Program guidelines

2016 -2018 application closed in 2015. The guidelines for the  2016 – 2018 program are below.

These guidelines should be read in conjunction with the following sections:

Chaplain minimum requirements

School chaplains appointed under the National School Chaplaincy Programme (NSCP) must meet the conditions of the Programme which are set out in the Agreement with the Commonwealth. These are:

  • participation by schools and students is voluntary
  • chaplains may be from any faith
  • chaplains must:
    • not proselytise
    • respect, accept and be sensitive to other people’s views, values and beliefs
    • comply with the Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012 (NSW) and all related laws concerning child protection and
    • meet the NSCP’s minimum qualification requirements.

The minimum qualification requirements for a chaplain are either a Certificate IV in Youth Work or Pastoral Care, or an equivalent qualification. The qualification must include competencies (or equivalent) in ‘mental health’ and ‘making appropriate referrals’.

In addition to meeting the NSCP’s minimum qualification requirements, a chaplain for the purposes of the NSCP is an individual who is recognised:

  • by the school community and the appropriate governing authority for the school as having the skills and experience to deliver school chaplaincy to the school community
  • through formal ordination, commissioning, recognised religious qualifications or endorsement by a recognised or accepted religious institution.

A title other than chaplain may be used, if the title is appropriate to the religious affiliation of the individual.

Endorsement of a chaplain by a recognised religious institution can be undertaken at a local level (e.g. a local church that is part of a larger entity), where appropriate.

Conduct of chaplains

Chaplains must comply with all relevant legal and policy requirements when operating in NSW schools. This includes meeting child protection and reporting obligations, as well as complying with sector and school policies, such as privacy, complaints and information management policies.

If you have any questions about Programme requirements please forward them by email to

Application Process for 2016 - 2018

Each sector assessed its school applications and forwarded their proposed list of participating schools to the NSW Committee for the National School Chaplaincy Programme. The Committee made recommendations to the Minister for Education about schools’ participation in the Programme and funding allocations.

Each sector managed its own assessment process, including developing sector-specific application forms and setting sector-specific opening and closing dates for applications. Following the application process, schools were informed in Term 4, 2015 whether they were being recommended for funding for 2016 – 2018. A school’s participation was confirmed following Commonwealth endorsement of the NSW list of schools.

If you have any questions about Programme requirements please forward them by email to

Funding arrangements

The NSW Department of Education, through funding agreements, provides funding to the sectors for allocation to individual schools.

Successful schools are eligible for up to $20,000 annually, plus an additional $4,000 if the school is in a remote location, as defined by the 2011 version of the Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia Plus (ARIA+), developed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The level of individual school funding was determined by the relevant sector authority, and was a pro-rata amount based on the hours of chaplaincy services provided. Schools receiving maximum funding ware expected to provide the maximum 400 hours of chaplaincy services per annum.

Multi-campus schools were eligible to receive funding for up to a maximum of three chaplains across all campuses. However the campuses needed to be geographically separated and have had separate Commonwealth campus numbers. The number of chaplains must not have exceeded the number of campuses. Each campus was required to submit its own application and each application was separately assessed by the sector authority.

Twenty percent of funding may be set aside for administration costs associated with the NSCP.

As a condition of funding, successful schools are required to participate in reporting and evaluation activities required under the Project Agreement, as requested by the sector authority. A minimum requirement is for schools to:

  • confirm that a chaplain is attached to each participating school
  • provide a report on the number of funded Programme hours received over the course of the year
  • provide a financial acquittal at the end of the school year.

Contact details

For further information contact:

Student Engagement and Interagency Partnerships

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