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Healthcare chaplaincy

Healthcare chaplaincy

The Church of Ireland has always placed an importance on pastoral care and ministry to those who are ill. This includes the provision of pastoral care and professional healthcare chaplaincy in hospitals and healthcare facilities in all parts of the island of Ireland by both lay and ordained chaplains, alongside colleagues from other denominations and faith traditions. The provision of pastoral ministry/healthcare chaplaincy can be a full–time role or as part of parish ministry as appropriate.

The Chaplaincy Accreditation Board (CAB), established by and reporting to the House of Bishops, is an All–Ireland Accrediting Board for Healthcare Chaplains.

The Standards of CAB pertaining to the accreditation of healthcare chaplains are on a par with the Health Care Chaplaincy Board (HCB) which solely accredits Roman Catholic chaplains.

The Chaplaincy Accreditation Board accredits chaplains from the Church of Ireland and will consider applications from those of other traditions/faith groups with appropriate tradition/faith group support.


  • To assist in the assessing, provision and evaluation of training for healthcare chaplains
  • To advise the House of Bishops in matters pertaining to healthcare chaplaincy
  • To recommend suitable programmes of healthcare ministry education this may lead to certification in healthcare chaplaincy. This would be undertaken in conjunction with the Healthcare Chaplaincy Board (HCB) and the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education (Ireland) Ltd. (ACPE (Ireland) Ltd)
  • To ratify the suitability of persons for the purpose of directing healthcare ministry training programmes for candidates
  • To certify persons for chaplaincy, in any part of Ireland, in accordance with these Standards for Healthcare Chaplains under the oversight of the House of Bishops
  • To maintain a register of people who are certified as healthcare chaplains
  • To monitor and assess pertinent changes in healthcare chaplaincy and to monitor new legislation or professional requirements.
  • To make formal proposals to the HSE regarding job description and contractual arrangements for chaplains
  • To liaise with the HSE and other relevant bodies about the role and ministry of chaplains
  • To continue to develop guidelines regarding the role and function of chaplains and to promote the recognition of their posts and their funding
  • To report annually to the House of Bishops
  • To review the standards for certification of healthcare chaplains every three years
  • Applications for recommendation: In the case of applications for recommendation being received from applicants who are members of other traditions the interview panel may include a representative from the applicant’s particular tradition


CAB may be contacted by emailing its Secretary, the Revd Trevor Holmes, at chaplaincyaccreditationboard@gmail.com

Code of Conduct

The current Code of Conduct for Healthcare Chaplains was approved by the House of Bishops in 2017, and is available to read and download at this link.

Standards for Certification

The Church of Ireland House of Bishops protocol on certification of healthcare chaplains and recognised standards, adopted in 2014, is available here.

Related links

Association of Clinical Pastoral Education Ireland

Health Service Executive

Health & Social Care in Northern Ireland

National Association of Healthcare Chaplains

Northern Ireland Healthcare Chaplains Association

Follow @chaplaincyboard

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