ACPE Certified Educators are responsible to their students, colleagues, ACPE, the institutions and communities they serve, and themselves for the ongoing maintenance and further development of the competencies recognized essential for quality supervision and clinical practice.

The ACPE Peer Review process is designed to assist Certified Educators in that process by providing a regular platform for collegial and reflective review of the Educator’s practice, professional development, and self-care. It is designed to stimulate personal and professional growth, encourage best practices, and resolve dilemmas.

At its best, peer review is to be a dialogical process and consultation that assists both the Certified Educator being reviewed, and the other participants, achieve excellence in their respective practices. It is a process that is both nurturing and supportive, yet sharply focused and challenging, providing a dynamic dialogue through which the educator and the Peer Review Team discover news ways of being, knowing, and doing in the mutuality of their engagement.


ACPE Standards require all Certified Educators to participate in a peer review once every three years. The date of next review is determined by the year a person was certified if certification occurred in 2015 or later, or by the year of the last documented peer review for persons certified prior to 2015.

Peer Review is administered by the three ACPE Directors of Community, Practice, and Member Development (DCPM).


The ACPE office will maintain a database that will identify when each Certified Educator is due for review and will notify those due for peer review in a given calendar year in mid-December/early January. This list of persons due for review in the calendar year will also be provided to the ACPE DCPMs. The DCPMs will then contact the Certified Educators by January 31 to consult about the formation of the Peer Review Team and establish a review date.

All Peer Reviews are to be completed before October 31. The remaining two months are to be used only when extenuating circumstances develop that dictate postponement of a previously scheduled review. Extensions must be approved by the ACPE DCPMs. An extension does not change the timeframe for future Peer Reviews.

If an educator does not schedule their peer review and is not granted an extension, they will be referred to the Certification Commission for further action, which may include a suspension of the educator’s credentials.

Composition of the Review Team

The composition of the team will be three or more members.

  • Certified Educators doing Level I/Level II CPE must have at least two ACPE Certified Educators and one spiritual care professional practitioner relevant to their setting. They are encouraged to also have a representative of their faith group or endorsing body.
  • Certified Educators doing Certified Educator CPE (National Faculty) must have at least two ACPE Certified Educators, at least one of whom must also be National Faculty. They are encouraged to also include a spiritual care professional practitioner and/or a representative of their faith group or endorsing body.
  • Reviewers need to be persons respected by the Certified Educator as persons with whom they can be vulnerable, although not necessarily of the same point of view, to provide both challenging and supportive feedback. Consideration for diversity (racial, ethnic, religious and gender) should be given in the selection.
  • Reviewers may be personally present or participate in the review via video-conferencing.

In forming the Peer Review Team, Certified Educators should take care to choose peers with whom they are comfortable, yet not too comfortable, and who will be able to create a safe environment in which real, open, and honest dialogue can take place, offering appropriate challenge to the Certified Educator.

In cases where there are questions about the composition of the team, the DCPM will engage in further dialogue with the Certified Educator to ensure that the Peer Review will be successful.

Certified Educators are responsible for providing all their materials to all Peer Review Team members no less than 14 calendar days prior to the review date.

At the discretion of the Peer Review Team, the review may be postponed if essential written materials have not been submitted on time or if materials are of a substandard quality.

The Review

Preservation of one’s status as a Certified Educator with ACPE requires adherence to the Requirements for Maintaining ACPE Certified Educator Credentials. Materials for the peer review and the peer review itself are to give consideration to each of its 10 subsections:

  1. adhering to the ACPE Code of Professional Ethics as attested to by one’s professional peers and constituents through on-going program review.
  2. completing and documenting 50 hours minimum of continuing education and spiritual development annually.
  3. supervising students in an ACPE accredited program at least once every three years or participating in other CPE-related educational activities.
  4. maintaining faith group endorsement.
  5. maintaining ACPE membership in good standing.
  6. participating in peer review at least every three years.
  7. following ACPE standards, processes and practices including, but not limited to, timely and professional submission of all required program reports, center reviews, fees, and dues.
  8. maintaining appropriate educator/student ratio.
  9. demonstrating ongoing written and verbal communication skills that are articulate, professional, and cohesive.
  10. demonstrating cultural humility and multicultural competence.

Material to be Provided to the Review Team

The Certified Educator is to provide the Peer Review Team with the following:

  1. A completed cover sheet with check-off confirmation that the ACPE Accountability for Ethical Conduct form has been signed annually, that a minimum of 50 hours of continuing education have been done annually, and that the person being reviewed is in good standing with ACPE vis-à-vis maintenance of faith group endorsement and payment of dues.
  2. A copy of the report from their last peer review or committee appearance.
  3. A current listing of all centers served and units of CPE completed since last peer review/certification.
  4. Written material (See Suggestions for the Preparation of Written Materials)
    1. that addresses each of the 10 areas in the Requirements for Maintaining ACPE Certified Educator Credentials
    2. that addresses one’s professional development as it relates to theory and practice
    3. that addresses how any recommendations or suggestions from a previous peer review or certification appearance have been addressed
    4. that addresses the Communities of Practice or ACPE Leadership activities in which you are participating
  5. A Clinical Vignette of work with individual student(s) or groups at the level of CPE the Educator is currently supervising that demonstrates ongoing competence in supervisory practice and the ability to self-supervise and/or allows for in-depth consultation with the peer review team. The clinical vignette can be:
    1. A video with a duration of 15 minutes or longer, with appropriate written consent from any participants, accompanied by a brief written material that outlines Educator interventions and the supporting theory.
    2. A verbatim.
    3. A 2-3 page self-evaluation of work with an individual student or group
    4. A 2-3 page self-evaluation based on the feedback received from all CPE students supervised in the previous three years (Attach copies of student feedback from their final self-evaluations)
    5. Another creative means of demonstrating function and ability to self-supervise that is approved in advance by the Peer Review Team.

Certified Educators may at their discretion provide additional material that addresses personal or workplace concerns around which they would wish consultation or support. They may also collect evaluative information from students, colleagues, and peers to share with the Team.

Suggested Minimum Time frame

  1. 1.5 hours face-to-face with Certified Educators doing Level I & II CPE plus 45 minutes for report preparation and sharing of results.
  2. 2.0 hours face-to-face with Certified Educators supervising Certified Educator Candidates plus 45 minutes for report preparation and sharing of results.

These time frames may be expanded at the discretion of the Peer Review Team and the Educator being reviewed. The intention is to have adequate time to engage the materials and concerns presented.

The Review Process

After forming the review team and prior to the review date, team members are to determine who of them will function as Convener and who will function as Recorder. (The Convener will be responsible for process and time management. The Recorder will be responsible for keeping notes on what transpires to assist in the preparation of the team report.)

At the time of the review, the team will initially meet briefly together without the Certified Educator present for team building and clarification around any plan of action they wish to have or specific concerns they wish to address.

The team will then invite the Certified Educator to join them as they structure the time for their engagement together and dialogue about the pertinent issues as required by the above guidelines, issues introduced at the discretion of the Certified Educator, and the issues the team identified during their preparation.

Ten (10) minutes prior to the end of the agreed upon time frame, the Convener will give notice and move the review toward closure.

At the conclusion of the review, the Certified Educator and the Peer Review Team will decide together whether the Educator will remain in the room and share in the process of the development of the draft report or if they will leave the meeting while the team does so, then returning to hear the result. The written report will note any areas of suggested growth along with a plan of action to address it.

In the spirit of collegiality and professional integrity it is desirable that if there are significant issues regarding any item of Standard 413 either by the Peer Review Team or by the Educator being reviewed that they be resolved during the peer review meeting. If achieving resolution is not possible, the Convener of the Peer Review Team contacts the assigned ACPE DCPM who will either serve as a mediator or appoint someone for this role. If the concerns of the Team are not resolved, a referral will be made to the appropriate Commission for further action.

Documentation and Records

Peer Review materials will be handled as follows:

  • Peer Review Report Form: The Peer Review Team Recorder will forward a copy of the Peer Review Team Report to the Certified Educator within two weeks after the completion of the review. The Certified Educator will have two weeks to negotiate changes and/or attach a response. At that point the Certified Educator will send a copy of the report to the assigned Peer Review Committee Member and upload the report to their personal ACPE portfolio where it will remain until they are no longer functioning a as an ACPE Certified Educator.
  • Certified Educator Reflection about the Review: The Certified Educator will forward a copy of the Peer Review Reflection Form to the ACPE DCPM assigned to the Review. The review will be considered incomplete until both forms are returned.
  • All other Material: All other material will normally be returned to the Certified Educator reviewed at the time of the review. The Certified Educator will be responsible to adding this material to his/her personal ACPE portfolio where it is to remain until the person’s next peer review, at which time it is to be purged from the portfolio. As ACPE is in the process of developing a SharePoint document management and storage system that will provide all Certified Educators with space for their personal portfolios, material from any peer reviews completed prior to the implementation of that platform should be kept by the Certified Educator until such time as it can be uploaded.

As indicated above, in the case where resolution is not achieved, the materials will be kept for referral to the appropriate ACPE Commission.

Click here for a downloadable PDF copy of the Peer Review Instructions and Forms.

Click here for a downloadable MS Word copy of just the Peer Review Forms.