District of Distinction Accreditation

In a time where proper fiscal management and responsibility in public agencies is paramount and the task of governing these agencies has become even more complex, regulated and costly, it has become increasingly important to demonstrate to constituents that districts have sound fiscal management policies and practices in place among other areas of importance in district operations.

This accreditation is designed as a way for districts to highlight their prudent fiscal practices along with other areas important to effectively operate and govern a special district.​ Districts will be recognized for three full years.

Why earn it?

  • The accreditation criterion gets to the heart of best practices in public agencies. Demonstrate that your district:

  • Understands and respects the responsibilities inherent in providing essential public services.

  • Has clean financial audits and operates in a fiscally responsible and transparent manner.

  • Is conscious of the ever-changing operating environment by having current and relevant policies and procedures in place that conform to all statutes and regulations under state law.

  • Places an emphasis on continuing education completed by having each of the district’s board members and executive staff in ethics, governance and leadership training.

  • Focuses on having sound policies in the areas of governance, board conduct, district finances, transparency and reserves.


  • They undergo regular financial audits, have no major deficiencies and apply any recommendations to future years.

  • Their operations conform to all statutes and regulations under state law as reflected in a policies and procedures manual.

  • All directors/trustees, general manager and executive staff (as designated by the district) have received training in governance as well as compliance with AB 1234 Ethics Training and AB 1825 Harassment Prevention Training.

  • They have completed SDLF’s District Transparency Certificate of Excellence.


  1. Complete the application.
  2. Send application and all supporting materials to SDLF.
  3. Approval process review performed by SDLF staff.
  4. Receive your certificate and recognition.


DOD Seal and Levels

DOD-seal.pngEarn the right to use the program’s seal as visual proof that your special district stands out from others. Complete multiple SDLF programs and obtain various levels of this accreditation. Levels of accreditation include silver, gold, and platinum!