The Federation of Burial and Cremation Administration
Code of burial practice
Burial Authorities should recognise the importance of the service provided and ensure that all procedures are performed in accordance with the requirements of the relevant legislation.
The greatest care must be taken in the appointment of members of the cemetery staff, any one of whom may, by conduct or demeanour, detract from the atmosphere of reverence which it is endeavoured to create. All staff employed in grave digging and cemetery duties must be suitably trained in the technical and ethical procedures and preferably certificated by a recognised training provider.
The burial of human remains is a highly emotional occasion for everyone involved and this should not be forgotten by staff working within cemeteries, who should work together to create and maintain an atmosphere of reverence and respect throughout.
No coffin, casket or shroud etc shall be accepted at any cemetery unless it bears adequate particulars of the identity of the deceased person contained therein. If a coffin is encased, the cover and the coffin must bear adequate identity of the deceased person. Every care should be taken to ensure correct identification throughout, from the moment the coffin is received at the cemetery until the final interment within the grave.
Having ensured that the correct authority to inter has been received, the coffin and its contents shall be placed into the grave exactly as received at the cemetery.
The deceased shall not be removed from the grave following the act of committal except for a lawful purpose and when the correct legal requirements are in place to permit such an act.
Once a coffin containing the deceased has been placed within the grave, it will not be disturbed.
The grave will be backfilled with soil, or in the case of a bricked grave, mausoleum or vault, shall be sealed immediately following the completion of the service, either by the cemetery staff or the family and mourners if such instructions have been received from the owner of the Exclusive Right of Burial and a suitable risk assessment has been carried out. Following the completion of backfilling or sealing, the grave should be left in a neat and tidy condition with wreaths and flowers carefully placed on it by the cemetery staff.
Only "authorised" employees of the Burial Authority who have received appropriate training shall operate plant or vehicles. "Authorised" is deemed to mean, an employee that is receiving instruction and is supervised by a qualified operator, or an employee that holds a suitable driving assessment permit relating to the vehicle or item of plant. All mechanical apparatus used in the cemetery shall be regularly overhauled, cleaned and kept in good repair to ensure perfect working order.
No burial shall take place without the consent of the person responsible for the cemetery. All burials shall be carried out according to the regulations applicable to the individual Burial Authority.