National Guidelines for Spiritual Care in Aged Care

Welcome to the National Guidelines for Spiritual Care in Aged Care Project – an Australian first.

The development of National Guidelines for Spiritual Care in Aged Care is a partnership between Pastoral and Spiritual Care for Older People (PASCOP), Spiritual Health Victoria (SHV) and the project is managed by the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI).

You are invited to provide feedback on two key aspects of the Guidelines that are now available:
• The Guidelines ‘table of contents’ showing the overall structure
• The five domains that outline good practice in spiritual care
• The reference list is available for your information, however it is not necessary to review this for the survey

There are two ways to provide feedback by 1 April 2016:
• Complete the survey using the link below and/or
• Sending a written submission – see below

Help us develop the National Guidelines for Spiritual Care in Aged Care by doing the survey

Click here to take the survey

Table of Contents

Click here to see

Domains of Spiritual Care

Click here to see


Click here to see

Information for written submissions
• Written submissions are entirely optional
• Final date for submissions is 1 April 2016
• Include details of the submitter: name, organisation, address, telephone and mobile numbers and email.
• Focus specifically on providing feedback on the document provided
• Be concise and include a brief rationale for suggested changes and where possible, include references.
• MS Word format is the preferred format for electronic submissions
• Receipt of submissions will be acknowledged, but individual responses to submissions is not possible

Preferred method of submission – email: Elizabeth Pringle at

Or mail to:
Ms Elizabeth Pringle
Improvement Matters Pty Ltd
PO Box 181

Guidelines development process
A consultation process was held to understand the views of older people and their carers/representatives, staff, managers, volunteers and other interested parties. Consultation processes included interviews, focus groups and an industry-wide survey.

A literature review has been conducted to identify good practices in spiritual care. The literature considered included a range of areas related to ageing and spirituality such as spiritual assessment, spiritual activities and interventions, staffing and organisational structures, spiritual care, spiritual needs, spiritual distress, spiritual well-being, pastoral care, dignity, ethics, connectedness, barriers, enablers, diversity and inclusivity.

Guidelines were drafted and reviewed in three rounds by an Expert Advisory Panel of 30 people including consumer representatives, aged care providers and senior staff, spiritual care practitioners; and authors, academics and researchers with expertise in ageing and spirituality. The Panel provided valuable feedback and affirmed the Guidelines reflect good practice in spiritual care.

The Guidelines will be piloted early in 2016 and a completed version will be available from July 2016 on the PASCOP website.