The Funeral Celebrant Accord

Celebrant Accord

The Funeral Celebrant Accord was launched at the National Funeral Exhibition in June 2019.

Created by the Funeral Celebrancy Council (FCC), the Accord was the outcome of much discussion and is the first-ever non-partisan statement on the gold standard in funeral celebrancy. It is designed to guide and protect both celebrants and the bereaved.

Recognising the key, but often overlooked, relationship between funeral director and celebrant, the FCC also created the Funeral Director Checklists which, used together with the Accord, encourage ongoing professional development conversations between funeral directors and celebrants.

The Council looks forward to attending the NFE next year, encouraging both funeral directors and funeral celebrants to share and adopt the Accord and checklists. Straightforward and easy to understand, they are being used widely and to good effect.

Here is a more detailed reminder of what the Accord is about, and answers to some of the questions the Council has been asked since its launch.

What is the Accord?

Look at the Accord here.

The Accord defines the attributes and skills required of an excellent funeral celebrant. It is intended to set the standards that all funeral celebrants should aspire and that clients should expect.

An excellent funeral celebrant:

  1. Is professional
  2. Cares for their clients
  3. Is calm and shows natural leadership
  4. Writes personalised ceremonies
  5. Cares about their self-development

The Accord clarifies the role of a funeral celebrant as being to serve the bereaved and their community by creating and leading a personal, accurate and respectful funeral ceremony. Their work should clearly reflect the life, values and beliefs of the person who has died, give time to their community of family and friends, and create an environment in which the grieving process can take place and be supported.

Why is the Accord helpful for funeral directors?

Funeral celebrants are increasing in number and funeral directors are seeking celebrants who provide a truly excellent service. Celebrants who have adopted the Accord are committed to best practice. If a celebrant has adopted the Accord, this badge will be on their literature and website.

Funeral directors also adopt the Accord and display this badge to indicate that they value quality celebrants, and recommend those celebrants who are committed to excellent service. The SAIF website displays the Celebrant Accord badge.

Who has adopted the Accord?

Both funeral celebrants and funeral directors across the UK have adopted the Accord.

Working with Funeral Celebrants: Points for Excellence

Also available from the Council are helpful checklists for funeral directors, arrangers, and members of the public meeting a celebrant for the first time.

The checklists can be downloaded here.

These offer points to look for in the first meeting with a new celebrant and there is a second checklist for matters after the funeral. Each has ten key points to check. Feedback from funeral directors indicates that funeral arrangers have found these checklists particularly helpful.

What is the Funeral Celebrancy Council?

The Funeral Celebrancy Council works away in the background of the funeral industry, focused on raising the quality of funeral celebrancy and helping with numerous issues affecting funeral celebrants.

The Council representatives are:

  • Civil Ceremonies – Anne Barber and Barbara Pearce
  • Good Funeral Guild – Fran Hall and Isabel Russo
  • Green Fuse – Simon Smith and Jane Morrell
  • Humanists UK – Teddy Prout and Deborah Hooper
  • Institute of Civil Funerals – represented by Sue Holden
  • All independent celebrants and those unrepresented by another FCC representative – Emma Curtis
  • NAFD – David Barrington
  • SAIF – Terry Tennens

What does the Funeral Celebrancy Council do?

The Funeral Celebrancy Council results from established professional associations and training providers within the funeral celebrancy sector working together for the first time.

Funeral celebrants are increasingly becoming the first choice for many bereaved people. More people are choosing to work as funeral celebrants either with or without training, creating a real need for a set of common standards.

Recognising that the funeral ceremony should be a positive part of the grieving process but that the quality of ceremonies varies significantly, the Funeral Celebrancy Council has sought to define best practice so everyone can access the best funeral ceremony possible. During the past year, the Council has created guidelines for celebrants during the pandemic. The Council hopes you decide to adopt the Accord and use the checklists to encourage conversation and best practice. If you have any questions, please get in touch via the contact form on their website.

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