Buddhist Healthcare Chaplaincy Trust (BHCT) established an endorsing process and an endorsement body in 2004 for Buddhist Chaplains working across a variety of healthcare settings. BHCT has regularly endorsed applicants since 2012 and provides mentor support, training and supervision for those engaging with healthcare chaplaincy.
The Endorsing Body comprises a group of committed individuals with experience of working in hospitals, hospices and in the community supporting those who are struggling through ill health, physical and/or mental. This group meets three times per year, normally on the first Friday of March, July and November. It considers applications for Initial Endorsement, which lasts for two to three years, and Full Endorsement requiring evidence of working and developing as a healthcare chaplain. Full endorsement is renewed every year thereafter through submission of up-to-date evidence of Continuing Professional Development and reflection upon the Five Chaplaincy Principles.
Buddhists, lay or monastic, from across a wide variety of traditions and schools are already engaged with Healthcare Chaplaincy. New applicants are welcome from anyone practising within any of the diverse approaches across the UK to applying Buddhist teachings and practices.
According to the 2011 census, there are approximately one third of a million Buddhists in the UK, about 80,000 of these being westerners.
BHCT is often consulted on questions emerging from how its teachings and practices apply to health and illness, life and death.
In recent years the practice of mindfulness meditation has gained a much greater public interest and BHCT is happy to share its experience and/or advise on questions arising from the impact of mindfulness towards enhancing healthcare outcomes.