Charter for the Bereaved - The first step to excellence

A vital function of the Institute is to set standards of service for the industry, and this has been achieved by the development and implementation of the Charter for the Bereaved.

In order to become a member of the Charter for the Bereaved, a burial and/or cremation authority or company must show that it is able to satisfy basic Charter rights connected with funerals. The Charter also contains objectives and targets that help authorities to set priorities for future development and improvement.

Members of the public can be assured that an authority or company that has adopted the Charter is committed to providing excellent service designed to meet their needs.

In short The Charter:
– seeks to generate interest in and educate people about bereavement. It also helps to influence the expansion of services and clarify the various roles and responsibilities of those involved.
– is a commitment to improving the service by confronting rather than disguising or ignoring death.
– is intended to define the rights of every individual who experiences bereavement. In achieving this aim, it also 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.
– seeks to increase the range of choice and options available to the bereaved.
– seeks to enable the bereaved to arrange a meaningful funeral service with a content that meets with their own specific needs and requirements.




A full version of the Charter for the Bereaved is available here. Updated November 2014.

Member authorities and companies will operate in accordance with the Guiding Principles for Burial and Cremation. Updated November 2014

The above documents were updated to incorporate the recommendations of the Infant Cremation Commission.

Authorities or companies wishing to become Charter Members can obtain further information from the full Charter document. Download the application form and draft certificate here.

Framed Copies of the Guiding Principles
When displayed in a public area at your premises, the bereaved will understand the ethical and social standards that have been adopted.

Questions People Ask about Burial and Cremation

Download this file and reproduce it in your own corporate style for use as public information. Just add an acknowledgement to the Institute and the logo. The logo can be downloaded by pointing to it on this page, right clicking and saving to your own PC.
(Last updated December 2014)

Funeral Directive

Living Will



UPDATE October 2014 – A new section relating to baby and infant cremations has been added to the questionnaire. View the questions here.

A tool to enable organisations to assess themselves against key service features and to obtain a Gold, Silver or Bronze award.

The Charter Assessment Process is in the form of a questionnaire with 382 questions on burial, cremation and social and environmental aspects. It is completed by the authority and returned to ICCM.  Based on the score, the authority is then awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze status.

The process is not designed to be used as a means of competing with other service providers but to give clear evidence to service users and elected members that the particular service is continually moving forward.

Many members have found that the results from the Assessment Process and their scores are treated seriously by elected members and this can lead to increased resources and recognition from their authority. It ensures that elected members recognise that it is their responsibility, and not the individual managers, to fund improved chapels, cemetery and crematorium infrastructure, and services generally.

The annual fee for the ICCM Charter Assessment Scheme is £310. A condition of membership is that all Charter Members undertake the assessment annually.  Charter members have the right to copy text from the Charter to produce information leaflets under corporate cover free of the charges which previously applied.


The latest grading tables can be downloaded for burial, cremation and combined services.