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Frontline Funeral Service Operations Training


The objective of the training programme is to provide the knowledge and skills to assist with the funeral operative, assistant and funeral directing roles in order to carry out all physical and administrative responsibilities safely, and with care and consideration at all times.




This training is designed for funeral service operatives; funeral assistants and funeral directors who have a unique and varied role in the provision of funeral service following notification that death has occurred. They are a first point of contact for the bereaved at the point of the first call and when undertaking removal of the deceased from home premises. This occupational group also liaise with coroners/ procurator fiscal personnel, mortuary and bereavement personnel and the police during transfer and care of the deceased. They are responsible for the care of the deceased and for assisting the bereaved whilst on funeral premises, as well as undertaking personal care of the deceased and aiding the bereaved during visitation. Funeral service employees are in attendance during funeral services to ensure safe transfer of the deceased to the crematorium or burial ground and to assist with care of the bereaved during the funeral, which can be an emotive time for families and friends.  It is therefore essential that such key staff are trained and competent in all associated procedures. 

Duration and Assessment

This training will normally be completed over a period of 6 months via a blended learning approach of face-to-face and online learning. Each cluster of units within each module will be completed within an estimated timeframe of one month, with some application of acquired skills testing carried out through the form of basic test / completion of learning, examination questions, a visual competency test or by the candidate providing reflection and a portfolio of evidence throughout the duration of learning.


Syllabus modules


  • Module 1: Sensitive communication

  • Module 2: Health and Safety within the funeral business

  • Module 3: Manual handling of the deceased and infection control

  • Module 4: Mortuary practice

  • Module 5: Care and preparation of the deceased

  • Module 6: Preparing for and conducting visitation of the deceased



Course dates for 2023 - 2 x online sessions for each course (10am to approx. 4pm each day):

  • February  (cohort 10)

    • 16/02/23 + 23/02/23​

  • March (cohort 11)

    • 23/03/23 + 30/03/23​

  • May (cohort 12)

    • 18/05/23 + 25/05/23​

  • September (Cohort 13)

    • 21/09/23 + 28/09/23​

  • November (Cohort 14) 

    • 16/11/23 + 23/11/23​


Last registration date for candidates is 1 month before commencement of each course at the North Tees Centre. The total cost of this course is £750.00 (£150: NAFD, £600: North Tees) and includes:


  • Candidate registration fee

  • External verification fees

  • 2 full teaching days

  • Online resource access

  • Regular access to course facilitators

  • Support for both the candidate and the mentor

  • Lecture programme / training notes

  • NAFD registration fee


Please note: If applicable, travel and accommodation costs to attend the centre are not included.


Course assessment criteria:

  • 3 x online examinations:

    • Health and Safety

    • Microbiology 

    • Anatomy  

  • 6 x portfolio assignments (one for each unit with multiple tasks contained within each)

Module specific assessment criteria as follows:

 Assessment Types

  A = Portfolio Assignment

  E = Online Exam

LO 1

LO 2

LO 3

LO 4

 Module 1

 Sensitive communication





 Module 2

 H&S within the funeral business

A + E




 Module 3

 Manual handling & infection control 





 Module 4

 Mortuary practice 





 Module 5

 Care & preparation of the deceased






 Module 6

 Visitation of the deceased






Working through assignments will enable collection of work-based evidence – completed assignments are to be collated and submitted as part of your EPA portfolio (see portfolio link above for more information regarding portfolio requirements).

All assessed work (exams and assignments) must be completed within 6 months of completion of theory taught lessons. An admin charge of £150 will be made for any extensions beyond 6 months.

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