By Ramona Zeb and Jeanine Annunziato
The NACC Standards Commission and Certification Commission have renamed the NACC Standards for Certification. We now know them as the NACC Qualifications and Competencies for Certification and Renewal of Certification of Chaplains, in alignment with the other cognate group members who revised the 2004 Common Standards.
In conjunction with the change in name, some changes were also made to the Common Competencies. To help our members navigate the changes, the Certification Commission and NACC office staff revised the entire Certification Procedures Manual. The updated version is available on the NACC website, and the significant changes are highlighted in yellow.
Initial Chaplain Certification: Part One
In several cases, the phrasing and word choice were edited for additional clarity for the applicant. This led to the updating of the certification application form and the creation of several tools to help applicants prepare their application binders. These changes are also intended to help interview teams evaluate each applicant. All applicants must adhere to the new qualifications and competencies and procedures.
The following are some updates and new tools:
- The verbatim is now called a Spiritual Care Encounter, and we have made an instructional cover sheet as a tool.
- Previously, the applicant had to submit student and supervisor evaluations for all four units of CPE completed. We now require only the student and supervisor final evaluations, as well as one student evaluation of the applicant’s choosing in addition to the supervisor evaluation of the same unit. (The applicant is still required to have four completed units of CPE from an accredited institution.)
- The Narrative Statement is no longer a single document with a 10-page limit. It has been divided into three separate documents as follows:
- The Narrative Statement I addresses the NACC-specific competencies. There is a writing guide and template to assist the applicant in writing to these competencies.
- The Narrative Statement II addresses the common competencies, and a separate writing guide is available for them.
- The Integrative Theological essay addresses ITP2.1. This competency is more complex and involved, so it has its own instruction sheet.
Applicants often had difficulty meeting the competency related to the Ethical and Religious Directives. Therefore, we have created an e-learning module and post-test, which any current member of NACC can take. The page that contains the link is here. (This page also contains all of our other new procedures and tools.)
Chaplain Renewal of Certification
These updates were designed to incorporate the new competency language and references for NACC members renewing their certification. Changes include:
- “Standard” was changed to “Competency.”
- The Standard Categories were edited to match the updated Categories of Competency: integration of theory and practice, professional identity and conduct, professional practice skills, and organizational leadership.
- We have clarified the expectation that the pastor/priest letter of recommendation for lay chaplains be sent directly to the NACC office.
- Service to the NACC (of an educational value) can be counted for up to 15 hours per year and is to be coded on an applicant’s education report form using “V” in the key column.
- Additional methods for completing a peer review meeting were provided: telephone or voice over internet protocols, e.g. Skype.
- We have clarified reporting activities at which the chaplain recorded time both as a presenter and an attendee.
- Direction was provided on how to report activities that provided updating across multiple categories of competency.
- Total number of hours that may be recorded for retreat attendance is 20 hours per year.
- Information was added relative to the Retired Certified member options for maintaining certification in retirement
Please review the newly revised Certification Procedures Manual, Part Four, with changes highlighted on the NACC website.
With constant review, attention to detail, and questions from members, the NACC Certification Commission hopes that these changes will bring clarity to the process and be more user-friendly to our members.
For questions or comments, please contact the NACC National Office: