When the Service Department became accredited in July, 2011, Union Township became the first township in North America to be so accredited by the American Public Works Association (APWA).
Working with community agencies across the country, the APWA provides standards that, when met, will contribute to a higher and sustainable quality of life.
In Union Township, those standards numbered 311 management practices, all of which had to be met or exceeded to be awarded accreditation.Roads, parks, facilities maintenance, fleet maintenance, and Mt. Moriah Cemetery all fall within the jurisdiction of APWA guidelines. Documenting all 311 measurements for the first time was completed in less than half the time it ordinarily takes: 15 months compared with about three years.
The Union Township Board of Trustees places accreditation for any of its departments high on the list of priorities in the customer service arena because accreditations are independent and unbiased scrutiny of best practice policies. Each accrediting agency sets the bars high to ensure that accredited organizations are providing outstanding service to their customers. Because the Service Department joins the Police, Fire and Communications departments in being fully accredited, it is believed that there are only three other jurisdictions in the United States, all larger than Union Township, which have accredited police, fire, communications and service departments.
A major part of accreditation is the continual upgrading of processes and maintenance of documentation. These are ongoing in preparation for reaccreditation, which occurs every four years.For the Service Department staff, the value of the documentation prep is that it is testimony to the best practices put in place in every aspect of the service they provide to the township, its residents, businesses and guests.