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Testing the Validity of Chaplain Certification
A testing process has validity only when it can be shown to measure what it claims to measure. One of the major facets of validity is face validity in which a group of recognized subject matter experts in the field endorses the validity of the measure. In the development of the Spiritual Care Association’s testing process for certification, major efforts were made by HealthCare Chaplaincy Network to establish the face validity of the knowledge test and the scoring criteria for the simulated patient encounter.
Compiling and enhancing the validity and reliability data on any measure is an ongoing process that is never complete. Given that both components of the SCA testing are numerically scorable, as is the chaplain's contribution to each of the Quality Indicators, testing for predictive validity is possible by answering the question, “What is the likelihood that chaplains who pass both the SCA tests will deliver high scores on the Quality Indicators?” It will then be possible to identify and replace test questions or scoring criteria that do not correlate well with high quality scores with test questions or scoring criterion that do.
The Spiritual Care Association has the only certification testing process that has this capacity. Other processes within the profession do not concretely describe competence so that the claim of the validity of the process can be measured and judged.
George F. Handzo, BCC, CSSBB, Director of Health Services Research and Quality, oversees projects devoted to the strategic assessment, planning and management of chaplaincy services and to developing the evidence for the efficacy of chaplaincy care. Widely regarded as one of the foremost authorities on the deployment and practice of professional health care chaplaincy, Rev. Handzo has authored or co-authored over 50 chapters and articles on the practice of spiritual care and chaplaincy care and was the co-principal investigator on a major grant from the John Templeton Foundation investigating the contribution of spiritual care to health care. He is board certified by the Spiritual Care Association. George is also a board certified member and past president of the Association of Professional Chaplains which in 2011 awarded him the Anton Boisen Professional Service award, its highest honor.
Sue Wintz, MDiv BCC is the managing editor of Plainviews® and Director, Professional and Community Education at HealthCare Chaplaincy Network. She is also the Director of Education for the Spiritual Care Association. Sue has over 35 years of clinical, administrative, writing, educational design, development and teaching experience in the provision of professional chaplaincy and spiritual care in numerous health care, and community settings as well as an expert advisor to interdisciplinary professional organizations. Sue has authored numerous articles on chaplaincy care practice and develops professional education courses for chaplains, chaplaincy students, and other health care disciplines. She is board certified by the Spiritual Care Association. Sue is also a board certified member and past president of the Association of Professional Chaplains who, in 2013 gave her its highest honor - the Anton Boisen Professional Service Award.