By Rev. John J. Bucchino, OFM, DMin
The certification commissioners met in Milwaukee July 11-13, 2013. Part of the meeting was a joint session between the Interview Team Educators (ITEs) and members of the Certification Commission. After an initial gathering for team building, the commissioners covered these issues:
- Ongoing concerns with the application and interview process
What do we do when we are short an ITE? Can we utilize someone from the Appeals Panel? Discussion ensued as to how to address this, keeping the integrity of the process and the applicants’ need to have qualified people at all levels during their process.
- Palliative care specialty certification
The ITEs shared with the commissioners their recommendations for the prospective interview process for those seeking palliative care certification. The ITEs and commission reviewed the general requirements proposed. The Standards work group will be moving ahead with developing competencies. The commission shared its work in progress with David Lichter, NACC executive director. More work needs to be done with the palliative care standards and competencies.
- Strategic Plan Goal IV update and discussion
The Certification Commission discussed the need to look at alternate methods and practices to best serve our members. The ITEs brainstormed ways to reduce costs and created a long list for the commission to consider, ranging from NACC having a travel agent, to offering more audio conferencing and ongoing education for interviewers. Further questions: would it be useful to survey our volunteers as to their needs? Rather than attempt to cut costs, how can we increase revenue? How can we identify “our own” chaplain colleagues and bring them home to NACC, thus gaining more clout and financial resources?
- New interviewer resources
Thanks to Mary Davis, sample Presenter’s Reports and Guide Questions will be implemented in October 2013. Carolanne Hauck is in charge of creating a new manual for interviewers.
- Team building process for interviewers
As part of the team building, how do our interviewers take time to foster a sense of community and team building? What happens prior to the interview? Is there more encouragement we could be offering?
- Creating a culture of ministry
How do we elevate the volunteer work of interviewing to be more like a specialized ministry? Could we offer a missioning ceremony for our volunteers at the national conference? Could we offer a PowerPoint with their pictures to acknowledge them?
- Standard international degrees
As part of a professional process, the NACC will continue to require transcript analysis for all international degrees.
- CASC: Recognition process
The commission approved a proposed reciprocity process with the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care (CASC).
In addition to this work, the commission also reviewed and voted on pending initial and renewal of certification applications.
The meeting provided a great time for the commission to discuss ongoing issues in the certification area and to plan for the future of NACC.
Rev. John J. Bucchino, pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Manchester, NH, is a member of the National Certification Commission, both with NACC and ACPE. Until recently, he was CPE supervisor at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Worcester, MA.