From education to employment

Funeral team member

Reference Number: ST0594

Details of standard

Funeral team members are the first point of contact for the business so must create a good first impression, put clients at ease, take information, answer questions or find answers, building good client relationships and confidence while upholding the image of the business. Funeral team members make a positive difference to their clients at a challenging, emotional time and contact with the deceased is a key aspect of any role within this industry. Working with people, feeling passionate about supporting and assisting clients is a rewarding and worthwhile job that provides excellent career opportunities. Funeral team members will specialise in one of two roles. A FuneralArranger – Supports the funeral director by arranging funerals and pre-payment plans, handling customer enquiries, sales and after care either on or off site. Administration and payment reconciliation is a part of this job role. A Funeral Operative – Plays an active role in assisting the funeral director on funerals, cleaning and driving a variety of vehicles, bringing the deceased into care, preparing the deceased and coffins and supporting client visits. Operatives will participate in an out-of-hours service.

Entry Entry requirements are to display the personal attributes and values listed below. Funeral operatives must be in possession of a valid driving licence.
Duration The duration for this apprenticeship is typically 12 months
Level This apprenticeship standard is set at level 2
Qualification Apprentices without level 1 English and maths will need to achieve level 1 and take the test for level 2 English and maths prior to taking the end-point assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement the apprenticeships English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3 and British Sign Language qualifications are an alternative to English qualifications for whom this is their primary language.
Review This standard will be reviewed after three years

The following are the personal attributes and values expected of all funeral team members carrying out their roles; Dignity, respect, sensitivity, empathy, professionalism, caring, adaptability, flexibility, resilience, integrity.  All funeral team members must have the following core funeral knowledge, skills and behaviours

  Knowledge and Understanding (Know it) Skills (Show it) Behaviours (Live it)


How to communicate with clients during the various stages of the grieving process. Specific client communication needs, for example, dementia, language, cultural diversity.

Use appropriate methods of communication including non- verbal, verbal, written and social media.  Use clear language in all communication, verbal and written, seeking help when it is required.

Confidently interact with clients adapting to the needs of the individual during the grieving process. Communicate politely at all times. Show respect when communicating with all clients and third parties.

Client types, how to identify their needs and preferred methods of communication. The importance of meeting client’s needs and requests, whilst working in line with the products and services offered by the business. Use clear, relevant and empathetic communication to establish clients’ needs and satisfy their requirements. Deliver excellent service during all interactions, including phone, face-to-face, electronic and postal communications. Communicate clearly and with empathy at all times.
How to obtain and handle client feedback both positive and negative, the information required from clients to resolve an issue and when to ask for help. Apply business policies and procedures to handle client concerns, complaints and compliments. Deal with client feedback within the limits of your own authority, sharing positive comments, escalating negative comments and finding solutions where possible. Professionally and calmly, work with clients to resolve concerns, complaints and use compliments effectively in the funeral business.
Reputation How to protect the business reputation based on values, vision, aims and behaviours. The importance of maintaining a good reputation with clients, competitors and within the local area. Operate within the business values when dealing with clients and team members in all daily activities.  Support the reputation of the business by providing a professional service to clients, knowledgeable of how it compares to competitors.
Client types and the local community demographic. The benefit to yourself and the business of forming professional relationships. The acceptable boundaries of professional relationships. Engage in professional relationships with clients, communities and other stakeholders in order to help build a positive public reputation. Report any instance where the reputation of the business could be / has been damaged. Treat all clients and colleagues with respect and work positively within the local community.
How technology, including social media is used in the business and how it contributes to the business reputation. Use technology including social media in line with business requirements. Actively promote the reputation of the business by using social media and business technology tools responsibly.
Team How to support and influence the team positively, recognising how all colleagues and teams are dependent on each other to meet business objectives. Support team members to ensure that the services provided are of a high quality, delivered on time and as required. Be conscious of the impact of personal behaviours on the team by a consistent, positive and professional approach.
Different types of teams, third party team members and stakeholders within the wider team and how strengths and weaknesses affect team dynamics Adapt positively to all types of team leaders, team members and different types of team within the business in which you work. Consistently exhibit respect and work positively with team leaders and team.
Legal and Governance The legislative requirements, duties and responsibilities of the business. The policies and procedures of the business regarding the deceased when they are in own premises or third party locations, identification, release of ashes, personal effects, notifiable diseases and specialist services. Comply with legal and business requirements whilst conducting all services. Follow business policies and procedures relating to third party locations of the deceased, identification, release of ashes, personal effects, notifiable diseases and specialistservices.

