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Authorisation, Registration, and Endorsement

Our members play a crucial role in helping to contribute to the safety of patients, staff, families, and carers; and ensuring the integrity of NHS volunteers and staff in chaplaincy services.

Authorisation, registration and endorsement of staff and volunteers by religion and belief communities, is for the protection of the public and patients who access pastoral, spiritual, and religious care services (chaplaincy) in NHS institutions and the community. The requirement for a chaplain to maintain a recognised or accredited status within a religious or belief group, is not an issue of there being processes to judge the chaplain as an individual. It is rather a matter of patient safety and integrity, and for the protection of the public who chaplains meet and work with; people are often very vulnerable. There is a need for externally verifiable processes which ensure that the person applying for a pastoral, spiritual and religious care provider post is who they claim to be. Part of this process includes the review and approval by the individual’s religious or belief group. 

(NHS England, 2017)

As part of the review of the NHS England Chaplaincy Guidelines 2015, the Network was commissioned to produce guidance on the authorisation, registration, and endorsement procedures of the mainstream chaplaincy religion and belief organisations. The Guidance document is available for download here and is designed to support NHS Managers in enhancing their recruitment strategies for chaplaincy paid staff and volunteers.








Please find below the Constitution of the Network for Pastoral, Spiritual, and Religious Care in Health as agreed by the Network Council on 3 October 2018.


The NHS England website explains the Pastoral, Spiritual, and Religious Care (Chaplaincy) Programme. The Programme is part of NHS England’s drive to ensure good patient care and compliance with policy and legislation:

  • Compliance with the legal duties in the Equality Act 2010 – ensuring due regard to the protected characteristics on religion and belief
  • Compliance with the NHS Constitution Principle 1 of ensuring comprehensive service for all, irrespective of gender, race, disability, age, religion, belief.
  • Compliance with NHS England’s business planning for 2013 – 14 ‘Putting people first’ Priority 8 in Promoting equality and reducing inequalities in health outcomes and the Five Year Forward View on Empowering Patients and Engaging Communities.


NHS England Chaplaincy Guidelines 2015

The NHS England 2015 Chaplaincy Guidelines are currently under review. An updated version will be published in 2020. Please check back here soon for updates.

You download a copy at this link : NHS England – NHS Chaplaincy Guidelines 2015: Promoting Excellence in Pastoral, Spiritual and Religious Care