1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My role is a funeral arranger, dealing with families on a daily basis helping them to arrange a fitting tribute for the person they have lost. I prepare their loved ones in the chapel of rest so that the families can come and spend time with the deceased, caring and professional mannerism is the best way to build a rapport with families a simple gesture of offering a cup of tea can really go a long way. I advise my families what type of funeral would best suit their needs and help guide them to making the right choice for them, informing the family of all choices and services available to them from our company.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Since beginning my role I have expanded on experience that I already possess from previous employment, learning new skills from my colleagues with regards to legal paperwork for funerals and involvement of the coroner in certain deaths. I have started to research areas of health and safety within the funeral industry and the laws and legislations surrounding the roles within funeral care. I am beginning to expand my learning and knowledge of masonry as this is an area I am weak in, with help from my assessor leading me in the correct direction.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The programme itself I found quite confusing at first as I felt it was a little unclear what learning development was needed and how evidence was shown in the knowledge units as from previous diplomas I have done the knowledge areas are usually research and assignment based. As soon as this was cleared up with my assessor I am happy what is expected of me, the programme is very much self learning and competence based, with a good team and great supposrt I am quite happy in my ability and admitting what areas I need help in. The programme is ran well and my assessor makes understanding the process very easy as he is always available to help.
4. How valued do you feel by Co-op?
As a Co-op colleague I feel valued within my team, I feel great support directly from my manager. The rest of the funeral arrangers have supported me fantastically throughout my learning so far and are always happy to help. I haven’t had very much support from upper management however I haven’t had any need to have direct contact up to now.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme itself is organised well by the learning and development team, the structure of the programme is very difficult to follow I feel. Without good support I feel that the programme could be found to be very difficult. As I have previously said I have had good support from my assessor with regards to what is expected and how the structure will flow. Unfortunately I do find it hard to find time in working hours to study due to being a full time funeral arranger. More support from my manager will be encouraged to free some time up.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I have only been started the programme for a couple of months so haven’t had very much contact with my assessor at this time due to signing up in December, but the contact and support that I have had has been very helpful, leading me in the right direction . My assessor has been available by email and telephone whenever I have needed guidance.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
As previously mentioned I have not has very much free time to study, I know that as I continue within my programme that I will get the support that I need as I have had fantastic support within my role already from my manager. Unfortunately I haven’t had very much support up to know but it still very early into the programme , I’m sure that when I ask for help or time out to study that my employer will be helpful
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The salary of this role is quite low in my opinion considering the pressure and responsibility that comes with the roles itself, as the funeral arranger it is my responsibility to complete the paperwork needed for the funeral, to book everything for the rights timings and to ensure that families needs are met. The cost of this programme is paid for by the company, that is a great benefit as it helps to develop every ones skills to a similar standard so that working together is made easier.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Co-op is very heavily community focused, I myself enjoy the community elements and love to get involved with events and fund raising, I do find this difficult being a lone worker at my branch as I don’t have very much free time to go and commit myself to community projects. When I’m not working on evening and weekends I am happy to try and build in the community project areas. I do enjoy time with my family and dog walking, finding a good balance between work, community projects and family life s a must.
9. Would you recommend Co-op to a friend?
I think most companies have problems and areas they can develop but I have enjoyed working within the co-op so far, I feel valued by my direct manager and my team, I love working with the families. I want to expand my role and progress within the company and I feel that I will get the support I need to develop myself and progress to where I would like to be. It is a good company to build a career with and work hard, with good work ethic you will do well at the co-op.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Co-op?
The application processes are difficult but keep with it, the different stages can be hard to get through but if you are dedicated and caring then you will succeed. Be yourself always is one of co-op’s main ways of being and I think it is the bets advice to give anyone.
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