Peer Review Guidelines

Qualification MNT1 of the Common Qualifications for Professional Chaplaincy states: “All board certified chaplains, associate certified chaplains, inactive board certified chaplains, inactive associate certified chaplains and professional life members will participate in a peer review process every fifth year.”

The peer review process entails an approximate 90-minute meeting with peers as outlined in the sections below. It is intended to be a collegial and reflective view of one’s professional practice, chaplaincy care, service, professional development and self-care. Peer review is intended to stimulate personal and professional growth.

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Timing of Peer Review

Based on the date of certification with BCCI, the chaplain (hereafter, “reviewee”) and the respective state continuing education chair will be notified in writing by the national office in January of the year in which their peer review is due. The reviewee (who may consult with the state continuing education chair, if needed) arranges the peer review to be completed no later than December of the same year and submits the Peer Review Report portion of the Annual Summary of Continuing Education Report in the BCCI Certification Portal, no later than December 31 of the same year.

Composition of Committee

The reviewee assembles a Peer Review Committee composed of a minimum of three members (in addition to the reviewee) at a mutually agreeable time and place for the meeting. In-person meetings are strongly encouraged. However, if a chaplain has demonstrated an effort to put together a peer review in person and this is proving difficult, as in the case of a remote location, then a peer review may be conducted by video or conference call. At least two of the members must be BCCI board certified or associate certified chaplains (in good standing), one of which may be suggested by the state continuing education chair and preferably not known by the chaplain being reviewed. Other members of the committee may be certified chaplains of ACPE, CASC/ACSS, NACC, NAJC, NAVAC, and/or ecclesiastical or professional colleagues of the chaplain being reviewed. One of the BCCI certified chaplains is asked, by the reviewee, to facilitate the committee as chairperson.

Peer Review Committee Responsibilities

The designated chairperson shall open and close the meeting appropriately. The committee shall engage the chaplain in discussion of the identified issues and share assessment, impressions and recommendations with the chaplain. The committee shall summarize the peer review in writing immediately following the discussion and give a written summary report to the chaplain at that time. All conversations and activities, including writing the summary report and completing the Peer Review portion of the Annual Summary of Continuing Education Report in the BCCI Certification Portal, are collegial in nature and include the reviewee actively engaged in the process.

Scope and Length of Peer Review Session

The peer review is intended to cover professional practice, chaplaincy care, service, self-care and/or professional development areas of interest and concern of the reviewee.

In addition, the peer review committee should discuss the reviewee’s continued connection with his/her spiritual/faith group for accountability and nurture of his/her person and practice as a professional chaplain, per standard MNT3.

The Peer Review session should be scheduled for a minimum of 90 minutes, which includes summarizing the peer review in writing and completing the Peer Review portion of the Annual Summary of Continuing Education Report in the BCCI Certification Portal.

The chaplain being reviewed should submit their written materials to the Peer Review Committee at least one week prior to the meeting. Suggestions for the written materials is below:

Suggested written materials

The materials presented may include, but are not limited to, the following areas:

  • A Reflection on the Standards of Practice for Professional Chaplains is available on the APC website under Standards. (Strongly recommended)
  • Significant areas of strength over the last five years, including areas you are passionate about, aspects that make your work meaningful.
  • Significant challenges in the areas of strength, professional growth and development over the last five years and resources used for growth.
  • Significant growth, changes and/or challenges in theology and professional practice, and resources used for growth.
  • Contribution to meeting regulatory standards (state, CMS, Joint Commission, etc.) within the employing organization and/or the goals of the institution (staff satisfaction, patient-centered communication, cultural, ethnic and spiritual sensitivity, ethics, managing patient complaints and/or resolving difficult cases, disaster preparation, and integration of the inter-disciplinary team).
  • Contribution to the work of APC and its affiliate, BCCI.
  • What areas do you envision in the future that you would like to explore or make a contribution within the employing institution or with APC/BCCI in the state or national arena?

Resolution of Noncompliance

In July/August of each year, those chaplains who are due for a five-year maintenance of certification Peer Review but who have not yet submitted their review will receive an e-mail reminding them that the review has not yet been received. Those who do not submit a Peer Review for five-year maintenance of certification by December 31 of their designated year will be subject to BCCI’s policy on non-compliance as it applies to other requirements for maintenance of certification.

Request for Extension

An extension of the deadline for a peer review for maintenance of certification may be granted for one year for medical, military deployment or other extenuating circumstances. The request for an extension is not a guarantee that the extension is granted. An extension request for the current year must be received before September 30. Extensions are not being granted for the letter of endorsement. To request an extension, please click here.

Continuing Education Credit

Peer review will go under Methodology 6 on the Continuing Education Report. Under Methodology 6, the reviewee is eligible for a maximum of 5 continuing education hours. Under Methodology 7, each reviewer is eligible for 1.5 continuing education hours per peer review attended.