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.

UKBHC _healthcare_chaplaincy_bands_and_duties_framework_2015


In 2015 the Board published a revised Capabilities and Competences Framework for Healthcare Chaplains.  The original (2009) version was adopted from the earlier NHS Education for Scotland (2007) framework and was created for Band 6 chaplaincy appointments. This version was also adopted by the Welsh Assembly. Since 2009 the Board has developed and published a framework of Chaplaincy Levels and Duties that describes chaplaincy for Bands 5, 6, 7 and 8.  Following a workshop session at the 2014 College of Health Care Chaplains conference a consultation draft was prepared and circulated for comment. 

The revised  Capabilities and Competencies2020

In 2019 NES Education for Scotland undertook a major revision of the The Capabilities and Competences Framework for Healthcare Chaplains, which is listed below:

UKBHC CCs 180220

UK Board of Healthcare Chaplaincy (UKBHC) acknowledges the vision, experience and expertise of NHS Education for Scotland (NES) and the Scottish Chaplains Professional Leads Group, in co-ordinating this work, reflecting current Spiritual Care practice in Scotland.


The UKBHC acknowledges that differences persist in the ways in which Spiritual Care is structured, practiced and described in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.  It is the intention of UKBHC that all professionally accredited healthcare chaplains will work to an agreed set of standards by 2023, and that all healthcare chaplains will be professionally accredited by UKBHC by 2030.


The UKBHC also recognises that, for some time now, Spiritual Care in Scotland has been delivered in a generic way and that Scottish NHS Chaplains have not been employed by, or to represent, a specific faith or belief community in the work they do.  In addition to this, Scotland has been at the forefront of developing a validated and internationally used tool for measuring the effectiveness of Spiritual Care (the Patient Reported Outcome Measure®  or PROM®), an evidence-based and positively evaluated model for staff to reflect on their practice in a values-based way (Values-Based Reflective Practice® or VBRP® ) and an evidence-based programme for deploying Spiritual Care support in the community (Community Chaplaincy Listening® or CCL® ).  All of this work, together with a generic mode of working, over the past decade has resulted in different emphasises in Scotland in the structuring and delivery of Spiritual Care and, therefore, in the articulation of Standards and C&Cs that these documents represent.


Recognising the many benefits that have come from Scotland to Chaplains throughout the rest of the UK, and indeed globally, the UKBHC wishes to endorse this set of Standards and the accompanying C&Cs only for use in Scotland over the next three years.  This will allow necessary developments of post graduate education, training and formation for Chaplains in Scotland, to take place in line with the new C&Cs.  It will also allow the UKBHC to monitor this trajectory and then to make any necessary adaptations to the national Standards and C&Cs.

framework for Bands 5 – 8 has now been published and is available below.

UKBHC Spiritual_and_Religious_capabilities_and_competences_bands_5_-_8_2015

The Framework was further revised in 2017 to include Values Based reflective Practice as a recognised model of reflection.

This framework is cross-referenced to both the KSF and to the Chaplaincy Service Standards.

KSF Outline Grade 5

KSF Outline Grade 5 Full

KSF Outline Grade 6

KSF Outline Grade 6 Full

KSF Outline Grade 7

KSF Outline Grade 7 Full


Other versions noted above are available below.

Spiritual and Religious Capabilities & Competences – NHS in Wales

NES Chaplaincy Capabilities and Competences