Hospice and Palliative Care Certification


To qualify for Competency in Palliative Care, the following are the requirements:

1. Be a Board Certified Chaplain.

2. Completion of three years of devoting 25% of one’s time in palliative care as evidenced by the following:
a. Completion of either 50 palliative care spiritual assessments and care plans during the year prior to application for certification or 120 palliative care spiritual assessment and care plans during the three years prior to certification.
b. Active participation in a palliative care IDT for three years.
c. Conducting not less than three memorial services.
d. Palliative care progress notes indicating contact with not less than 20 families during the prior year or 30 families over three years.

3. Completion of the palliative care course offered by the National Chaplain Center School or an equivalency approved by the school. The equivalency will consist of not less than 30 hours in subjects such as grief, bereavement, cultural and ethnic diversity as related to palliative care, pain management at the end of life, ethical dilemmas at the end of life, et al.

4. Of the fifty hours per year required for continuing board certification, not less than 20 hours per year over the three year period shall be related to palliative care.

5. Completed one of the following projects related to palliative care:
a. Made a presentation to staff.
b. Written a paper or article.
c. Completed a research project.
d. Conducted a bereavement group.

Upon meeting these criteria, the chaplain will submit a paper answering the following questions based on palliative care competencies:

1. Describe how you helped the patient or his/her family to find meaning.
2. Describe a palliative care plan that you devised and how it was successfully implemented.
3. Describe a case in which you helped to bring out unspoken feelings.
4. How have you helped a patient to address unfinished business?
5. What is the chaplain’s role on the interdisciplinary team?
6. How have you effectively used ritual to provide comfort to the patient and/or his her family?
7. In what way have you been an advocate for patient rights?
8. What is the role of the chaplain in addressing the family’s bereavement?
9. How has culture or ethnic diversity affected how you treat a patient?
10. Do different diseases impact the spiritual needs of a patient?
11. How do you reconcile it if your values differ with that of the patient?
12. How have you addressed your own mortality?

The chaplain will be interviewed by a panel of three, one of whom may be from another discipline, provided that he/she is working in palliative care. The answers to the above questions will provide the basis for the interview.

Post Certification Requirements

1. Not less than 20 hours of his/her annual requirement for continuing board certification will be devoted to palliative care.

2. In addition to the 20 hours, he/she will read at least one book per year related to palliative care.