Charter for the Bereaved Choosing Natural Burial- The first step to excellence

PRESS RELEASE:  The Institute launched this Charter at it annual Learning Convention held on 30th September to 2nd October at the Forest Pines Hotel, North Lincolnshire. Download the press release here.

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. The Institute’s board has extended this Charter in order to promote natural burial as an equal alternative to traditional burial and cremation.

In order to become a member of the Charter, a burial 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 and companies 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. Further information for the public is available here.

In short The Charter:
– seeks to generate interest in and educate people about bereavement and natural burial. 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 natural burial 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 Choosing Natural Burial is available here. 

Authorities or companies wishing to become Charter Members can obtain further information from the full Charter document. 

Download details of the application process here.

When displayed in a public area at your premises, and/or on your website, the bereaved will understand the ethical and social standards that have been adopted.

To follow

Funeral Directive

Living Will


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 186 questions requiring simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers on natural burial and social and environmental aspects.

It is completed by the authority or company and returned to the 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 others 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 (to be confirmed) 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.