Common Qualifications and Competencies

The common qualifications and competencies (formerly known as the common standards) of the chaplaincy profession are comprised of four foundational documents affirmed by the constituent boards of the Council on Collaboration on November 7, 2004 in Portland, ME, and later updated in 2016. Collectively, these documents established a unified voice for the six chaplaincy organizations that affirmed them. 

These standards describe what it means to these organizations to be a professional chaplaincy care provider, pastoral counselor or educator. The documents are:

Changes to Competency Verbiage 2-2024 (PDF)

Competency Rubric 2-2024 (PDF)
Common Code of Ethics for Chaplains, Pastoral Counselors, Pastoral Educators and Students (PDF) – developed by the Council on Collaboration
Principles for Processing Ethical Complaints (PDF)

An informational video about the new rubric and changes to the competency verbiage is below.

The membership of the participating groups represents over 10,000 members who currently serve as chaplains, pastoral counselors, and clinical pastoral educators in specialized settings as varied as healthcare, counseling centers, prisons or the military. The complete documents and information about each of the collaborating groups can be found on the following websites:

 Association of Professional Chaplains (APC)

Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE)

National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC)

Neshama: Association of Jewish Chaplains (NAJC)

Canadian Association for Spiritual Care/Association canadienne de soins spirituels (CASC/ACSS)

For more information on the foundations of professional chaplaincy care see review the publication The Impact of Professional Spiritual Care (2018)