999;
- International Fire Service representative;
- Consensus standards representative;
- City manager representative;
- Labor representative;
- Insurance industry representative;
- Federal fire service representative; and
- County manager representative.
These board members provide a broad spectrum of representation that allows for continuous improvement and increased professionalism within the CFAI itself. The most recent change for the CFAI came in March 2006 with the unveiling of a new corporate name and logo. The new name, Center for Public Safety Excellence, Inc., was intended to better describe what the organization does in relation to fire department accreditation and fire chief credentialing as well as new programs in virtual reality training. As for the fire department accreditation section of the corporation, the name remained Commission on Fire Accreditation International.
The mission of the CFAI is to “assist the fire and emergency service agencies throughout the world in achieving excellence through self-assessment and accreditation in order to provide continuous quality improvement and the enhancement of service delivery to their communities."  The accreditation program provides an in-depth process of self-assessment for fire departments, granting accreditation to organizations that successfully complete the assessment process and an on-site evaluation by their peers.
 Commission on Fire Accreditation International, “An Improvement Model Through Self-Assessment” 2006
For more information on Agency Accreditation, contact: