Accreditation Self-Analysis Survey for Local Chambers of Commerce

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

Governance

  1. Does the chamber have an article of incorporation or a charter?
  2. Is the chamber's mission statement clear and feasible?
  3. 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?
  4. 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?
  5. Are there appropriate term limits and job descriptions in place for the board of directors?
  6. Are board meetings held on a regular basis and are minutes kept on file?
  7. Does a review process exist to evaluate the performance of officers and directors?
  8. Are the proper committees in place for the chamber to meet goals?

Finance

  1. Does the chamber meet generally accepted accounting practices? (GAAP)
  2. Are the chamber's financial policies and procedures documented in a manual?
  3. Is an annual operational budget in place (including costs for all programs, management and fundraising) and is it approved by the board?
  4. Does the board of directors review and approve all financial statements?
  5. Does the chamber maintain current financial statements?
  6. Does the chamber maintain liability insurance or director and officer insurance?
  7. 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
      • Conduct an audit every three years
    • Chambers with revenue of more than $500,000 must:
      • Conduct an annual review by a certified financial firm
      • Conduct an audit every other year
  8. Does the chamber meet IRS and state filing requirements?
  9. Does the chamber withhold and report taxes from employee paychecks to the IRS and state and local government?

Human Resources and Staff

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

Government Affairs

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

Program Development

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

Technology

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

Communications

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

Facilities

  1. Does the chamber's facility project an appropriate business image, and is the facility accessible by the public?
  2. Does the chambers facility support the chamber’s communications and technology capabilities?
  3. Is the workplace kept neat, clean and free of potential safety hazards
  4. Is the workplace inspected annually by a safety professional?
  5. Does the chamber facility meet accepted OSHA regulations?
  6. Is a crisis plan in place?
  7. 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.