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NAVAC Hospice and Palliative Care Specialty Certification (HPC)


Application and Requirements




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Private Email:

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1. Be a NAVAC Board Certified Chaplain, (Include a copy of your BCC) and be current with your BCC NAVAC dues. (Include the email from Certification Chair)


2. Provide supporting letters from your Chaplain Service Chief or Director of Hospice documenting:

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. Conducting not less than three HPC patient memorial services.


3. Provide a supporting letter from your Director of Hospice documenting:

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

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



4.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.

c. 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)


6. Upon meeting these criteria, the chaplain will submit a paper answering the following questions based on palliative care competencies: (2 - 3 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?


7. Complete the HPC checklist and attach it to your application. This is the required first page of your NAVAC Hospice and Palliative Care Specialty Certification application. (Click Here for Checklist)



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.


Submit your application: Please scan your BCC application, including your resume, into a PDF file and email it to:

Chaplain David Lefavor

NAVAC Certification Committee Chairman




Please send the $100 application fee to:


P.O. Box 1631

Newport News, VA 23601


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:

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