UK’s First Funeral Apprentices Qualify

August 21, 2014

860 more apprentices to join the ranks

The UK’s first-ever apprentice funeral directors have qualified and taken up fulltime roles with The Co-operative Funeralcare.A year on since the business launched the industry’s pioneering apprenticeship programme, 38 apprentices have qualified as funeral directors, with a QCF* Level 2 in Funeral Operations and Services, and are now working towards their QCF Level 3.

In addition, almost 500 new recruits have started a funeral apprenticeship with the business, with a further 360 roles expected over the coming year.

The industry’s first national apprenticeship framework was designed and created by The Co-operative Funeralcare in 2013, in partnership with the Sector Skills Council and awarding body EDI, and incorporates a QCF Level 2 and a QCF Level 3 in Funeral Operations and Services (formerly known as NVQ).

The Co-operative Funeralcare (part of The Co-operative Group) is the only UK funeral director to offer this apprenticeship, which is now compulsory for all its new recruits.

The apprenticeship provides its employees with high quality, industry-focussed, nationally-recognised qualifications that include functional skills, such as maths and English, alongside competency and knowledge-based funeral industry skills.

Karen Fenton, Head of HR at The Co-operative Funeralcare, said:

"A funeral apprenticeship is a new way to join the industry and the response we’ve had to the scheme has been remarkable.

“High quality training and development and access to professional qualifications ensures our employees can provide the highest standards of client service and care for the bereaved.

“Our new fully qualified funeral directors have shown great professionalism and enthusiasm and we are delighted that they have passed the necessary requirements with flying colours.”

For more information or to view the apprenticeships currently available, visit

For further information please contact:

Steve Broughton
PR Manager
The Co-operative Group
0161 767 4298
07834 090 014


Notes to Editors:

*QCF - Qualification and Credit Framework (formerly known as NVQ).

The Co-operative Group is the UK’s largest mutual business, whose purpose is “Championing a better way of doing business for you and your communities.”