One of the key challenges of healthcare chaplaincy has been establishing an evidence base: What do chaplains do and what services do they provide? The Standards for Chaplaincy Services provide a description of chaplaincy services that is recognisable to NHS managers and the healthcare professions. Each standard has a rational, a statement and measurable descriptive criteria. The standards are as follows:
- Spiritual and religious care;
- Access to chaplaincy services;
- Partnership with faith communities and belief groups;
- Staff support;
- Education training and research;
- Chaplaincy to the hospital or unit;
Service assessment and audit
The standards have an accompanying audit tool which can be used to provide chaplaincy services with a baseline from which chaplaincy services can be understood, measured and shown to be effective. The self-assessment audit tool is an essential tool when having to justify chaplaincy service resources or as part of a service review.
UK wide and National Versions
The UKBHC version is the recommended standard for use throughout the UK.
However the standards are available in a number of versions across the UK. Originally developed as Standards for Hospice and Palliative Care Chaplaincy by the AHPCC in 2003 then revised in 2006, they were adapted and published for NHS Chaplaincy Services in 2007 by the professional organisations in partnership with NHS Education for Scotland and are recognised in Northern Ireland and have been branded and published by in Wales.
Professional Capabilities & Competences
The Capabilities and Competences for Healthcare Chaplains (2015) framework seeks to define the capability, competence and scope of practice that are deemed appropriate for roles within the chaplaincy profession. The indicative bands have been given in accordance with the NHS Agenda for Change job evaluation programme. The framework sets out the knowledge and skills chaplains should be evidencing to demonstrate professional practice. Competence describes what individuals know or are able to do in terms of knowledge, skills and attitudes at a particular point in time; Capability describes the extent to which an individual can apply, adapt and synthesise new knowledge from experience and continue to improve his or her performance.