Learn about the importance of accreditation and how it can benefit your ministry.

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 have demonstrated compliance to Child Safety Standards through a process of audit and review.

For more information, see our Accreditation White Paper.

Why Accreditation?

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 Child Safety Standards and Accreditation Program.

Member Benefits

  • License to publicly display ECAP Accreditation seal
  • Objective quality evidence that your organization effectively protects children
  • Shared network of like-minded ministries
  • Discounted products and services from partner service providers
  • Access to exclusive resources on Child Safety
  • Training events from experts in the field
  • Discounted admission to ECAP events and conferences
  • Peace of mind, knowing your organization is following Child Safety Standards developed by experts in the field
  • Your organization’s Child Safety Program will be refined through a continuous improvement process
  • Accreditation may deter predators from targeting your organization because you are stating you take Child Safety seriously

Prerequisites for Application

  • An organization’s governing board must provide a letter approving candidacy status and signed by a board officer .
  • An organization must affirm the ECAP Statement of Faith (or not hold views contrary).
  • An organization must not be self-insured.
  • An organization must not have any ongoing or open abuse investigations.
  • An organization must be an incorporated organization (ECAP will accredit the legal entity).
  • An organization must provide direct children/youth programs in the United States and its territories (ECAP only provides U.S. accreditation)

Accreditation Process

1. Application

An organization begins the accreditation process by submitting an online application to become a member candidate. This application includes basic information about your organization, how you serve kids, and your founding documents. There is a $300 application fee.

2. Self-Study

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 6 months, depending on your organization’s preparedness and resources.

3. Audit

Once you have completed the Self-Study assessment, the auditing stage begins. Your organization will be assigned two auditors, who will review the Self-Study material in a Remote audit phase, to determine whether or not your organization’s written materials are compliant with our Standards.
After this, our Auditors will conduct an in-person visit, in order to validate your Child Safety Program operations. The candidate organization will work with the Accreditation Liaison and the assigned validation team in order to find a time to conduct the on-site visit while normal children’s programming is occuring. During the visit, the auditors will conduct interviews, observe programming, and validate compliance measures for any Indicators that could not be assessed during the remote Audit. Candidate organizations will also be asked to draft an Annual Improvement Plan identifying goals and enhancements to their Child Safety Program.

4. Decision

Once the Audit has taken place, the Auditors will submit a report to the ECAP Council. The ECAP Council will make a decision regarding your organization’s accreditation status. ECAP will inform the candidate organization in writing of accreditation status. Membership will be awarded to organizations who have successfully met ECAP’s Child Safety Standards and signed the Member Agreement.

5. Renewal

The member organization will be required to complete annual accreditation renewal and will have access to all the benefits and resources of ECAP membership. A member organization will be asked to follow up on their Continuous Improvement Plan.

(Coming January 2023)

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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!

Membership Rates

Coming soon.

If you are interested in learning more about accreditation, you can reach out by clicking the link below.

Contact us

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.

Auditor Application