Professional Bodies

UKBHC exists to support the work of the four professional chaplaincy bodies in the UK.  The board ewas formed through a Memorandum of Understanding which gave the Board powers to pursue the objects contained in its constitution and in particular to work towards professional registration of Healthcare Chaplaincy.  The four professional bodies are as follows:

The Association of Hospice and Palliative Care Chaplains is the UK body which exists to promote good standards among chaplains involved in the pastoral and spiritual care of people facing death from a life threatening illness, as they seek to:

  • assess and address complex spiritual and religious needs
  • discern and respond to the cultural, spiritual and religious needs, traditions and practices of all, including those of no faith
  • ensure that all spiritual and religious care is person led 

In so doing, the AHPCC:

  • identifies and promotes good practice in religious and spiritual care
  • is an agent of professional development
  • provides professional support and fellowship
  • promotes links with the constituency of palliative care and relevant church bodies and faith communities

For further information and links go to the AHPCC website

The College of Health Care Chaplains is a multi-faith, interdenominational, professional organisation, which is open to all recognised healthcare chaplaincy staff, both paid and voluntary, and to those with an interest in healthcare chaplaincy.  It is the largest professional membership body for chaplains in the UK.  The College exists to promote the professional standing of healthcare chaplaincy and that of its members both nationally and within health and social care organisations;

  • by supporting members in their individual professional roles and aspirations
  • by representing chaplaincy in the wider context to employers and others.

Most of this work relates to chaplains working in the NHS, including England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but the wider membership includes those working in hospices and the voluntary and private sectors, and those with an interest in UK health care chaplaincy, whether or not they are based in the UK.
For further information and links go to the CHCC website.

The Northern Ireland Healthcare Chaplains Association is the representative and consultative body for healthcare chaplains in Northern Ireland. The values it promotes are:

  • the dignity and worth of all
  • faith as an essential dimension of wholeness
  • spiritual care of persons, communities, organisations and systems
  • inclusivity and diversity
  • justice and equality
  • professional competency and ethical practice.

The aims of NIHCA are:

  • to support healthcare chaplains to carry out their responsibilities
  • to provide a forum for sharing opinions and increasing knowledge
  • to keep up to date with best practice and disseminate this information to chaplains
  • to facilitate and provide appropriate training and encourage appropriate professional and vocational development
  • to encourage theological and pastoral reflection
  • to establish and promote good working relationships with religious and other organisations involved with healthcare

For further information and links go to the NIHCA website.

The Scottish Association of Chaplains in Healthcare, along with UK wide organisations, is the professional body for healthcare chaplains in Scotland.  Membership is open to chaplains who are accredited by their own Church or Faith and appointed to work in healthcare settings.  The aims of SACH are:

  • to be a professional body representing the interests of chaplains in healthcare
  • to promote and maintain high standards of chaplaincy according to the ‘Healthcare Chaplains Code of Conduct’.
  • to facilitate support and fellowship for chaplains.
  • to promote training and educational opportunities for chaplains.
  • to promote theological reflection and research in spiritual care.
  • to establish and develop good working relationships with faith communities and other organisations concerned with the promotion of healthcare.

For further information and links to relevant publications and organisations go to the SACH website.