IoCF Conditions of Membership
1 QUALITY CONTROL
1.1 Submission of Funeral Booking Information
As the Institute keeps statistical records members are required to submit the number of funeral bookings they take on a yearly basis. These are to be received by the Institute by the end of April each year. The Summary Form can be found on the IoCF website in the members’ area.
1.2 Family Feedback
The Institute provides all families with the opportunity to provide feedback for every funeral taken by an IoCF member.
Feedback postcards should be offered to the client directing them to the various ways feedback can be provided. The postcards are suitable for clients and funeral professionals and should be used as often as possible. Further supplies of the postcards are available for free and can be requested from our administrators at - firstname.lastname@example.org.
All feedback responses will be read and emailed to the member.
1.3 Submission of Ceremony scripts
The IoCF will occasionally request presentation scripts from new members to help maintain the standard. If the randomly selected script is not one for which you have written the tribute, please supply the immediately preceding one for which you have written the tribute.
1.4 Annual Assessment
Members are required to undergo an annual professional assessment. One funeral must be observed by an Institute approved assessor. Assessors may be a crematorium or cemetery manager, funeral director or other suitably trained and professional person or a council member. Members are also required to undertake at least 10 hours of CPD (see CPD documents) annually.
1.5 Code of Practice
The IoCF Code of Practice will be adhered to at all times.
2 FEES AND CHARGES
Members are advised to follow IoCF guidelines on fees and charges for funerals and to provide civil funerals at a cost acceptable to the market.
2.2 Collection of fees
Members are required to establish whether the funeral director is to collect the fees or they are to be collected from the family directly and in all cases a written invoice will be issued with clear instructions as to whom payment should be made.
2.3 Baby and Child Funerals
The Institute believes that, along with general funeral industry norms, it is good practice for members not to charge a fee for baby and child funerals but it is perfectly acceptable to recover expenses incurred.
In accordance with the Complaints Procedure any adverse comments or complaints received, either via feedback forms or directly, will be reviewed by a council member. The council member will review the complaint, speaking to the complainant, the FD or crem staff if applicable and also with other members of the council of management if it is deemed necessary. After reviewing the details the council member will report their findings direct to the complainant and the relevant member.
The council will make a decision on appropriate action following detailed discussion at the meeting. Actions arising could include the following:
a) a decision could be reached that the member is in breach of the Code of Practice and the Conditions of IoCF membership. Depending on the severity of the breach, action may be taken ranging from a letter of warning to the member to revoking of membership, at the discretion of the council. A suitable response outlining the action taken will be sent to the complainant.
b) If the council finds that there has been no breach of the Code of Conduct or Terms and Conditions then a suitable reply to this effect will be sent to the complainant.
Members are bound by the decision of the Council of Management. The council will not consider complaints over 12 months after the date of the funeral.
4 TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP
4.1 Badge and certificate
If a membership is terminated either by the Council of Management or by the member not renewing their membership the member's badge and certificates MUST in all cases be returned to the IoCF administrators within 28 days of expiry of membership.
- SABBATICAL MEMBERSHIP
Members may request a period of sabbatical from full membership if for any reason they will not be undertaking any work as a celebrant but expect to return in the future. Sabbatical membership may last for one year after which time the member will be expected to re-join as a full paying member or leave. A continuing membership fee of £50 for the year will be charged. Sabbatical members will continue to receive MailChimp newsletters and be eligible to attend IoCF events (either in person or via a webinar). Sabbatical members will not be covered by IoCF insurance, have access to the members’ area of the website or be entitled to wear the gold badge. Sabbatical members wishing to return as full members within the two-year period will automatically be accepted. Requests to return to full membership after this time will be treated as new joiners and, therefore, in line with the IoCF application process for established celebrants.
6 GENERAL GUIDELINES
Civil funerals can be held in any suitable location such as crematoria and burial grounds. The ceremony can be held in a home, a funeral parlour or any other suitable location and the member will not refuse to conduct a ceremony in any location requested by a client if the request is reasonable and satisfies all relevant legislation.
6.2 Information and choice
Members will always offer clients as much choice as possible for the ceremony and agree to client’s wishes unless the request would be considered totally unsuitable for a funeral.
6.3 Acceptance of ceremony content supplied by clients
The member will not refuse to read religious or spiritual material but members have the right to veto any material supplied by the client that could be considered offensive, is contrary to current legislation or is generally unsuitable matter for a funeral.
6.4 Use of IoCF logo
Members should wear their name badge at all times when visiting families or conducting ceremonies. The IoCF logo may be placed on member’s own literature. Persons other than members, such as companies or organisations who might also employ the member, cannot use the logo.
6.5 Civil funerals requested by those still living
It is acceptable for members to agree to requests by those still living to carry out the preparation work for a civil funeral, prepare a full ceremony including personal tribute and to charge a fee for this service that reflects the work involved. It is strongly suggested that the following guidelines are followed:
Guidelines for civil funeral preparation for those still living
- Members should advise clients that they cannot guarantee that they will be able to conduct the funeral at the time.
- Members must make clients aware that it is their responsibility to retain the finished ceremony in a safe place and to inform their relatives of its existence and their wishes.
- Members should agree to prepare a limited number of drafts, so the process does not become indefinite. Clients can of course amend the final copy provided by the celebrant.
- The current recommended fee for this service is £125.
- Members MUST ensure that they leave with the client the contact details for the Institute of Civil Funerals, so that another celebrant can be asked to conduct the ceremony in the event of the member not being available at the eventual time of the funeral.
- Please see below for the procedural steps to take if undertaking this requirement.
Procedural steps for civil funerals requested by those still living
- Raise invoice and give to the person requesting the service. (Recommended fee - £125).
- Prepare draft script.
- Agree script with client.
- Complete the relevant GDPR consent forms for the clients and NOK.
- Email a copy of the script to the Institute.
Updated December 2021 - Version 04