Cemetery Operative

  • Temporary
  • Roselawn
  • £11.81 - £23.62

Website staffingni Bluestones Staffing

Main purpose of job

To be responsible to the Cemeteries and Crematorium Manager or other appropriate officer to undertake work in the cemeteries or crematorium, either individually or as part of a team.

To undertake the full range of duties involved in cremations and burials in accordance with recognised Codes of Practice.

To undertake a range of horticultural and gardening duties, as directed.

To identify and take remedial action for headstone safety.

Summary of responsibilities and personal duties


1.          To carry out duties to ensure the smooth processing of the funeral from reception of the body, through the service for the dead, to the cremation or burial of the body.


2.          To co-operate with the Senior Crematorium Technician or Community Parks Supervisor in the compilation of work schedules and report any requests for alterations to the same to the Senior Crematorium Technician or Community Parks Supervisor.


When undertaking cremation duties:


3.          To carry out necessary checks before cremation on identification and to supervise the correct placing of the coffin onto the catafalque by the family or Funeral Directors.


4.          To ensure safe operation and routine maintenance of cremators and auxiliary equipment such as fans, smoke indicators, reducing machine and catafalque etc including minor repairs and identifying and reporting any irregularities with equipment.


5.          To store ashes prior to disposal, to check ashes for final disposal, to pack ashes for despatch and to remove metal objects from cremated remains. To dispose of cremated remains as instructed, including the burial and scattering of ashes in the cemetery.


6.          To carry out minor clerical work including completion of ‘in house’ forms giving cremation details.


7.          To clean and tidy cremator room, chapel, waiting room, Book of Remembrance Room and other areas within the Crematorium, and maintain the floral displays.


When undertaking chapel duties:


8.          To check the daily list of services and ensure that the Chapel is prepared according to the type of service that will be conducted. To set out correctly the times of the services and the names of the deceased onto the daily information board.


9.          Show the family mourners to their seats in the chapel and assist as required with the transfer of the coffin from the hearse to the catafalque and escort the mourners from the Chapel at the end of the service via the exit corridor and floral tributes hall.


10.       To assist in the Funeral Service as placing, for example, making short announcements and pressing the committal button and to operate and coordinate different music formats, that is, CDs and other relevant media types, to meet the requirements of both the minister and family representatives during the funeral service.


When undertaking grave digging and gardening duties


11.       To identify and check grave spaces and report irregularities to the Community Parks Supervisor and/or Cemetery Manager.


12.       To excavate grave by use of appropriate tools, for example, shovels, spades and other tools including powered tools and plant such as mechanical excavator, Kango hammers, water pump to appropriate depth.


13.       To receive coffin from undertaker and check documentation, to lower coffin into ground and to fill in and finish grave including placing of wreaths.


14.       To undertake site preparation and constructional labouring.


15.       To undertake maintenance of cemetery including sweeping, grass cutting, hedge trimming, turfing and seed sowing, planting and removal of litter and rubbish.


16.       To carry out application of chemical pest control methods including calibration of sprayers and identification of a range of pests, diseases and weeds.


17.       To operate appropriate plant / vehicles and to use powered hand tools and light plant relevant to cemetery and gardening operations and to ensure cleanliness of tools and any buildings.


18.       To undertake the reinstatement of monuments and underground vaults.


19.       To assist mourners and members of the public in locating graves and memorial trees, giving guidance where required and to maintain good relations with Ministers and Funeral Directors.


Training and development


20.       To undergo periodic training as appropriate and keep required operational requirements up to date and to participate in team-building training as required.


21.       To be available for emergency cover as required.


22.       To deputise for the Senior Crematorium Technician and/or Community Parks Supervisor in his or her absence if requested to do so.


Other duties


23.       To comply at all times with the Code of Cremation Practice as laid down by the Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities and the Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992 and appropriate legislation.


24.       To carry out regular inspections of headstones and take remedial action to ensure compliance with health and safety regulations.


25.       To undertake such other relevant duties as may from time to time be required.

Essential criteria



Applicants must, as at the closing date for receipt of application forms, be able to demonstrate on the application form, by providing personal and specific examples, at least one year’s relevant experience in each of the following areas:


a)     commercial horticultural work, for example, grass cutting, hedge trimming, turfing and seed sowing, planting, sweeping, removal of litter and rubbish etc; and

b)     dealing with members of the public in a tactful and sensitive manner, in a similar environment, for example, funeral parlour, cemetery, park, etc.


Special skills and attributes


Applicants must be able to demonstrate, by providing personal and specific examples, evidence of the following skills and attributes which may be tested at interview:-

Communication and interpersonal skills: Effective communication and interpersonal skills with the ability to write reports and letters on service issues and provide information, advice and guidance on complex matters.


Analysis, problem solving and decision making skills: Effective analytical and problem solving skills with the ability to extract, analyse and report upon service information and evidence of making day-to-day decisions on operational issues.

Performance management skills: A working knowledge of performance management tools and systems with an ability to develop performance targets, and monitor and report on performance.

Customer care and political sensitivity skills: The ability to respond appropriately to the public and other external agencies in a helpful and positive way, meeting their needs and presenting a good image of the Council.

Work planning and personal work style: The ability to effectively plan and prioritise work and demonstrate an enthusiastic, creative and disciplined approach to work, with evidence of exceeding targets and objectives.


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