PCHAC Application Eligibility Requirements

The applicant for the BCC-PCHAC certification must demonstrate advanced practice beyond the Board Certified Chaplain level.  The Application Guidelines offer detailed guidance on meeting the advanced practice criterion and the other requirements of advanced certification.

Click here to download the BCC-PCHAC Application

Written Application Components

  1. Progression Essay–1-2 pages
    1. Tell us about your professional setting: A description of the palliative care or hospice program in which you work, including the programs’ disciplines, organizational structure, number of palliative care or hospice consults per month, and your role in the palliative care or hospice program.
    2. Elaborate on your pursuit of palliative care and hospice certification.
  2. Major essay– 10-12 pages, incorporating all of the Hospice and Palliative Care Advanced Certification Competencies.  The major essay has three required components, which may be woven into a single document or may be submitted as three separate documents, in either instance totaling no more than 10-12 pages for all three components. Please note: While you must demonstrate all 14 competencies, you must also demonstrate advanced practice integration in this essay. Annotate throughout the essay where each competency is demonstrated. This does not mean writing about each competency individually but to weave them throughout the essay. The following components must be included in the major essay:
    1. Theory and practice of chaplaincy care in palliative care/hospice ministry.
    2. Case presentation from within the past year that is comprehensive in scope of care, addressing but not limited to:
      1. An evolving, comprehensive spiritual plan of care
      2. Progression of spiritual practice over the case
      3. Integration of chaplaincy care to enhance other palliative care/hospice disciplines in providing holistic service to patient/family
    3. Written demonstration of participation in a quality improvement (QI) process that enhances the delivery of chaplaincy care in palliative care/hospice.
  3. Letters of Reference–Submit three (3) recommendation letters: one from a palliative care/hospice supervisor (can include verification that clinical experience requirements have been met), and two from interdisciplinary palliative care/hospice team members who served with the applicant, only one of whom may be a chaplain colleague. The letters must include the quality of your interaction with patients, families and team members as well as your team collaboration, leadership, and educational contributions within a hospice and palliative care team.  See the Application Guidelines for guidance on this and all other requirements.

Application Eligibility Requirements

  1. Board Certification through APC or NACC for a minimum of one year.
  2. Direct clinical palliative care and/or hospice work experience spanning over 3 years at a minimum of 520 hours per year.
  3. Completion of an intensive palliative care and/or hospice course-equivalent to 3 credit hours (45 hours)
  4. Suggested readings:
    1. Improving the Quality of Spiritual Care as a Dimension of Palliative Care: The Report of the Consensus Conference
      Christina Puchalski, M.D., M.S., F.A.P.C.,1 Betty Ferrell, Ph.D., M.A., F.A.A.N., F.P.C.N.,2
      Rose Virani, R.N.C., M.H.A., O.C.N.,_ F.P.C.N.,2 Shirley Otis-Green, M.S.W., L.C.S.W., A.C.S.W., O.S.W.-C.,2
      Pamela Baird, A.A.,2 Janet Bull, M.A.,1 Harvey Chochinov, M.D., Ph.D., F.R.C.P.C.,3
      George Handzo, M.Div., B.C.C., M.A.,4 Holly Nelson-Becker, M.S.W., Ph.D.,5
      Maryjo Prince-Paul, Ph.D., A.P.R.N., A.C.H.P.N.,6
      Karen Pugliese, M.A., B.C.C.,7 and Daniel Sulmasy, O.F.M., M.D., Ph.D.8
    2. National Consensus Project’s Clinical Practice Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care, Fourth Edition: Why is This Important to Chaplains? (PDF)
      Volume 12, Number 10, 2009
      ª Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
      DOI: 10.1089=jpm.2009.0142
    3. Gone From My Sight: The Dying Experience
      Barbara Karnes, RN

* Examples of case studies can be found here: