When the agency has completed the self-assessment phase, the AM should arrange for a simulated assessment conducted by a mock assessment team. This assessment can be described as a practice assessment, which is not required but recommended. A more comprehensive mock assessment, if conducted properly, can be a valuable strategy in preparation for the actual on-site assessment.
It is beneficial for the AM to observe or participate in the mock assessments of other agencies going through the process. Peers will often assist agencies in obtaining accredited status by participating in this important simulated mock review. It is an effective way to assist his/her own agency, as well as the agency being assessed. Whenever possible, AMs should take advantage of participating in this opportunity.
The mock team will review the documents in PowerDMS and make suggestions for areas of improvement. The entire mock team format is designed to identify discrepancies prior to the actual on-site assessment. The mock team may make suggestions regarding compliance and format in their final report to the agency. The Commission does not consider mock team findings when determining accredited status -- the mock assessment is for the benefit of the agency only.
The AM should review the mock team’s findings and evaluate the relevance of each item and what modifications may need to be implemented to improve the agency’s actual onsite assessment. It may be beneficial to contact other AMs and/or assessors prior to making any changes suggested by the mock team. A second mock assessment may be in order if substantial recommendations were made by the mock assessment team. The agency has the option of accepting or not accepting any of the mock team’s recommendations. The ultimate purpose of the mock assessment is to provide the AM with an opportunity to evaluate and correct any compliance issues.