Operate in an honest and trustworthy way demonstrating integrity in all duties respecting the dignity of the deceased at all times.


Development and performance  

How personal development and performance contributes to success of the business. How to identify personal goals and development opportunities and the support / resources available to achieve these. Different learning styles. Take ownership for own learning development and performance. Carry out personal development activities. Identify your own learning styles. Reflect on own ways of working and with support from your line manager, actively create and implement a personal development plan.
Products and services The full range and unique selling points of products and services offered by the business. Where to find information regarding specialist products and services for example exhumation, repatriation and burial at sea. Take a proactive approach to providing clients with product and service information within your area of responsibility. Offer information and assistance with specialist services and products. Promote the products and services offered by the business. Consistently work to personalise the funeral to the needs of the deceased, client, family, and friends.


Funeral arrangers must complete all of the following specialist functions


  Knowledge and Understanding (Know it) Skills (Show it) Behaviours (Live it)

The businesses’ process for the care of the deceased. The third parties involved and the role they play in delivering client needs. How to plan/arrange a funeral according to client’s needs within legislative boundaries and local constraints, rules and regulations.

The importance of accurate calculation and completion of the client contract and the implications to the business if not completed properly.

Arrange, plan and assist in visits to the deceased, ensuring client’s needs are respected at all times. Arrange at need or pre need funerals according to clients requirements, maintaining accurate records of all products and services ordered. Complete, discuss and agree client contracts efficiently and according to business guidelines. Gather and collate feedback from clients using the businesses approved systems and communication methods.

Confidently communicate with clients and third party service representatives with understanding, empathy and integrity. Use own initiative when carrying out arrangingactivities.

Administration / Finance The principles of operating commercially in a competitive industry. The business administration / finance systems and how invoices are created. Access and use systems accurately, efficiently and within legislation requirements. Maintain precise records of all products and services purchased by clients. Ensure the timely receipt of payments and finance agreements.

Consistently prioritise and arrange financial records and client accounts.

Consistently review information and clerical processes for errors and make corrections before finalising administration / financial duties.


Funeral Operatives must complete all of the following functions

  Knowledge and Understanding (Know it) Skills (Show it) Behaviours (Live it)
Maintain and drive vehicles The legal and business requirements for driving, maintaining and cleaning vehicles for example reporting damage. The importance of knowing routes and planning contingency routes before setting off, keeping up-to-date and checking local disruptions to routes in advance. Follow relevant legislation, codes of practice and business standards for driving, maintaining and cleaning business vehicles. Use pre-arranged routes when driving business vehicles during funeral services and alternative routes when necessary reporting issues with routes to the appropriate person. Show pride in maintaining and cleaning business vehicles. Remain calm and drive responsibly at all times.
Care of the Deceased How to handle, remove and move the deceased while maintaining dignity and respect. The environments, the equipment used and the importance of completing dynamic risk assessments to move the deceased. When and how to request additional support when carrying out the transfer of the deceased. How to prepare and present the coffin and the deceased.

Transfer the deceased using correct techniques and maintaining client and business requirements. Assist in the preparation and presentation of the coffin and the deceased.

Be respectful of the deceased at all times.
Funeral Pre-funeral checking procedures and your role for the ‘day of the funeral’ service. How to bear coffins or use appropriate equipment safely, professionally and in varying environments with dignity and respect. How to identify and handle potential incidents and when to escalate to an appropriate person. Attend funeral briefings and use information to assist in the delivery of the funeral. Handle coffins and floral tributes safely and respectfully at all times. Carry out allocated duties with dignity and respect to ensure the smooth running of the funeral. Actively and competently, participate in the smooth running of the funeral service. Remain calm and respectful in different situations and help colleagues to do the same.

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