- Padraic Cawley being presented with a Certificate in recognition of his promotion of the Institute of Civil Funerals (ICoF) by Chairman, Christine Ogden
Another year has nearly slipped by, and again the Institute of Civil Funeral’s (IoCF) annual conference and AGM was held in the beautiful surroundings of Hillscourt Conference Centre just outside Birmingham. This year’s conference was attended by forty delegates from all over the UK and Ireland. As our conference clashed with half term, attendance was down on last year. But hopefully next year’s conference (already booked for Nov 6th 2015) will attract the high numbers like what we had last year.
Our Conference was opened by our Chairperson Christine Ogden, and in her overview of the year just gone, it was noted that the IoCF’s market share had increased year on year. This is due in no small part to the hard work being put in by celebrants in giving their clients a professional, sensitive, and courteous service at all times.
It was noted that a high number of Funeral Directors are now insisting that the civil celebrants they use are registered with the IoCF, who are now the market leader, and were trained with Civil Ceremonies Ltd. (CCL) who are our preferred training partner.
All IoCF celebrants are consistently assessed on the quality of their work. As part of their annual membership, celebrants are required to submit a number of their funeral scripts, so as to ensure that the content and presentation is of the highest standard, and is consistent with membership guidelines. Each celebrant, must, as part of their membership renewal, nominate a crematorium, where a service is monitored for quality of delivery. This assessment also includes areas such as audibility, clarity, dress code, and punctuality.
Bereaved families also can have their say in the quality of service that a celebrant has given. With prior agreement, the IoCF send out feedback forms where a family can, if they wish, return with any comments or suggestions about the celebrant, or the ceremony that was delivered. If a problem arises at this point, which thankfully, are few and far between, a member of council will strive to rectify any issues with a family. These feedback forms are crucial to the IoCF in our quest for improving our professional development, and delivering the highest quality service to bereaved families when they are at their most vulnerable.
The IoCF was established in 2004 with three main aims. To uphold quality and high standards in every funeral service delivered by its members. To provide support, and professional development for those members. To promote civil funeral ceremonies throughout the funeral profession and with the public. Last July we celebrated 10 years in existence, and this milestone was marked with a weekend of celebrations. Here’s to the next decade, and to further growth and awareness that a civil ceremony has to offer.