While the main priority at Tester & Jones is to provide a good service and support to families, both Stephen and Glenys are also very keen to encourage professional development in the funeral industry – not only within the firm but in a wider sense too.
Stephen has recently got involved with the Independent Funeral Directors (IFD) College as an assessor and is helping to mark papers.
“I really care about our business, but I also care about the industry and if I can make a difference and encourage the next generation of funeral directors, then I will,” he says.
Within the Tester & Jones team, Jo Walsh recently passed the ‘health and safety’ module of her Funeral Practitioner Certificate from the IFD College and was presented with her certificate by Chris Parker, Chairman and Director of Curriculum Development.
Jo is currently studying to pass the various units which make up the Funeral Practitioner Certificate, which also covers skills such as taking first calls, in addition to the conduct expected of those employed within the funeral sector.
She has been joined in her studies by colleague Lorna Ashworth, who recently took part in an IFD College Health & Safety for Funeral Staff session, which was held at the Tester & Jones offices. It welcomed staff from a number of funeral directors in Kent and Sussex. Similar courses are currently being held in locations including Llanelli in Wales, Taunton and Newcastle.
The IFD College offers units of training to suit every employee, from the part time driver/bearer to the full time Funeral Director. Training has been designed for anyone just entering the funeral profession to those who have been employed within it for some years.
“We are keen to support our own staff with their training but also to encourage professional standards and learning across the industry,” says Glenys. “We work towards that through our association with the IFD and also through our membership of SAIF Independent Funeral Directors.”