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Charter for the bereaved

Charter for the bereaved

The Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management produced this Charter in 1996 and in December 2003 Chesterfield and District Crematorium was granted Charter Status after satisfying the I.C.C.M. that it fully met all the criteria expected. The charter sets standards of service related to burial, cremation and funerals. It is a written statement of what can be expected and enables people to judge the quality of the service received. The charter has been adopted by local authorities, private companies and others providing burial and cremation facilities throughout the United Kingdom.

The Charter guarantees 33 rights and these are integrated into the services provided at the crematorium. We regard the Charter Rights as a minimum standard and we are striving to provide a service that exceeds these basic requirements.

This Charter:

  • is a commitment to improving the service by confronting rather than disguising the death experience, and by reducing ignorance
  • is intended to define the rights of every individual who experiences bereavement
  • will set standards of service related to burial, cremation and funerals generally. It is a written statement of what can be expected and this can act as a measure for judging the service received.
  • recognises that bereavement services are critical to the health of the nation, that the benefits of a meaningful funeral are immeasurable, influencing both the physical and mental wellbeing of us all
  • will give the bereaved greater influence over the arrangement of funerals, thereby controlling costs and offering more satisfaction

Your rights

Cremation procedure

You have a right to organise and conduct a cremation in a dignified and orderly manner, supported by competent, professional and caring crematorium staff.

You have the right to inspect the crematorium under normal working conditions.

Cremated remains and memorialisation

It is your right to be offered a Book of Remembrance memorial, set in a Hall of Remembrance. You must also be offered a designated place for floral tributes.

Ceremonies and belief

It is your right to be able to hold a burial or cremation service at a cemetery or crematorium.

It is your right to define the type of religious or secular format of the service, within the constraints of time and decency.

It is your right to define the type of music or other ceremony you wish to have at the service.

Coffins and alternatives

It is your right to choose the type and design of coffin, within the constraints of availability, regulations and safe materials.

It is your right to receive information on obtaining a coffin (bio-degradable type) via your Charter member.

Communication

It is your right to receive a prompt response to any form of communication with a Charter member, within published service standards.

It is your right to be given a table of fees upon request.

Environmental issues

You have a right to be made aware of all known environmental issues relating to bereavement services. Information will be available through this Charter and by direct contact with your local Charter member.

It is your right to receive a service that recognises your needs, without unfairness or discrimination.

Funerals without a funeral director

It is your right to organise a funeral without the use of a funeral director.

It is your right, as an executor (or next of kin) to be given the body by a mortuary, hospital, etc., in order to carry out a funeral without a funeral director.

It is your right to obtain a Family Arranged funeral leaflet from your Charter member describing how to arrange such a funeral.

It is your right to obtain information from your Charter member on how to obtain a coffin (minimum biodegradable type).

Maintenance of grounds

It is your right to be shown a specified standard of grounds maintenance. Where standards fail to meet the specification, you have the right to complain.

Health and safety

It is your right to enter a cemetery or crematorium that is, as far as is reasonably practicable, without risk to your health and safety.

It is your right to be shown a copy of the authority's health and safety policy, risk assessments and procedural documentation on request.

It is your right to be shown a copy of the authority's policy relating to the inspection, testing and making safe of memorials.

Regulations

You have a right to be given a list of regulations used by your Charter member.

You have a right to be given a written explanation why a regulation has been used to restrict or otherwise influence your rights.

Where you remain dissatisfied, you can utilise the grievance procedure set out in the Charter.

Staff and expertise

It is your right to receive a quality service provided by trained and/or qualified staff. Where service standards fail, you have a right to question the level of expertise shown and to receive assurances regarding the ability of those involved.

Inspection and guiding principles

It is your right to be offered an inspection of burial or cremation facilities or records at any reasonable time.

It is your right to be given a copy of Guiding Principles of Burial and Cremation Services by your Charter member.

The rights in the Charter as listed above will be available at any cemetery or crematorium whose management have formally adopted the Charter of the Bereaved, referred to as Charter Members. Chesterfield and District Crematorium is managed by a Joint Committee made up of elected members representing Chesterfield Borough Council, North East Derbyshire District Council and Bolsover District Council.

Copies of the Charter for the Bereaved can be borrowed from the Crematorium Office. Enquiries can be made in person at:

The Crematorium Office
Chesterfield and District Crematorium
Chesterfield Road
Brimington
Chesterfield
S43 1AU
Telephone: 01246 345 888

Issue date April 2004

Charter for the Bereaved (pdf 304 KB)

Last updated on 27 March 2017