Please use the following checklist to determine if you're ready to apply for accreditation.

Governance

  • Does the chamber have an article of incorporation or a charter?
  • Is the chamber's mission statement clear and feasible?
  • Bylaws: Do they regulate the main areas of chamber management; Are they considered to be adequate for the laws of the state to the protection of both the chamber and its members; and Have they been shared with the board?
  • Organizational Structure: Is it clear and appropriate to the chamber's size and goals? Has the chamber developed an organization chart depicting flow of information and hierarchy?
  • Are there appropriate term limits and job descriptions in place for the board of directors?
  • Are board meetings held on a regular basis and are minutes kept on file?
  • Does a review process exist to evaluate the performance of officers and directors?
  • Are the proper committees in place for the chamber to meet goals?

Finance

  • Does the chamber meet generally accepted accounting practices? (GAAP)
  • Are the chamber's financial policies and procedures documented in a manual?
  • Is an annual operational budget in place (including costs for all programs, management and fundraising) and is it approved by the board?
  • Does the board of directors review and approve all financial statements?
  • Does the chamber maintain current financial statements?
  • Does the chamber maintain liability insurance or director and officer insurance?
  • Does the chamber meet the Accreditation standards for conducting an audit? (Chambers with revenue below $500,000 must conduct an annual review by a certified financial firm and conduct an audit every three years. Chambers with revenue of more than $500,000 must conduct an annual review by a certified financial firm and conduct an audit every other year.)
  • Does the chamber meet IRS and state filing requirements?
  • Does the chamber withhold and report taxes from employee paychecks to the IRS and state and local government?

Human Resources and Staff

  • Are there distinct roles and job descriptions set up for staff?
  • Does staff understand the chamber's mission and program of action?
  • Are personnel policies in place and current?
  • Does the chamber meet federal and state regulations regarding employees?

Government Affairs

  • Does the chamber have a systematic procedure in place to identify government affairs issues critical to the business community?
  • Does the chamber create a legislative agenda and share it with the membership?
  • Does the chamber communicate its positions on priority issues with elected officials?
  • Does the chamber actively share state/U.S. Chamber information with its members?
  • Has the chamber established a grassroots network?

Program Development

  • Does the chamber understand issues and needs important to all segments of the membership?
  • Does the chamber collect member feedback at least annually?
  • Does the chamber provide an annual report to its members?
  • Has the chamber developed a strategic plan or business plan for the current year?
  • Does the chamber understand the impending factors that will affect the chamber?

Technology

  • Does the chamber have functioning telephone, computer, and mailing systems?
  • Does the chamber keep its computer systems current and secure?
  • Does the chamber use anti-virus software?
  • Does the chamber have a membership database that can track membership information, dues, participation?
  • Does the chamber back up data regularly?
  • Has the chamber developed a data protection and privacy policy?
  • Does the chamber have a Web site that is updated regularly?
  • Is the chamber's Web site registered on Web site search engines?

Communications

  • Has the chamber developed a written communications and marketing plan with clear annual goals?
  • Does the chamber use diverse forms of media to promote the chamber?
  • Does the chamber contact members at least monthly?
  • Does the chamber's Web site communicate general information about the chamber?
  • Can the chamber communicate with members using mass-distribution e-mails?
  • Does the chamber comply with federal CAN-SPAM requirements?
  • Does the chamber issue press releases to local and regional media outlets?

Facilities

  • Does the chamber's facility project an appropriate business image, and is the facility accessible by the public?
  • Does the chambers facility support the chamber’s communications and technology capabilities?
  • Is the workplace kept neat, clean and free of potential safety hazards
  • Is the workplace inspected annually by a safety professional?
  • Does the chamber facility meet accepted OSHA regulations?
  • Is a crisis plan in place?
  • Are employees trained or educated about the crisis plan?

If you answered no to any of these questions, you are not ready to apply for Accreditation.