The Federation has a policy of visiting crematoria operated by its members dating back to the 1960’s. The aim has been to promote high standards of service provision, check that statutory requirements relating to the cremation process are being met and over advice.
In 2018 the Federation carried out an in-depth service review, including a survey of its membership. Based on the survey results the visits programme is in the process of being updated and developed into the Crematorium Compliance Inspection Scheme.
However, the purpose remains the same, to promote high standards of service provision, check that statutory requirements relating to the cremation process are being met and over advice. In addition to provide transparency the results of the inspection are published on the Federation website to empower local communities and recognise service excellence.
In line with the survey results it has been agreed that all 290 crematoria, in Federation membership, across the UK will be inspected once every 5 years.
The inspections are undertaken by two Interim Crematorium Inspectors who have been appointed by the Federation and have extensive management experience of crematoria.
The Crematorium Inspector asks a series of questions and observes the operation of the facility to be able to reassure the Cremation Authority that its facility is operating in compliance with 3 key requirements:
The Cremation Regulations 2009, relating to statutory documentation;
The Defra Process Guidance notes 4/12, relating to cremation;
The Code of Cremation Practice, relating to all aspects of the service.
In addition, the Crematorium Inspector will also note any areas where, in his opinion, changes could improve the service for the benefit of the bereaved.
The inspection scheme is designed to cover all aspects of the cremation service from initial administration through to memorialisation. It is split in to 6 sections:
1. Cremation administration
2. Ceremony facilities
3. Cremation facilities
4. Crematorium grounds and memorialisation
5. Services and staff
6. Premises and facilities
As the Federation represents the owners of crematoria, permission is first sought for the inspection from the local authority Chief Executive or Company Director.
The request is then normally passed to the manager responsible so that the necessary arrangements for the inspection can be agreed with the Federation's administrative team.
The administrative team will require copies of the crematoriums operating permit, most recent annual emissions test results and the Crematorium Technicians Certificates of Proficiency.
A convenient date for the inspection will then be agreed, on a normal working day, in order that operational processes can be observed.
The Crematorium Inspector will phone in advance to introduce himself and agree a time to arrive on site. The inspection will take approximately 3 - 5 hours to complete and will involve visiting all areas of the facility. The Crematorium Inspector will request to see 10 sets of randomly selected cremation documentation and meet individual members of staff to discuss the operation of the facility.
Following the inspection, the Crematorium Inspector will prepare a report based on his findings and forward this direct to the Federation Secretary.
The report of the Crematorium Inspector will be sent by the Federation Secretary to the Chief Executive or Company Director setting out the results of the inspection in each of the 6 areas.
Depending upon the results of the report, the crematorium will be considered compliant, partially compliant or non-compliant. Non-compliance will require another inspection earlier than the 5 years.
Crematoriums will have 14 days to respond to the report and raise any queries.
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