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AOIC raises need to ‘clamp down’ on ‘lone wolf’ celebrants

The need to clamp down on ‘lone wolf’ celebrants who do not attach themselves to a professional organisation, was highlighted at a second roundtable meeting held this spring.

Organised by the Association of Independent Celebrants (AOIC), the event was chaired by the CEO of SAIF, Terry Tennens and hosted by the managing director of civil ceremonies Anne Barber. Also attending was the vice president of the NAFD David Barrington.

Representatives from organisations including the Institute of Civil Funerals, the British Humanist Association, Civil Celebrant, Green Fuse Training, the Fellowship of Professional Celebrants and the Good Funeral Guide were at the meeting, which looks to pull together professional bodies to share best practice and lobby for change.

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Of the topics discussed, Spicksley, highlighted an increasing concern about celebrants who were operating alone, some of whom were not putting ‘good practice’ at the top of their list.

AOIC executive chair, Philip Spicksley, said: “It is clear there is a need for continued collaboration. Our profession continues to grow and as such it is important that we have a professional and united approach with clear aims and objectives.

“There is no doubt that a major concern among all present was the presence of ‘loan wolves’. These people will operate as celebrants but will not see the need to work within Codes of Practice or indeed possess any kind of insurances. Neither do they see the need to have the support of an organisation.”

Spicksley said that with celebrants now performing up to 95 percent of funeral ceremonies in some parts of the UK, this concern was becoming even more relevant.

He added: “While it is recognised that individuals do not have to join a professional body, they must ask themselves what is in the best interests of their clients.”

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