Hospice and Palliative Care Certification

NAVAC Hospice and Palliative Care Specialty Certification (HPC)

Application and Requirements




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You must be current with NAVAC dues. (include e-mail from Certification Chair)

1. Be a NAVAC Board Certified Chaplain.  (Include a copy of BCC)

2. Provide a supporting letter from Chaplain Service Chief to verify all the following:

a. Completion of three years of devoting 25% of one’s time in palliative care

b. Completion of either 50 HPC 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.

c. Active participation in a Hospice and Palliative Care IDT for three years.

d. Conducting not less than three memorial services.

e. HPC progress notes indicating contact with not less than 30 families during the prior year or 70 families over three years.

3. Completion of one of the following: (Include documentation)

a. Being a graduate of the Chaplain Advanced Education (CAVE) Course, Hospice and Palliative Care track. 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.

b. Education equivalence demonstrated by narrative, transcript(s), and/or curricula.

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. Include documentation to show how you completed the following projects related to palliative care:

a. Made a presentation to staff.

b. Written a paper or article.

c. Conducted a bereavement group.

d. Complete TMS Course: Palliative Care: A Veteran's Journey        (VA 27977)

e. Complete TMS Course: Caring for the Dying Patient  (NFED 13242)

6. Upon meeting these criteria, the chaplain will submit a paper answering the following questions based on palliative care competencies: (1-2 pages per question)

a. Describe how you helped the patient or his/her family to find meaning.

b. Describe a palliative care plan that you devised and how it was successfully implemented.

c. Describe a case in which you helped to bring out unspoken feelings.

d. How have you helped a patient to address unfinished business?

e. What is the chaplain’s role on the interdisciplinary team?

f. How have you effectively used ritual to provide comfort to the patient and/or his her family?

g. In what way have you been an advocate for patient rights?

h. What is the role of the chaplain in addressing the family’s bereavement?

i. How has culture or ethnic diversity affected how you treat a patient?

j. Do different diseases impact the spiritual needs of a patient?

k. How do you reconcile it if your values differ with that of the patient?

l. How have you addressed your own mortality?


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.


Time Frame for Certification:

As NAVAC Certification Committee members are full-time VA Professional Chaplains, please expect that the certification process may take as long as 60 days once the completed application packets are received.


Send the completed application with all attachments fee to:

NAVAC Certification Committee Chairman

 Chaplain David E. Lefavor, D.Min., BCC

 3545 Waynesville Jamestown Road

 Jamestown, Ohio 45335

 Email: NAVACBCC@gmail.com   

Send the $50 application fee to:


 P.O. Box 1631

 Newport News, VA 23601



Please do not submit any original documents. 

Send only Single-Sided, 8 ½ x 11 size paper.

Please do not staple or place in a binder.



Please note that:


NAVAC is a private organization that serves the certification needs of VA Chaplains and those interested in VA Chaplaincy. As such, we are not an extension of the VA though we follow many of the guidelines used by the VA. It is our goal to provide you with a collegial process to meet your certification needs. Any disagreements with NAVAC decisions should be handled directly with NAVAC.


If you have other questions or need clarification please contact Chaplain Lefavor at: NAVACBCC@gmail.com