Funeral Operative

This training course, unlike either of the others, has a large practical element. Indeed, half of the course is spent either in a coffin workshop or garage. Nothing can compare, or even come close, to actually doing the job. That ancient Chinese sage, Confucius, to whom many wise sayings are attributed, said, "I hear and I forget. I see and I believe. I do and I understand." Despite the fact that Confucius lived around 500BC, and we are now at the start of the 21st century, some things never change, hence our decision to include a large practical element of training in this course.


This course has been designed with those members of our staff who are providing the manual skills in our operation. Whether you call them Operatives, Technicians, Drivers, Bearers or just Fred who comes in when we need some extra hands. We all have these valuable people in our employment. If you doubt their worth, consider 'four funerals back to back and two of them don't turn up for work'. Perhaps then, some investment in them is not such a bad thing!


Foundation Funeral Practitioner Units 4/G1 and 5/G2 should have been completed or in progress


Learners keep journals for a four-week period, during which they record their work activities, thus building a record of work experience and competence. They will also write a log sheet for each of 10 funerals, giving details of their role and activity. Workbooks with assignments and exercises are submitted for each unit and will form part of the student's portfolio together with other evidence which the student wishes to submit.


Assessment consists of:

  • Verbal questioning
  • Simple written assignments
  • Observation
  • Other appropriate and acceptable means of assessment

The date of the assessment is agreed between the learner, his/her employer and the assessor.

The learner's completed portfolio is sent for verification, together with the assessor's report.



This Unit is about:

  • Removals of the deceased in a range of situations
  • Ensuring safe working practices
  • Ensuring good hygiene practice
  • Maintaining correct identification
  • Appropriate storage of the deceased
  • Communicating with a range of other people

At the end of this training workshop the learner should be able to:

  • Prepare the removal vehicle
  • Carry out the removal of a body to the Chapel of Rest or Mortuary
  • Carry out removals from a range of establishments and in a range of situations and understand differing practices in range
  • Carry out post removal checks and procedures
  • Maintain an appropriate physical environment for the care and custody of the deceased


This Unit is about:

  • Coffin & casket size selection
  • A range of coffin fittings and furnishings
  • Environmental issues
  • Good Housekeeping & safe workshop practice

At the end of this training workshop the learner should be able to:

  • Describe the Coffin & Casket Range of their company
  • Understand the environmental issues surrounding burial and cremation
  • Prepare the coffin or casket
  • Ensure safe working practices


This Unit is about:

  • Preparing and maintaining funeral vehicles
  • Chauffeuring skills
  • Communicating with the bereaved
  • Courtesy to others

At the end of this training workshop the learner should be able to:

  • Maintain and clean vehicle according to the requirements of the company
  • Ensure safe working practices
  • Drive Hearse or Limousine in a cortege using good cortege driving and road user practices and appropriate conduct to the bereaved


This Unit is about:

  • Pre Funeral checks
  • Safe working practices
  • Floral Tributes
  • Pall Bearer's skills
  • Professional behaviour

At the end of this training workshop the learner should be able to:

  • Follow company procedure to make appropriate checks that take place before the Funeral
  • Place coffin in Hearse using correct manual handling techniques
  • Handle and Record Floral Tributes
  • Follow Director's instructions to carry a coffin, lower at graveside or place on trestles/catafalque
  • Know how to maintain a professional attitude in a range of situations