CALEA developed a written standards manual to help guide law enforcement agencies in accomplishing the primary objectives of the program. The accreditation manual developed by CALEA contains 436 standards in nine major topic areas:

  • Law Enforcement role, responsibilities, and relationships
  • Organization, management, and administration
  • The personnel structure
  • The personnel process
  • Law Enforcement operations
  • Operations support
  • Traffic operations
  • Prisoner and court-related activities
  • Auxiliary and technical services

Each topic area is subdivided into sub topics and then individual standards. The standards are either mandatory or optional, but an agency must comply with all applicable mandatory standards and at least 80% of the optional standards in order to be considered for accreditation.