The Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities represents approximately 85% of all cremation authorities in the United Kingdom. Membership of the Federation is open to all burial and cremation authorities and is the only organisation dedicated to representing and furthering the interests of burial and cremation authorities, remaining answerable only to its member authorities. Membership of the Federation consists of three classes as follows: Members are Burial and/or Cremation Authorities presently operating cemeteries and/or crematoria; Associate Members are prospective Burial and/or Cremation Authorities who, once admitted to the Federation, can obtain the same technical assistance as those in full membership; Affiliate Members – this class of membership is open to organisations which are involved in the provision of services to burial and cremation authorities.
The Executive Committee comprises of up to eighteen members who are nominated for election by individual member authorities. The President and Deputy President of the Federation are elected from the Executive Committee on an annual basis. Three meetings of the committee are held each year to discuss policy issues. The Federation also has a number of suitably experienced Technical Officers who are able to consider and advise on matters of construction, design and operation of crematoria, as well as advising on general issues dealt with by the Federation. As a member of the Federation your authority has access to this technical expertise. In Scotland, the Scottish Sub-Committee was established to deal with matters relating specifically the promotion of the cremation movement in Scotland and Scottish law. The officers of the committee are the Chairman and Technical Officer. The Federation was established to represent its members at the highest levels and it is regularly consulted by Government Departments on regulatory issues and has considerable influence with these departments on matters relating to cremation and burial.
The Federation seeks to improve standards of service delivery to the bereaved through investing in an open and transparent inspection process. A scheme that is open to scrutiny by the general public and key stakeholders, the Federation seeks to empower communities to make informed choices about bereavement services. The inspections are carried out within the normal working week and on occasions, a representative of Government Departments such as the Ministry of Justice or Defra is in attendance.
The Federation operates a scheme for the training and examination of crematorium technicians. The TEST scheme which started in January 2004 allows operators to be trained at their own place of work and supplements their training in procedures appropriate for the competent operation of cremators, compliance with the appropriate Regulations and Codes of Practice, and prepares the candidate for a practical exam in cremator operation.
The course notes are issued as a pdf file. The candidate works through the notes supported by a mentor, who is an experienced and certificated operator, appointed by the cremation authority, to train in the safe operation of the cremation equipment. In the instance of a newly established crematorium which does not have existing certificated staff, the Federation will be able to assist with locating a crematorium at which suitable training can be given.
The Federation works in partnership with Cemetery Training Sevices to provide a comprehensive range of training courses aimed at cemetery and groundwork services, which will be of interest to Burial Authorities. All cemetery training is carried out by fully qualified experienced instructors and aimed at improving the skills of cemetery operatives, to achieve high standards of competency. The range of courses has been developed to include: Measuring and layout of new grave sections; Grave digging/erection of soil boxes; Shoring of graves; Safe use of excavators; Safe use of dumpers; Memorial testing; Reinstatement of memorials. Each course is tailored to meet your specific needs, carried out at the candidate's own cemetery, with their own equipment, in their own working environment.
The Federation is one of two principal sponsors of the annual Cremation and Burial Communication & Education Event and recent events have attracted a large number of delegates from the United Kingdom and overseas with papers delivered on a range of very topical issues. In addition to the busy programme, there was an extensive display of burial and cremation equipment and ancillary products for delegates to view. For more information, go to: http://www.cbce.org.uk/
The Burial and Cremation Advisory Group has been set up to improve communications within the burial and cremation industry. While primarily concerned with the provision, management and maintenance of cemeteries, the group also deals with cremation related issues. The Federation is represented in this group. The Federation is also represented on the Management Board of the British Register of Accredited Memorial Masons (BRAMM). The aim of the scheme is to try to achieve a register of accredited memorial masons and to develop a scheme whereby standards of memorial fixing within cemeteries is consistent and consequently raising the standards of safety within our cemeteries.
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