HealthCare Chaplaincy Network Makes A Statement Regarding its Clinical Pastoral Education Program

With this announcement, HealthCare Chaplaincy Network and the Spiritual Care Association have taken the steps required to be the leaders of change that the pioneers of chaplaincy and decades of leaders envisioned.

HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN) announced today it will transition its Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program to the Institute for Clinical Pastoral Training (ICPT) as its accrediting body.

HCCN makes this move to better align chaplaincy training with the current demands of U.S. health care, citing a strong demand signaled from the health care chaplaincy movement for major changes in the way their chaplains are educated and how education is evaluated.

“With today’s announcement, HealthCare Chaplaincy Network and the Spiritual Care Association have taken the steps required to be the leaders of change that the pioneers of chaplaincy and decades of leaders envisioned,” said Rev. Eric J. Hall, President and CEO of HCCN and SCA. “We are committed to preparing and empowering chaplains to provide high value and quality spiritual care to patients, families and staff in the continually changing and demanding field of health care.”

Current objective competency testing, established and provided by the SCA, shows significant variances among professional chaplains in critical areas such as communication skills, HIPPA compliance, spiritual assessment and appropriate documentation. The SCA is the only organization in the U.S. that is actively working to address these inadequacies to improve the knowledge, skills, competency and evidence-based practice of chaplains.

The lack of standardization needed to demonstrate chaplaincy’s value and quality-based care is the most significant obstacle currently facing the professional chaplaincy field. In response, HCCN and the SCA have made grounds in developing a criterion for preparation, education, experience and clinical care competency with an eye toward intervention reimbursement and the inclusion of chaplaincy in any future reimbursement model.

Additionally, HCCN’s efforts to move the field of health care chaplaincy forward include the introduction of standards that allow for virtual CPE. The transition of HCCN’s CPE program to the ICPT is part of a commitment to ensuring this, and…

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