Charter for the Bereaved

Leeds Council's Bereavement Services Team has adopted the Charter for the Bereaved, designed to improve the burial and cremation service and funeral experience of the bereaved.

Leeds awarded a "GOLD" in 2017

Leeds City Council's Bereavement Services team has been awarded a GOLD award from the yearly assessment under the Charter for the Bereaved, for their combined cremation services carried out in 2017.

The team has always scored a Bronze award when the Charter for the Bereaved moved to a Gold, Silver, Bronze scoring system in 2011. However this changed in 2015 when for the first time, Leeds achieved the Silver award.

Since then, the team have worked towards improving the standards across all our services and this has resulted in finally managing to achieve the highest level of award.

Every year, the team carries out a full assessment of the service they deliver set against the commitments contained in the Charter for the Bereaved. The points are evaluated under all the aspects of funeral service.

In 2017 we scored as follows:

  • 527 points out of 619 for burial related features, and;
  • 400 points out of 485 for cremation related features

These points are also a blend of social and environmental features covering the entire cemetery or crematorium needs of the bereaved.

What is the Charter for the Bereaved?

The Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM) established the Charter, a professional organisation committed to developing and improving bereavement services and providing training for those who work within it. In order to become a member of the Charter for the Bereaved an authority has to demonstrate that they satisfy 35 basic rights associated with funerals.

The Charter also contains objectives and helps authorities to set priorities for future development and improvement. An annual assessment ensures that the service keeps improving and raising its standards, and allows it to be ranked against other services throughout the country. Members of the public can be assured that an authority that has adopted the Charter is committed to providing excellent service designed to meet their needs. This is the case in Leeds.

A copy of the Charter for the Bereaved can be viewed at the Bereavement Services Office, or on the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management website at:

In summary: 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. It is a commitment to improving the service by confronting rather than disguising or ignoring death. 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.

The Charter enables you to recognise a responsive service, one that meets your expectations and one that is delivered with the right attitude and with a genuine desire to be helpful. Where these human qualities are combined with the requirements of the Charter, the highest standards will be achieved.

The Charter will give you greater influence over the arrangements of funerals thereby controlling costs and obtaining greater satisfaction.

Guiding principles

To complement the Charter for the Bereaved the ICCM has published a set of guiding principles. Leeds City Council has adopted these principles, copies of which can be seen at the Bereavement Services Office.

The first Principle summarises the commitment of the council's Bereavement Services team to "manage with competency and efficiency, to ensure that the entire bereavement experience occurs without error or insensitivity, and meets the religious, secular, ethnic and cultural needs of the bereaved".



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