Why are some healthcare chaplains registered professionals and some are not? A survey of healthcare chaplains in Scotland

Austyn Snowden, Iniobong Enang, Wilfred McSherry, Linda Ross, W. George Kernoghan, Derek Fraser, Alan Gibbon, Ian Macritchie, John Swinton

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Abstract

The professional status of UK healthcare chaplains remains partial, with voluntary accreditation effective in achieving around 50% registration. This study set out to elicit reasons for this by surveying healthcare chaplains working in Scotland. An online survey was created to gather demographic details and chaplains’ opinions of five key elements of professional status: A body of knowledge that underpins practice; A code of professional ethics; An occupational organisation controlling the profession; Substantial intellectual and practical training; and Provision of a specialised skill or service. Most respondents (38/43) agreed that chaplains should belong to a professional body in order to maintain standards, ensure accountability and formalise professional development. A negative minority felt that the professionalisation agenda was not for them, but the majority stated that registration reinforced their professional status, added credibility and a clear governance structure to protect the public. Due to the wide interest in this issue, UK and international studies into the professional status of chaplains are planned.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9783
JournalHealth and Social Care Chaplaincy
Volume8
Issue number1
Early online date28 Feb 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Feb 2020

Keywords

  • Accountability
  • Accreditation
  • Chaplain
  • Professional
  • Professionalization
  • Registration
  • Status
  • Survey

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