Standards and Norms of Practice

Background

The practice of hospice palliative care is relatively young. In Canada, it began in the 1970s and has evolved rapidly. The term "hospice palliative care" was coined to recognize the convergence of hospice and palliative care into one movement that has the same principles and norms of practice.

In a consensus-building process led by the Standards Committee of the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association, providers, organizations and consumers joined to share their experiences and develop a clear vision for hospice palliative care that everyone could use. The resulting model represents more than 10 years of collaboration by individuals, committees, associations and governments across Canada and is based on the nationally accepted principles and norms of practice. This document includes the:

  • rationale for a national model, and the process used to develop it
  • definition, values, guiding principles and foundational concepts that form the basis for hospice palliative care
  • frameworks, principles and norms of practice to guide patient/family care, and organizational development and function
  • application of the model to other activities, such as education, quality management, research, policy and funding, and consumer advocacy and marketing.

Everyone is encouraged to use the model to guide all activities related to hospice palliative care, and develop local standards of practice. Ultimately, it is hoped that instead of being seen as "care for the dying," hospice palliative care will be known as "care that aims to relieve suffering and improve quality of life throughout the illness and bereavement experience, so that patients and families can realize their full potential to live even when they are dying".

A new, concise version of the National Norms of Practice is now available. Please click below to download your copy. You can also purchase a hard copy on our Marketplace.

Download the revised edition of the Norms of Practice

The original Model to Guide Hospice Palliative Care is still available, please visit the CHPCA Marketplace to order a copy.

Download A Model to Guide Hospice Palliative Care: Based on National Principles and Norms of Practice (2002)

The Companion Toolkit

This toolkit is not a stand-alone document. It is intended to be used in conjunction with A Model to Guide Hospice Palliative Care: Based on National Principles and Norms of Practice, and makes references to specific pages in the Model throughout this toolkit. The toolkit provides examples of how the Model can be used to guide all aspects of planning and delivering hospice palliative care services. 

We are currently creating an updated version to accompany the 2013 revised National Norms of Practice

Applying a Model to Guide Hospice Palliative Care: An Essential Companion Toolkit for Planners, Policy Makers, Caregivers, Educators, Managers, Administrators and Researchers

Volunteer Norms of Practice

A Task Group has begun to develop a framework to guide the process of developing national best practices for volunteer services in palliative care. The goal is to create a companion document to the CHPCA Model specifically for the Volunteer Component. This document can then be adapted for other clinical and psychosocial care components.

The process to create the best practices will be participatory and consensus based. All hospice palliative care programs in Canada will be receiving an information package from the Task Group in the coming months. This package will include an outline of the guiding framework and details on how to become involved in the process.

The contents of the guiding framework will include:

  • Our perspective on the essential qualities of volunteer practice;
  • Our view of the values, guiding principles and foundational concepts of the CHPCA Model;
  • The competencies we require of volunteers at all levels of practice, from novice to expert;
  • A beginning idea of what best practices and quality mean in the Volunteer Component.

Click here for the draft Model

Hospice Palliative Care Nursing Standards and Certification Development

Orychock and Judy Simpson, led the development of the palliative care nursing standards in April 2001. Maryse Bouvette, Ottawa, led the team who prepared and submitted the proposal in support of certification to the CNA.

These current standards, entitled Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Nursing Standards of Practice, reflect the work of the development team and the recommended revisions of nurses across Canada and the 300 nurses in who met in Victoria. The standards formed the basis of the body of knowledge for the Certification for Palliative Care Nursing with CNA and became the framework for palliative care nursing across the country.

The CNA has awarded palliative care nursing the designation of specialty.

Palliative Care Nursing Standards and Certification Development

The Pan-Canadian Gold Standards in Palliative Home Care: Toward Equitable Access to High Quality Hospice Palliative and End-of-Life Care at Home [subheader]

The gold standards provide the benchmarks for high quality hospice palliative care at home. They are based on the National Principles and Norms of Practice for hospice palliative care, developed by hospice palliative care providers, organizations and consumers through a consensus building process led by the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association.

The gold standards establish the ideal level of care and support that all jurisdictions should strive to provide for people receiving hospice palliative care at home. They are designed to encourage and support a consistent approach across the country to hospice palliative care services at home.

The Pan-Canadian Gold Standards in Palliative Home Care: Toward Equitable Access to High Quality Hospice Palliative and End-of-Life Care at Home

Pediatric Hospice Palliative Care Guiding Principles and Norms of Practice

Children with life threatening conditions and their families have the right to receive hospice palliative care that is planned, coordinated and delivered by formal caregivers who understand how to enhance a child's quality of life. Over the past year, the CHPCA's Canadian Network of Palliative Care for Children (CNPCC) has worked to adapt the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association's (CHPCA) national principles and norms of practice for pediatric care.

Pediatric Hospice Palliative Care Guiding Principles and Norms of Practice

A Provincial Framework for End-of-Life Care