What is Accreditation?
Accreditation is an independent process of compliance verification which determines if an organization meets defined standards. ECAP awards accreditation to ministries that demonstrate compliance to Child Safety Standards through an assessment and audit process.
For more information, see our Accreditation White Paper.
Pursuing Accreditation with ECAP engages Christian ministries that serve children in a process of evaluation and validation of their Child Protection Program. Every ministry leader wants the children they serve to be safe. ECAP can help an organization ensure it consistently meets industry standards for protecting children in their care.
Our accreditation program assists ministry leaders by validating compliance with Standards that describe the elements of a Child Protection Program (CPP) that should be in place to prevent abuse. The accreditation process builds layers of protection, resulting in peace of mind for leaders, parents, and other ministry stakeholders. Our Standards encourage sustainability for safety programs to continue as designed. Accreditation by ECAP will objectively verify that a ministry organization meets the standards set by ECAP for child abuse prevention and response.
ECAP is unique in that we serve Christian organizations, and everything we do flows from our biblical and theological convictions (see ECAP Statement of Faith). We have partnered with subject matter experts in children’s ministry, child safety, and abuse prevention in order to produce the Child Safety Standards and Accreditation Program.
ECAP Member Benefits
Empowerment through Unity
Forge connections with ministries sharing your mission to safeguard children.
Guidance from Field Experts
Attend training events led by field experts to sharpen your child protection skills.
The Symbol of Trust
Give your church community confidence by displaying the ECAP Accreditation Seal!
ECAP Member Benefits
Prerequisites to Accreditation
An organization begins the accreditation process by submitting an online application to become a member. This application includes basic information about your organization, how you serve kids. There is a $300 fee for annual candidate membership dues (the organization remains in candidacy until they are awarded accreditation).
After your application is accepted, your organization will be in candidacy status and will conduct a Self-Study, in which you will assess how your organization measures up to ECAP Standards. You will be asked to provide evidence for each ECAP Indicator. An Accreditation Liaison will provide you with resources and help you during this stage of the process. This stage could take anywhere from 2 weeks to several months, depending on your organization’s preparedness and resources.
3. Remote Assessment
After your Self-Study, the Audit phase begins. A Validation Team of two (2) Auditors will independently assess your organization’s evidence of compliance for each Indicator of the ECAP Child Safety Standards.
4. Validation Visit
After your Remote Assessment is complete, our Auditors will conduct an in-person Validation Visit to observe your Child Protection Program in operation. The Auditors will conduct interviews and observe ministry programming. The Auditors document their findings in an Audit Report, sent to the ECAP Council and the candidate organization.
After receiving the Audit Report, candidate organizations must present a Continuous Improvement Plan, identifying goals and planned enhancements to their Child Protection Program. Then, the ECAP Council will make a decision regarding the organization’s accreditation status. ECAP will inform the candidate organization in writing of accreditation status. Membership is awarded to organizations which successfully meet ECAP’s Child Safety Standards.
Member organizations will be required to complete annual accreditation renewal, including a yearly Remote Assessment for all members, and a Validation Visit that will typically take place every other year. Members will be asked to follow up on their Continuous Improvement Plan. Accredited ministries will have access to all the benefits and resources of ECAP membership.
What is a Charter Member?
Charter member organizations are those ministries that began the process of accreditation before the official launch of the accreditation program. They played an instrumental role in the development of ECAP, helping us as we designed and beta-tested the accreditation program. Each of them have also served by appointing one member of their organization to serve on the ECAP Council, as well as contributing a financial gift.
Thank you to each of our Charter Member Candidates for helping us in our mission to help Christian organizations protect kids!
What is an ECAP Auditor?
The ECAP Auditor is an essential part of ECAP’s Accreditation Program. The Auditor’s role is to validate that an organization’s Child Safety Program is compliant to ECAP Standards through a desk audit and an on-site visit. The ECAP Auditors are tasked with conducting this audit with the utmost integrity and transparency.
If you are interested in becoming an ECAP auditor, you can apply below.