September 6, 2012
Report from the CPSP Hospice & Palliative Care Certification Committee By Al Henager
The leadership of the College of Pastoral Supervision & Psychotherapy has been working on the sub-specialty certification in hospice & palliative care for almost two years now. When we began the process, we wanted as much input and feedback to the process of developing our standards as we could get. Therefore, we made at least two appeals to our membership for those interested in helping out to come forward. A limited number of individuals came forward, and these formed the nucleus of what became the Hospice & Palliative Care Certification Committee (HPCC).
Our first task was to develop a set of standards for the new certification sub-specialty in Hospice & Palliative Care. I was asked to prepare the first draft of the standards. First, I compiled the information we had from CPSP members that responded to our appeal for input. I then drew on my experience in my work as a chaplain in hospice & palliative care, including serving as Coordinator of Palliative Care for a major university medical center. I also consulted with physicians who are board certified in Hospice & Palliative Medicine, as well as nurses, chaplains, social workers, and administrators in the field. I then studied the new JCAHCO accreditation standards for hospice and palliative care programs. In addition, I referred to the chaplain certification standards in hospice & palliative care of NAVAC (National Association of Veteran Affairs Chaplains). NAVC is the first organization to have a sub-specialty certification in hospice & palliative care, and the only one to have such at the time. Further, I consulted CAPC (Center to Advance Palliative Care) and NHPCO (National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization) documents related to spiritual care. I also read a host of other materials.
From there, I wrote the first draft of the CPSP standards for Clinical Fellow in Hospice & Palliative Care. For most of the next year, the HPCC committee rehashed and revised the standards until the came to be in the present form. Even though the standards have been published, they are always open for revisions. In fact the HPCC committee is currently in the process of adding a couple of sections on ethics and cultural competencies to the standards. We went public only recently, but a lot of thought, planning, & work went into the process in order to get us where we are today. The HPCC committee met again the third week of August 2012, and agreed on several new issues. First, the HPCC committee agreed to add a category for Associate Clinical Chaplains & Associate Pastoral Counselors. This category will require current certification at the Associate level, with additional training & experience in H&PC, all of which will be specified in the new standards. The title of the sub-specialty certification will most likely be Clinical Associate in Hospice & Palliative Care. We are also in the process of developing a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) set in regards to Clinical Fellow in Hospice & Palliative Care (CFHPC) as well as a list of pertinent resources. In addition, the committee established the “grandparenting” period for Clinical Fellow in Hospice & Palliative Care to run from September 1, 2012, to August 31, 2013. This is a period of submission of work in H&PC done prior to December 31, 2012. Also, I was asked to take on the role of chairing the committee.
The process for certification in the sub-specialty of H&PC is clearly addressed in the standards. Please read the standards thoroughly, and most of your questions should be answered. Standards for the sub-specialty certification as Clinical Fellow in Hospice & Palliative Care are found in sections 800 through 830. Also, note that in the Hospice & Palliative Sub-specialty, the requirement in 820.2 of 400 hours of work beyond the initial four units of CPE required for BCCC or BCPC can be accomplished in 3 ways. 820.2.1 fulfills this requirement through a full fifth unit of CPE specializing in Hospice & Palliative Care. 820.2.2 fulfills this requirement through a mentoring program specializing in Hospice & Palliative Care. 820.2.3 fulfills this requirement in a “grandparenting” of those who have done significant work in hospice & palliative care prior to December 31, 2012, with a deadline of August 31, 2013 for submitting the materials. These different approaches are clearly spelled out in order to make it clear which choice is best for each individual.
Also, please note that “gradparenting” of the credential is not automatic. Each person must apply for it and meet the requirements established in that section of the standards, as well as include all required documentation with the application.
As expected, the HPCC committee has received numerous questions and requests for information regarding the new H&PC sub-specialty. Many of these questions are answered in the standards. Some of the others seem to indicate a need for further consultation on a case by case basis. As I understand it, it is not the scope of the H&PC committee to offer extensive guidance & consultation to individuals or to programs, or even to chapters. I would suggest that if a chapter has a need for guidance on the process, that they engage the services of an outside consultant who is experienced in Hospice & Palliative Care to help guide them through the process. I also would suggest institutions consider doing the same in regards to chaplains and clinical pastoral training programs related to H&PC. A supervisor who has offered CPE in the sub-specialty of H&PC and/or a chaplain who has established a H&PC program could be quite beneficial and valuable.
The role of the CPSP HPCC committee, as I see it, is to write and revise standards, to see the standards are applied consistently, and to review and give to final approval to applications for certification in the H&PC sub-specialty after the chapter has reviewed & forwarded the application. However, many of the HPCC committee members can, and may be willing, to serve as consultants to individuals, chapters, and institutions on a case by case method. This, though, would need to be negotiated in each case.
For those not familiar with with NHPCO and CAPC -- the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization & Center to Advance Palliative Care -- their websites are:
Both websites have a host of information and resources available, as well as links to other helpful websites.
The CPSP Standards can be found at this link: http://www.pastoralreport.com/standards.html . The HPCC standards, as I said earlier are found in section 800.
The application facesheet for Clinical Fellow in Hospice & Palliative Care can be found at this link: http://www.pastoralreport.com/documents.html Click on the blue link that reads “Hospice and Palliative Care” under certification documents on the documents page. You will be able to download the CFHPC application in a PDF format.
For questions and inquiries, please write to Al Henager, Chair CPSP HPCC Committee at email@example.com.
Al Henager, Chair
Palliative Care Certification Committee
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at September 6, 2012 1:51 PM