By Mary Davis
By now, most of you know about the revisions to the NACC standards, which reflect our steadfast commitment to maintain our Catholic identity, our determination to keep current with professionalism in chaplaincy, and our collaborative relationship with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The Certification Commission is highly committed to ensuring sufficient time in reflection and education before anyone is certified according to the new standards. We want to be sure that all members fully understand the additions. Anyone who serves as an interviewer or who educates interviewers must be well versed in the new standards, particularly in how they apply to certification.
To that end, we are working on how applicants will address the new standards throughout their written materials. We will update the Narrative Writing Guide, which many applicants have already found to be a helpful tool in formulating their narrative statement. We are working with the Interview Team Educators to determine how the standards will be assessed from the written materials and within the interviews, and what types of questions would best guide both interviewers and applicants. For NACC members who will be preparing to renew certification, we are updating materials to show how the new standards reflect on current practice and updated professional expectations.
In general, most of 2015 will be dedicated to providing training on these revised standards to NACC membership in general and to NACC volunteers serving as interviewers, Interview Team Educators, and Commission and Board members. Education will take varied formats – e.g. articles in Vision, workshops at the National Conference, audioconferences, mentorship, etc.
At this time, we expect that the February 2016 application deadline will be the first time that applicants will be expected to provide materials based on the revised standards. We are prepared to monitor this process and adjust timelines as needed so that the integrity and meaning of the revisions are promoted intentionally, understood clearly, and held sacredly.
>Mary Davis, BCC, is a member of the NACC Certification Commission and regional director of spiritual care and education for CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System in San Antonio, TX.