The NYS Law Enforcement Accreditation Program was established as a voluntary program that would provide law enforcement agencies with a mechanism to evaluate and improve the overall effectiveness of their agency and their staff. Accreditation is formal recognition than an agency’s policies and practices meet or exceed the standards established by New York States Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). Accreditation is a progressive and time-proven way of helping institutions evaluate and improve their overall performance. The cornerstone of this strategy lies in the promulgation of standards containing a clear statement of professional objectives.

The Accreditation program is made up of 110 different Accreditation Standards which are divided into three categories. Standards in the Administration Section have provisions for such topics as agency organization, fiscal management, personnel practices and records. Training Standards encompass basic and in-service instruction as well as training for supervisors and specialized or technical assignments. Operations Standards deal with such critical and litigious topics as high-speed pursuits, roadblocks, patrol and unusual occurrences.

Following the decision to participate in the Accreditation program agency administrators conduct a thorough analysis of their agency to determine how existing operations can be adapted to meet these objectives. When the procedures are in place, a team of independent professionals are assigned to the participating agency to verify that all applicable standards have been successfully implemented and are being practiced. This is done through an on-site visit where the assessors evaluate the agencies adherence to the program by reviewing written policies and procedures, inspecting the records for proof of compliance, interviewing department members, and observing first-hand the operations of the department. Five years following the initial accreditation of a department, DCJS assigns assessors to return to the department to conduct a re-accreditation assessment to verify the agency is doing what they said they were going to do at the time of the initial accreditation.

Law enforcement accreditation is a method and an ongoing process to ensure that the University Police Department is in compliance with national "best practices" in policing covering all aspects of law enforcement policies, procedures, and operations. Accreditation makes a statement to other law enforcement agencies, professions, and the university community that the University Police Department meets the highest standards of professionalism.

The NYS University Police Department at Alfred was the first law enforcement agency in New York state to go through a successful accreditation/re-accreditation assessment.