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Apply to train as a Humanist Society Scotland celebrant

Recruitment is open!

Recruitment is open!

We’re now taking applications to join our next cohort of trainee celebrants.

Find out more about what’s involved in becoming a Humanist Society Scotland celebrant.

Why do I need to apply?

We have a limited number of spaces available on our training courses. This is because we anticipate that every successful trainee will join our national network of celebrants to deliver quality humanist funeral, wedding and naming ceremonies.

What experience do I need to become a celebrant?

We’re not looking for any specific formal qualification. However, celebrants need to have finely tuned and highly developed interpersonal skills, a flair for writing, and to really enjoy working with people.

Applicants do also need to be a member of Humanist Society Scotland.

Find out more about what it means to be a member of the society.

What does the training involve?

Training is delivered in two phases.

PHASE 1 – Core Celebrant Skills and Funeral Ceremonies

You’ll attend a two-day residential training session, a training day on location at a crematorium, and will shadow active Humanist Society Scotland funeral celebrants in their work.

The course concludes with an assessment day, after the successful completion of which you’ll be authorised to conduct funeral and memorial ceremonies for Humanist Society Scotland. 

A minimum number of funeral ceremonies must then be conducted before commencing phase 2.

Throughout the course you’ll be supported by your mentor and staff team at HQ.

PHASE 2 – Marriage and Civil Partnership Ceremonies

As with phase 1, you will attend a two-day residential training session and be required to shadow active Humanist Society Scotland wedding celebrants in their work. 

You’ll also attend a rehearsal day in the lead up to the final assessment day, after the successful completion of which you’ll be authorised by Humanist Society Scotland to conduct civil partnerships and legal marriage ceremonies.

Throughout the course you’ll receive support from your mentor and the staff team at HQ.

Following successful completion of phase 2 you will be authorised to conduct civil partnerships and legal marriage ceremonies.  

Optional Naming Course

In due course you will also be given the option to train to be authorised to conduct naming ceremonies if you wish.

How much does it cost?

  • PHASE 1 – Core Celebrant Skills and Funeral Ceremonies: £500 (including VAT)
  • PHASE 2 – Marriage and Civil Partnership Ceremonies: £1300 (including VAT)

We understand that this is a significant upfront cost for most people and are keen to reduce financial barriers that could exclude great candidates.

Fees are payable at the start of each phase. However, trainees have the option to pay half at the start of the phase and the remaining half 12 months later.

If you feel that the cost of training would be a barrier to you applying, please get in touch with us. We’ll be happy to have a conversation about other options to support you.

How do I apply?

If at all possible, please submit your application using this form. However, please get in touch if you’re unable to do so and we’ll do our best to accommodate your application in a different way.

What’s involved?

As well as being asked to confirm that you have a current membership of Humanist Society Scotland, you’ll need to be sure that you’re available to attend all of the training sessions, which are set out below.

You’ll be asked to:

  • submit a written example of a script for a funeral ceremony
  • submit a recording (three minutes or under) of you delivering to camera a poem or reading that you think would be appropriate for a funeral ceremony. You can record this however you like (using your phone is ideal!) but if at all possible we would like recordings to be shared via a link to a YouTube or Vimeo channel
  • tell us why you’ll make a great celebrant, and what humanism means to you
  • share details of two referees, one of whom has known you in a professional capacity (preferably)
  • … and then upload your CV and tell us anything else about you that you think we should know.

Applications will close at midnight on Sunday 21st July 2024.

What happens next?

We anticipate a high volume of applications so it can take us a while to review them all. If you’re shortlisted, we’ll invite you to interview. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to provide individual feedback to applicants not invited to interview.

Places on the training course are offered subject to references and a disclosure check.

Other relevant info

Location of training

Our residential days take place at different locations each year. This is determined based on the location and requirements of our trainees to ensure training is as accessible as possible for everyone. 

Accessibility

We aim to book accessible venues for our in-person events as a matter of course, and will ensure reasonable adjustments are made to enable people with disabilities to attend our events.

If you have any questions or concerns about potential barriers to applying to train as a Humanist Society Scotland celebrant, please get in touch.

Size of training group

Each group consists of around 10 to 12 trainees.

Availability requirements

Initially you will be authorised to conduct funeral and memorial ceremonies. Funeral ceremonies tend to take place during traditional office hours, so you would need good mid-week availability from the start of your celebrant journey.

Wedding ceremonies most often take place at weekends so you would need good availability on Saturdays and Sundays.

Bear in mind that the time commitment doesn’t just relate to the ceremony itself. You also need to devote a great deal of time meeting with families and couples, and working with them to write unique and meaningful ceremonies.  

Training phases

We recruit humanists who want to help people mark all life’s milestones and consider the provision of humanist funerals to be a fundamental part of our work.

Therefore, all celebrants must undertake funeral training.

Important Dates

Attendance at all dates is required.  Please only apply if you are available for and can commit to the training dates for both phases. 

Application closing date

Midnight on Sunday 21st July 2024.

Training: Phase 1 – Core Celebrant Skills and Funeral Ceremonies

  • Monday 16th and Tuesday 17th September 2024 (residential)
  • Sunday 27th October 2024 (crematorium day)
  • Sunday 24th November 2024 (assessment day)

Training: Phase 2 – Marriage and Civil Partnership Ceremonies

  • Monday 24th and Tuesday 25th March 2025 (residential)
  • Monday 30th June 2025 (rehearsal)
  • Monday 7th July 2025 (assessment day)