It was with great pleasure that the Competency Working Group, a joint subcommittee for PPC and ESC, brought the Competencies for Spiritual Care and Counselling Specialist to the Board for Approval at the 2011 conference in Toronto. The ten core competencies evolved from work of the past decade(s) including the DACUM project (to shape educational curriculum) to college development work in BC and Ontario and the subsequent 2008 competency validation survey. The Competency Working Group took these raw validated competency statements and input from a Spiritual Assessment workshop led by Philip Crowell in 2010 at the Banff conference to summarize and structure the competencies in a usable format. The past year has seen a lot of work done to gather input both internally from our members and externally from experts in a variety of professions. Thanks to everyone who engaged in the process and collaboratively helped to define who we are and what we do.

The document was approved by the Board in Toronto and is now at the core of further work being done by ESC on revisions to the Specialist Certification process and other assessment and equivalency tools. The competencies will provide a means to assess ability levels for students and those wishing to enter the profession from both traditional and non-traditional pathways of education and they will provide a framework for continuing development for all who work in our field. The competencies underly both educational streams of CPE and PCE with recognition that not only will separate streams continue to exist but there are many other specialties within our profession including educators and those with focused expertise such as ethics, corrections, family therapy, bereavement, spiritual direction, to name just a few, where additional competencies will apply.

Going forward our working committee will build on the competencies to define our scope of practice and professional designations. This will help to differentiate our uniqueness as we advocate for our profession and collaborate in provincial colleges with other professions doing similar but different work. I would like to acknowledge and thank the ongoing efforts of our committee who are: Margaret Clark, Gary Myatt, Sandra Morrison, Marj Pettinger, Peter Barnes and Paul Scuse.