Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Chris L. S. Coryn

Second Advisor

Dr. Wes Martz

Third Advisor

Dr. William Fales


Accreditation, metaevaluation, CF AI, evaluation, fire department


Fire and emergency services throughout the country are being required by local governmental authorities to provide efficient and effective services. In 1996, the International City-County Management Association (ICMA) and the International Association of Fire Chief (IAFC) executed a master trust agreement that established the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) to award accreditation to those fire and emergency services that demonstrated efficiency and effectiveness in the services provided. As of this study, no documented research had been published that challenged the current CFAI Accreditation process to ensure the highest level of accountability and usefulness for both the public and fire service organizations.

Metaevaluations, the evaluation of an evaluation, has proven to be a valuable tool to validate findings and determine the soundness of an evaluation. The Program Evaluation Standards, developed by the Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation (JCSEE) have become widely accepted and applied to evaluations across a diverse field of disciplines due to the systematic and comprehensive nature this method provides for quality evaluations. The purpose of this dissertation is to assess the CFAI Agency Accreditation process against the JCSEE (2011) Program Evaluation Standards in order to determine whether the process meets professional evaluation standards and how the process can be improved.

A case study of a recent CFAI Agency Accreditation process is assed utilizing the JCSEE (2011) Program Evaluation Standards. To validate the findings, a sounding board was established to provide feedback on the evaluation findings. The results showed an overall strong compliance to the JCSEE (2011) Program Evaluation Standards; however, it was found to be weak in the area of reliability. This study suggests further research should be done to improve the reliability as a whole with this accreditation process.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access