Current Job Vacancies at Le Roy Funerals
We currently have a vacancy for a Funeral Director. (Sorry this position has now be filled. February 2017)
FUNERAL DIRECTOR REQUIRED.
We are looking to recruit a qualified or experienced Funeral Director to join our team. We would however be happy to accept applications from candidates who consider that they have the right qualities to train to become a Funeral Director.
The successful candidate must have a professional and sensitive manner, with the ability to work as part of the team, as well as on their own initiative. Excellent communication and customer service skills are required, together with good computer knowledge. Participation in all aspects of our profession will be necessary to achieve the high level of service expected by our clients. The position involves working from both our Exeter and Crediton offices, and participating in an out of hour’s rota. A competitive salary is offered, relative to experience. To apply please send your CV and covering letter to LeRoy Funerals 10 Alphington Road Exeter Devon EX2 8HH
What is the work like?
Funeral directors make all the necessary arrangements for burials and cremations. They are relied upon to give practical advice and support to family and friends of the deceased person, which requires plenty of compassion. They oversee arrangements for the deceased to be transported to the place of rest and assist the family to make all of the detailed funeral arrangements, which often include:
- arranging the funeral date and time with the church, cemetery or crematorium
- supplying written estimates of funeral costs and advising on financial support that might be available
- organising caskets, flowers and transport
- advising on suitable venues and catering facilities where mourners can gather after the funeral
- organising death notices, press acknowledgements and obituaries
- advising on legal requirements and helping clients complete necessary paperwork
- preparing the deceased for burial or cremation, which may include embalming
- arranging and being present during visits to the place/chapel of rest
- dealing with floral tributes and accepting charitable donations
- travelling in the hearse at the time of the funeral
- making sure everything runs smoothly during the ceremony
- advising on types of memorials.
If necessary they may advise on coroners’ procedures. In some firms, a funeral director may carry out all of these duties. In others, funeral service operatives, assistants, co-ordinators and arrangers will manage specific aspects.
Funeral directors liaise with a wide range of people, including ministers of religion (of all faiths), the medical profession, and cemetery and crematorium staff.
Hours and environment
Funeral directors may work around 39 hours a week, but they have to be on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They may work a rota system covering variable hours. Part-time work is often available.
Most administrative work is carried out during office hours. However, it is important for funeral directors to be available to offer comfort, guidance and advice to bereaved relatives and friends of the deceased outside of office hours.
Funeral directors are based at funeral-home offices and workshops. Attending funerals may involve being outdoors in all weather conditions.
Travel in the local area is necessary. Occasionally travel may be required further afield.
Salary and other benefits
These figures are only a guide, as actual rates of pay may vary, depending on the employer and where people live.
- Starting salaries for funeral service operatives may be around £16,000 a year.
Skills and personal qualities
A funeral director should have:
- excellent communication, listening and people skills
- a dignified, respectful and serious manner
- compassion and empathy
- understanding and acceptance of different religious and cultural beliefs
- strong organisational ability
- attention to detail
- a flexible, approachable manner
- emotional strength to cope with other people’s distress
- a smart, conventional appearance
- good overall management skills.
It is important to be interested in:
- working with people
- providing a service to the local community.
There are around 3,000 funeral companies in the UK. They employ between 15,000 and 17,000 people on a full-time, part-time or casual basis. Employment has remained stable for some time. There are more opportunities in large cities than in rural areas.
There are a few large organisations that provide funeral services throughout the UK, with local branches based in large towns. Otherwise, firms tend to be independent or family-run businesses.
Vacancies are advertised in The Funeral Director Monthly, The Journal and, occasionally, in local newspapers and Jobcentre Plus offices.
No formal qualifications are needed for entry. Some employers may prefer applicants with GCSEs (A*-C), including English. Qualifications in maths, chemistry, biology and religious studies may be useful.
Many begin their career as funeral service operatives or assistants before progressing into a management role. Working for a firm of funeral directors on a casual basis as a pallbearer or driver may provide some experience, which may lead to a more permanent job.
Large organisations work with schools and colleges to provide placements for people interested in finding out more about the funeral profession. Local funeral directors may also provide work experience opportunities.
The University of Bath offers a foundation degree in funeral services. Study is for two years full time or three years part time. Candidates who complete the foundation degree may continue for a further year to gain a BSc in funeral services.
Entry to the foundation degree is usually with a Level 3 qualification, such as a BTEC National Award/Certificate/Diploma, an Advanced Diploma, A levels, an NVQ Level 3 or an Advanced Apprenticeship. People without formal qualifications may be accepted with a minimum of two years’ relevant work experience. Applicants need to be employed in the funeral industry, or must secure a 32-week work placement with a relevant employer.
Funeral directors often have to drive, so a full driving licence is usually essential. Some insurers require drivers of hearses and limousines to be over 21 or 25 years of age. Physical fitness is important, owing to heavy lifting and long durations spent standing.
Training is normally provided in the workplace under the guidance of experienced staff. There is usually some form of induction training. Larger organisations have formal training programmes, while entrants to smaller firms are likely to learn through experience.
Once in work, entrants can study for qualifications in funeral directing offered by the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD). There are three course levels:
- Foundation Certificate in Funeral Service – an entry-level course aimed at operatives and assistants, plus funeral directors who intend to study for the Diploma in Funeral Directing.
- Diploma in Funeral Directing (DipFD) – for funeral directors with a Foundation Certificate who are working in the funeral service for a minimum of 80 hours a month. Before the Diploma can be awarded, candidates must have had at least two years’ practical funeral directing experience and have personally arranged at least 25 funerals.
- Diploma in Funeral Service Management (DipFSM).
NAFD have recently introduced two vocational qualifications for members who wish to train by being assessed in the workplace. Aimed at staff working in funeral operative roles, as funeral arrangers and administrators, or as a driver/bearer they include:
- Advanced Certificate in Funeral Services
- Advanced Diploma in Funeral Arranging and Administration.
The British Institute of Funeral Directors (BIFD) is responsible for providing tutors for these qualifications throughout the UK. Training is available by part-time college attendance, often in the evening, or distance learning, which can be tailored to meet the needs of the student.
Other qualifications are available for people working for Co-operative Funeral Services, through the Co-operative College. These are Level 3 Edexcel-accredited qualifications:
- Certificate in Funeral Services
- Advanced Diploma in Funeral Arranging and Administration
- Professional Diploma in Funeral Directing.
Some funeral directors may train in embalming. In addition, there are courses in areas such as customer care, understanding bereavement, business management and advanced driving.
There may be prospects in larger organisations to become a branch, area or regional manager. In smaller firms, it may be necessary for a funeral director to change employers to progress and gain further experience. Becoming self-employed and establishing a funeral business is always a possibility, although the financial outlay for this is quite considerable.
The DipFSM is available through NAFD for those wishing to progress to management-level positions. Candidates must either hold the Diploma in Funeral Directing or be Full Members of BIFD. With this experience, it may be possible to become a tutor for NAFD, helping to prepare students for qualifications.
The British Institute of Funeral Directors (BIFD), 1 Gleneagles House, Vernon Gate, South Street, Derby DE1 1UP. 0800 032 2733. Website: www.bifd.org.uk
National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD), 618 Warwick Road, Solihull, West Midlands B91 1AA. 0845 230 1343. Website: www.nafd.org.uk
The Funeral Service as a Career – NAFD
The Funeral Director Monthly – NAFD
Funeral Service Journal – www.fsj.co.uk
Funeral Service Times
The Journal – published quarterly for BIFD Members and Student Members