Frequently asked questions

What is meant by ‘equivalent qualification’ in relation to the minimum qualification requirements for chaplains?

For acceptance into the role of school chaplain in NSW under the NSCP, the minimum qualification is a Certificate IV in Youth Work or Certificate IV in Pastoral Care (or equivalent).

A person who holds a higher level qualification, such as a diploma or bachelor degree, in a relevant field of education may also be considered. A qualification must include competencies (or equivalent) in mental health and making appropriate referrals. Not all relevant qualifications involve the completion of ‘competencies’ (e.g. bachelor degrees). In these cases, a school should take into account any completed units/subjects relevant to the areas of ‘mental health’ and ‘making appropriate referrals’.

Can my school receive funding for a secular student welfare worker instead of, or as well as, a chaplain under the NSCP?

No. The NSCP will only provide funding for chaplains.

Is participation in the NSCP compulsory?

No. Participation in the NSCP is voluntary for schools and for students.

Do I need to consult with parents before appointing a chaplain?

Yes. Schools need to consult with their school community about possible plans for engaging a chaplain.

Schools recommended for participation in the NSCP will need to hold evidence that the school community has been consulted, e.g. meeting minutes, newsletter items etc.

For how many years will funding be available for a school chaplain?

The current program covers the 2019 – 2022 calendar years. Schools participating in NSCP 2016-2018 can roll over for 2019. During Term 2, 2019 all schools will be able to apply for funding for 2020 -2022. Successful schools are funded for three years. There will be no further application rounds during the term of the current funding agreement with the Commonwealth.

How were schools selected to participate in the NSCP?

Schools are assessed by their sector authority against the common conditions and core criteria that apply to all schools, as well as against any sector-specific criteria.

How much will my school receive under the NSCP?

Participating schools may receive up to $20,280 per year ($24,336 for remote schools). The level of individual school funding is determined by the relevant sector authority, and is a pro-rata amount based on the hours of chaplaincy services provided. Schools receiving maximum funding are required to provide a minimum of 400 hours for chaplaincy services per annum.

How many chaplains is my school entitled to?

Funding under the NSCP will only be available for one chaplain per school.

My school is part of a multi-campus college. How many chaplains is the college entitled to?

A multi-campus college can receive funding for a maximum of three chaplains ($60,840 per annum, or $73,008 in remote locations) across all the campuses. However:

  • the number of funded chaplains must not exceed the number of campuses
  • each campus must be geographically separated and have a separate Commonwealth campus number.

Each campus will be required to submit its own application and each application will be separately assessed by the sector authority.

Can my school enter into a cluster arrangement to share a chaplain?

Yes. However, the maximum funding available for the cluster is $20,280 per year ($24,336 for remote schools), and the maximum number of annual hours of chaplaincy that will be funded across the cluster is 400 hours.

When will my NSCP funding be received?

This will depend on when the Commonwealth provides funding to NSW to administer the NSCP. It is anticipated that funding will be provided to participating schools early in each school year.

Schools are allocated funds and are able to make payment directly to the chaplaincy provider or give authority for the Department of Education to provide funding directly to the chaplaincy provider.

How much funding can a school set aside for administration purposes?

Funds up to a maximum of 20 per cent can be used for administrative costs. Funds are to be for administration costs directly relevant to the implementation of the NSCP.

Does a school need to use a chaplain provider or can it directly employ a chaplain?

Schools do not employ chaplains. School chaplains are employed by the relevant Service Provider.

Does a chaplain provider have to be on an Approved Provider List?

When a school sources a chaplain through a provider, the school may select a provider that best meets its needs. Schools are required to purchase a chaplaincy service using the Departments’ procurement process. A prequalified panel of Chaplaincy service providers has been appointed and accredited to assist schools.

Are schools selected for 2016-2018 automatically included in the NSCP for 2019?

Schools approved for 2016-2018 program are able to roll over for 2019. All schools seeking funding for a chaplain in 2020-2022 will need to submit a new application during 2019.

Can a school change its chaplain at any time?

Yes. Funding to schools is tied to the provision of chaplaincy services, not to an individual chaplain.

What happens if a school chooses to discontinue its participation in the NSCP?

If a school chooses to discontinue its participation in the NSCP, it must notify the Department and return unspent funds.

What happens if the school chaplain is no longer available?

A provider must be able to replace a chaplain if the chaplain is unable to remain with the school.

How does a school deal with a complaint about a chaplain?

The school’s complaints/grievance handling processes will apply.

Contact details

For further information contact:

Student Engagement and Interagency Partnerships

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