An explanation of the Chaplaincy Standards
The range of standards in use can be confusing. This explanation seeks to clarify why several versions exist, and which one(s) to use.
Why are there several different sets of Standards?
The AHPCC pioneered professional standards for chaplains working in hospice / palliative care in 2003, revising them in 2006.
In 2007, NHS Scotland adopted the AHPCC standards, altering them to meet the requirements of hospital chaplaincy departments rather than individual hospice chaplains.
In 2009, the UKBHC (UK Board of Healthcare Chaplaincy) adopted the NHS Scotland version.
In 2010, NHS Wales also adopted the NHS Scotland version, linking it to wider national healthcare standards.
Which Standards should I use?
For hospice/palliative care chaplains working anywhere in the UK, the AHPCC standards remain relevant as they are geared specifically to a hospice/palliative care context. The later developments are designed for general use; in particular, they both assume the existence of a chaplaincy department and leave out the original Section 3 on multidisciplinary team-working.
However, the other versions may also apply to you, particularly if you work in Scotland or Wales, or are registered with the UKBHC. As many hospice chaplains are single workers, often part-time, you may need to agree with your line manager the applicability of aspects that assume a hospital chaplaincy department. Even so, please note that because all the sets of standards derive from the AHPCC original, most of the content and wording is common to them all.
How do the Standards relate to the Spiritual and Religious Care Capabilities and Competences?
(See also under ‘Competences’)
The Chaplaincy Standards address the nature and quality of the service that chaplains should be providing, while the matching Competencies relate to the individual chaplain’s role and ability to provide these services. Each section of the Competencies has links to show which standards it applies to.
Standards for the UKBHC (UK Board of Healthcare Chaplaincy).