1. Introduction to the concept

A.  The Health Professions Council’s guidance for registration requires the profession to have :-

* "defined body of knowledge…

* defined routes of entry…..,

*entry qualifications ……and

* evidence of CPD".

All of these factors are in many ways inter- related and such requirements are vital in defining the profession. Such knowledge is not available in the profession in the UK. This was seen as the starting point for the CAAB.

B.  The CAAB began its discussion recognising the need to validate training etc. Its defined remit from CHCC Council was stated, "the purpose of such an academic board will be to accredit all training for CPD for chaplaincy". In order to do that we needed to produce a "defined body of knowledge" relevant to the profession. We were not adding anything new here but rather seeking to make explicit what was already implicit in healthcare chaplaincy. This work has begun under 8 headings:-

·  knowledge of current sociological context

·  knowledge of moral thinking

·  knowledge of organisational/ institutional dynamics

·  knowledge of pastoral care models

·  knowledge of human interrelationships

·  knowledge of current worldviews

·  knowledge of one's own faith perspective

·  Knowledge of learning and development.

The new KSF framework for staff in the NHS has been used as a guide to shape the standardisation of the format of these elements recognising that chaplaincy most naturally fits within the clinical humanities arena.

C.  Once this basic work around the body of knowledge was done then we could consider the process of validating training events against some agreed and defined criteria. A process of interim accreditation has been developed so that providers and chaplains could become acquainted with the need and formalities of the process.

2. Clarity of Role and Function

One of the very exciting things about CAAB is that it is a collaborative venture in which all the professional associations in healthcare in the UK are involved.

The CAAB is an advisory board to the professional associations of chaplaincy in the UK. It exists to develop the highest academic standards relating to the training and practice of healthcare chaplains and to promote the theory and knowledge of chaplaincy. The Board makes recommendations concerning professional education and training for chaplains at all levels and operates a scheme for awarding points in recognition of continuing professional education.

The Board derives its authority from the professional associations that recognise it and to whom it is accountable: the Association of Hospice and Palliative Care Chaplains (AHPCC), the College of Health Care Chaplains (CHCC) and the Scottish Association of Chaplains in Healthcare (SACH). In addition the Board is quality assured through an Academic Reference Panel that provides academic peer review and advice.

3. Board Membership

The Board currently comprises:

·  Derek Fraser, Cambridge

·  Robert Lloyd Richards, Cardiff

·  Mark Cobb, Sheffield

·  Mark Sutherland, London

·  Malcolm Masterman, Durham

·  Iain McRitchie, Inverness

·  Geoff Walters, Canterbury

It meets in London and we are very grateful for the administrative support we have received from Carol English.

4. Academic Reference Panel
The purpose of the Academic Reference Panel is to advise the CAAB on the quality of its work with reference to the standards accepted in higher education. The panel consists of the Chair of CAAB and two people holding substantive academic posts with relevant and recognised expertise, experience and seniority. The following appointments have been made:

▪  Dr Heather Walton, Lecturer in Practical Theology, University of Glasgow

▪  Professor David Ford, Regius Professor of Divinity, University of Cambridge

5. Website

In order to promote the effective work of CAAB and to ensure good access to information there is a pressing need for a website. There is some information about CAAB available on the CHCC website, but in order to demonstrate that CAAB works on behalf all the professional associations a stand-alone website is the preferred option. This is planned to be launched in Sept 2005.

6. Research Standard

CHCC The revision in 2002 of the Health Care Chaplaincy Standards prompted the Research Network to identify and develop what it considered to be a missing standard relating to research. The final document was approved by CAAB and published on JISCmail in 2004. Subsequently a paper by Peter Speck was published on the MFGHC website about research that included much of the material from this research standard without acknowledgement but with some variations. Additional work has now been completed by Mark Cobb, Peter Speck and Derek Fraser and an updated common standard has now been published on JISCmail and MFGHC websites. The outline of the standard is:

E3 Initiate and Contribute to Research

E3.1 Identify and critically explore research themes and questions

E3.2 Develop proposals, projects & programmes of research

E3.3 Collaborate and take a lead in research projects

E3.4 Disseminate research findings and good practice.

In addition, CAAB have approached Skills for Health to develop new professional standards applicable across the UK and incorporating all sections of the profession, acute, mental health and palliative care. The initial meeting occurs in July 2005.

7. CPD Accreditation

CAAB has considered a number of national and regional events for the accreditation of CPD points. A clear set of criteria are now in use for awarding points and key to this is how learning events relate to the Body of Knowledge. It is hoped that the application process will support organisers in achieving good practice in the planning and management of educational events and help chaplains in their pursuit of CPD.

CAAB accreditation is from a professional perspective and not to be confused with Higher Education Institutions validation which is from the academic or educational perspective alone.

It is the intention of CAAB to charge a fee to event organisers seeking CPD accreditation in order to offset the costs incurred of processing and discussing applications

Any event or activity that meets educational needs for chaplains and provides an effective form of learning may be considered as contributing to CPD. There are many ways that chaplains can learn, from formal courses to self-directed learning, and CAAB is developing a system of categories to clarify what constitutes CPD activity and the hours that chaplains should be expected to undertake to maintain and enhance their competence.

8. Minimum Qualifications

This concept is used by many other allied health professions and is a framework used by HEI’s to ensure that the profession is staffed and developed appropriately as a profession should be.

CAAB has been considering the qualifications that should be expected of chaplains appointed to their first post and how these might relate to the KSF and to registration.

The current opinion of CAAB is that in order to apply for an entry grade post (AfC Band 5) candidates should be able to fulfill the academic entry requirements for a post-graduate diploma course. In addition it is expected that candidates for an entry grade post should also be able to demonstrate competencies in pastoral care attained through a minimum of 3 years experience in a ministry role formally authorised through ordination or commissioning by a recognised faith community.

The first year of an entry grade post is a “foundation year” and chaplains should complete sufficient modules to equate to a PGCert, one of which will be in reflective practice. The attainment of these modules will be necessary to pass through the KSF foundation gateway. Chaplains will then attain a minimum of a PGDip by their third year, although the expectation is that many will attain a Master’s degree in a subject relating to healthcare chaplaincy.

This suggests that it could be helpful to divide the register into two parts: Supervised Practitioners and Autonomous Practitioners. An entry grade chaplain could be placed on Part 1 of the register as a Supervised Practitioner. Chaplains attaining a PGDip (or equivalent) and completing 2,700 hours of supervised practice as a chaplain (equivalent to 3 years whole-time experience) could be placed on Part 2 of the register. In order to apply for an AfC Band 6 post chaplains would be required to have attained the PGDip and be on Part 2 of the register.

9. SYWDC & Lead Chaplains

The English Lead Chaplains were invited to the February 2005 meeting of CAAB and Peter Elmore attended. A good discussion took place about the agenda of the Lead Chaplains and how this might relate to the work of CAAB.

While there have been changes in South Yorkshire Strategic Health Authority and the Caring for the Spirit project continues to progress. Derek Thomson, an NHS manager, has taken overall responsibility for this work yet Tim Battle remains involved with the designation, "Project Officer, National Chaplaincy Strategy, SYSHA".

CAAB remains concerned about the work that SYWDC continues to pursue in professional areas which it considers either to be beyond the remit of a WDC or untenable without the meaningful involvement of the professional associations.

Derek J Fraser

Chair of CAAB


June 2005


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