About the Institute
TO PROMOTE THE DEVELOPMENT, ADVANCEMENT AND WELFARE OF OUR MEMBERS TO FACILITATE THE BETTER PROVISION, OPERATION, ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGEMENT OF CEMETERIES, CREMATORIA AND BEREAVEMENT RELATED SERVICES PRIMARY PURPOSES :
- To promote the improvement of cemeteries, crematoria and public services for the disposal of the dead.
- To promote the advancement and welfare of people employed in the above undertakings.
- To encourage technical and other studies in relation to the above and to improve and develop the technical and general knowledge of the profession.
- To provide education and training, including lectures and conferences.
- To provide library facilities
- To distribute a journal and papers produced by the Institute.
- To undertake investigations.
- To engage people to act in a technical and advisory capacity.
- To distribute trust funds
- To promote, support or oppose initiatives (including proposed legislation) relating to burial, cremation and ancillary public services.
History of the Institute
On 29th September 2003 at an AGM held at the Prince of Wales Hotel, Southport, the once familiar initials IBCA became ICCM. This was the 5th name change for an organisation that began life back in 1913 as the United Kingdom Association of Cemetery Superintendents. Despite this, its primary objectives remain fundamentally the same.
- To further the interests of Cemetery Superintendents and to promote the efficiency of cemeteries in the UK.
- appertaining to the management of cemeteries.
- To provide facilities and foster exchange of thoughts ideas and thoughts amongst its members, and further
- To safeguard, maintain and improve the status and promote advancement of the Cemetery Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, Curator, Registrar, Secretary and Manager of any Burial Authority.
The Articles of Association and Byelaws are effectively the ‘rule book’ for the management of the Institute.
Both the Corporate and Professional arms of the Institute’s membership have codes of conduct and practice.
The Board of Directors has introduced a
Code of Conduct specifically designed for Directors together with a Service Agreement for Directors . The agreement and code provide guidance designed to ensure that officials understand their responsibilities toward the Institute and the duties placed upon them by company law. The agreement is a clear statement of committment made by each Director to the membership that he/she intends to act for the good of and in the best interest of the Institute.
Board Reports are available on the Members page. Use the member login above.
The first name change came in 1918 to that of the National Association of Cemetery Superintendents. The second, in 1932, reflecting the growing prevalence of cremation, to the National Association of Cemetery and Crematorium Superintendents. The third, in 1947 when, following amendments to the organisation’s rules and standing orders, the name Institute of Burial and Cremation Administration was thought to better describe the organisation’s purpose. Eleven years later, after many years of trying, the IBCA achieved the significant recognition of ‘Incorporation’ from the then Board of Trade and its fourth name change took place necessitating the addition of ‘Inc’. There have been many other ‘milestones’ along the way including, in 1927, the introduction of examinations for superintendents, the forerunner of today’s BTEC HNC accredited Institute diploma modules.
In 1932 the first annual ‘joint’ conference was held in conjunction with the organisation we know today as the Federation of British Cremation Authorities. The first edition of the members quarterly magazine, The Journal, was produced in 1935. Known affectionately today as ‘TJ’, it is now widely regarded as one of the finest trade publications in its field.
During the Second World War, when many organisations ceased to function, the association formed a War Emergency Committee which responded tirelessly to circulars from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Labour. A shortage of gravediggers was a serious problem, with young men being called to arms. Times were hard financially and the Association’s treasurer reported “the balance of the previous conference amounting to %uFFFD22 served as a life saving belt”.
As the Institute moved into the 1990s it was becoming apparent that the relatively strong financial position it had enjoyed during the latter half of the 60’s was beginning to erode. In 1990 a Trust fund was established to encourage burial & cremation initiatives and to support members during their studies. In 1993 – The Institute underwrote the formation of the Confederation of Burial Authorities. In 1995 The Institute commissioned research into the disposal of foetal remains resulting in a major guidance document and closer working with Health Trusts throughout the UK. During 1996 the Charter for the Bereaved was launched, proving vital to the emergence of a new approach within the Institute. In the next year, 1997, the Cemetery Operatives Training Scheme launched. In 1998 the Executive Committee was replaced by a Board of Directors elected by the members, and first of the Diploma modules outsourced. During the Milennium year the Best Value Assessment Process was launched, providing clear links between the Charter for the Bereaved and the Best Value process. In April 2001 the Institute appointed its first full-time officer, Tim Morris. This proved to be the catalyst for further rapid changes. In 2002 the treasurer John Robson announced a surplus of %uFFFD60,000 enabling the Institute to embark upon opening its first dedicated headquarters at the City of London Cemetery and Crematorium and the appointment of two further full-time officers covering training and development and administration. In 2003 our name was changed to the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management. Our president at that time, Chris Johns said ‘This will be a great honour for and I confidently predict that the ICCM can look forward to a highly successful future assisting its members through the provision of education and training programmes, the production of policy and best practice documents and advice designed to improve services to the bereaved’. Following further expansion of activity, the Institute created an additional post of Technical Services Manager.
In 2005 the membership of the Institute voted by a majority of five to one to create a corporate arm. At the same time the membership of the Confederation of Burial Authorities voted to dissolve and merge into ICCM Corporate. This was achieved and finalised at the 2005 AGM. This resulted in the formation of the Corporate and Professional committees both of which had equal representation on the board of Directors.
In 2010 members voted 92% in favour to change the Articles of Association which effectively disbanded the committees with election to the board being first past the post. The lack of nominees to fill committee seats had resulted in no elections for a number of years therefore the decision to slim down to face the challenges of the future was taken by the membership.
The Institute is now the only organisation within bereavement services to provide fully accredited and externally validated education and training opportunities for cemetery and crematorium staff at all levels.