Lead Chaplain

The College of Policing thank Police Chaplaincy UK (registered Charity Number 190186) for their contributions to the development of this Policing Professional Profile.

Job Family Business Support
Job Sub Family Chaplaincy
Code BUS-CHAP-SL-Lead Chaplain v1.00

Role Purpose

Lead Chaplains embed themselves within the police service to provide appropriate impartial, confidential, spiritual and pastoral support to officers and staff, regardless of their faith or belief. Lead Chaplains manage and coordinate teams of Volunteer Chaplains.

Lead Chaplains provide strategic support, including ethical advice and guidance to the service, informing policies and practices, and being available as a resource in operational situations. Lead Chaplains build relationships of acceptance, friendship, and trust with officers, staff and communities by listening to their needs and offering a source of wellbeing support and advice. Lead Chaplains have a distinctive role to inform, promote and support all protected characteristics, particularly that of faith and belief within the Equality and Diversity framework.

Key Accountabilities

  • Build effective relationships with police officers and staff of all faiths and none in order to foster acceptance and trust to be able to offer support to teams and individuals.


  • Develop and maintain an understanding of national and local policing priorities and operational pressures in order to provide timely and appropriate pastoral support to police officers and staff.


  • Provide impartial and confidential (where appropriate) pastoral support, in line with equality and diversity legislation, force policies and procedures to police officers, staff and their families in order to support wellbeing.


  • Provide strategic sensitive leadership in providing appropriate corporate ritual and religious ceremonies in order to respond to organisational and individual needs especially at times of crisis and trauma.


  • Manage and coordinate a chaplaincy response to major and critical incidents, in order to provide an operational resource and, pastoral support to police officers and staff.


  • Liaise and work collaboratively with local resilience forums, external faith organisations and groups in response to major and critical incidents to support all those involved and to assist community recovery.


  • Work in partnership with others to develop strategies for managing wellbeing, and where appropriate spiritual support in order to provide effective pastoral care to the workforce.


  • Manage gathering, recording, reviewing, retaining and disposing of information in compliance with legislation, codes of practice, and national and local policies and procedures.


  • Recruit and manage a multi-faith chaplaincy team of volunteers that support force and chaplaincy objectives.


  • Lead, manage and coordinate volunteer chaplains in line with force/organisational priorities, providing a relevant and appropriate allocation of resources effectively in order to meet demand and maximise efficiency.


  • Develop and maintain a range of professional networks within force and the wider community, including establishing effective working relationships with senior personnel and key partners. In order to inform and influence relevant policies, procedures and reporting in line with up to date and evidence based practice for wellbeing matters.


  • Gather relevant resources from agencies, faith and community groups, staff associations, and staff support networks, to signpost as sources of pastoral care and operational support to individuals and teams.


  • Promote the wellbeing and pastoral support available through police chaplains to all police officers and staff to ensure awareness and understanding of help available in times of personal need.


  • Advise and engage with force senior management teams and colleagues by offering advice and guidance on ethical, moral and faith related issues and by acting as a critical friend to inform the design and impact of policies, procedures and practice where appropriate.


  • Maintain their own professional development and compliance with legislation and codes of practice to ensure standards are met.


All roles are expected to know, understand and act within the ethics and values of the Police Service.

The Competency and Values Framework (CVF) has six competencies that are clustered into three groups. Under each competency are three levels that show what behaviours will look like in practice.

It is suggested that this role should be operating or working towards the following levels of the CVF:

Resolute, compassionate and committed

Inclusive, enabling and visionary leadership

Intelligent, creative and informed policing

Education, Qualifications, Skills and Experience

Prior education and experience

  • Educated to degree level (level 6) in Theology or equivalent relevant qualification.


  • Significant experience of leadership within a faith or belief organisation.


  • Significant experience of working with people in a caring role.


  • Strategic leadership experience and a management of a large team.



  • Skilled in engaging a diverse range of stakeholders, to build relationships that are based on trust, to work collaboratively to best utilise a diverse range of skill sets.


  • Able to use a range of communication and influencing techniques and methods to successfully negotiate, collaborate and/or effect change.


  • Caring with an ability to remain calm and understanding of pressures and needs on individual under pressure, personally or professionally.


  • Able to plan to medium and long term cycles, to coordinate a complex range of activities, to identify the financial, people and materials resourcing requirements, to identify and act on dependencies with other parts of the Force and to identify and mitigate known risks to delivery.


  • Able to suggest and influence strategic organisational change that reshapes the service or function, to deliver appropriate responses to emerging trends and issues.


  • Skilled in setting function, team and individual objectives, assessing progress, identifying emerging risks, issues and opportunities, and taking corrective steps as required to ensure that the right results are achieved.


  • Able to lead, develop and motivate a diverse team; creating strong engagement with the function’s performance objectives and with Force values and behaviours.


  • Able to hold individuals to account for their performance and behaviours.


  • Able to seek out and identify a range of information to identify patterns, trends and options, to inform your professional practice and engagement.


  • Able to secure appropriate funding and resources to deliver an effective chaplaincy provision.


  • Utilise commercial acumen to make risk-based decisions that deliver effective outcomes within the resources allocated.


  • Able to identify potential applications of new or improved technologies related to providing chaplaincy support to enable improved working practices and force performance.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

  • Maintain an understanding of force priorities and external factors that may influence these.


  • Maintain and share knowledge and understanding of the Policing Wellbeing Agenda and supporting resources.


  • Maintain and share knowledge and understanding of best practice and any national and local policy applicable to the chaplaincy context.


  • Maintain active link with Police Chaplaincy UK.


  • Maintain knowledge and understanding of new approaches and resources identified by evidence based chaplaincy and wellbeing research and synthesise these into working practice.


  • Complete all required and mandatory training, including safeguarding.


  • Keep up to date with guidance and good practice on equality and diversity, health, safety and wellbeing.

Professional Registration/Licenses

Be authorised and if appropriate duly licensed by their own faith tradition/sending authority to undertake and to maintain the chaplaincy role.

Links to other Profiles

  • Volunteer Chaplain
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