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Is anyone here a Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths?

(32 Posts)
pageturner Mon 13-Jul-09 09:48:05

Or knows someone who is?

I'm applying for a casual deputy registrar job and I really want it. It really appeals to me. So I'd love to find out as much as I can about the role. I haven't been formally employed for more years than I care to say (have been self-employed, then home with children and voluntary stuff) so I need all the help I can get!

Thank you. smile

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pageturner Mon 13-Jul-09 11:12:56

Bump! smile

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pageturner Mon 13-Jul-09 15:05:45


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sunburntats Mon 13-Jul-09 15:15:23

I know some one who works in the reg offices but it apears from what i can gather that it is something that you have to work towards iyswim.
She has worked in the offices for about 3 years now and has applied to be trained. Im not sure if you can just apply (could be wrong)
She has been involved in the procedures and has assisted and her boss has approached her about becoming formally trained in this, from what she says, this is the way that it works.
have you phoned to enquire about it?

pageturner Mon 13-Jul-09 20:09:54

Hi sunburntats! There's a job advertised quite local to me for casual registration officers. It doesn't ask for previous experience and the personal spec if fairly general skills, organisational, admin sort of things. There's a stress on being flexible and being able to work at short notice, which luckily I can do.

Does your friend enjoy it? is she going to be trained in doing the registering and taking weddings?

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lambanana Mon 13-Jul-09 21:48:42

I would love that job. It's interesting to know about casual reg officers as I thought the same as tats that you had to already be working in that environment.

Good Luck PT

Saggarmakersbottomknocker Mon 13-Jul-09 21:51:51

I used to do this pageturner. Did registration of births/deaths and archivist too. I didn't do weddings as I couldn't work weekends. I really enjoyed it (although could be very sad sometimes)

What would you like to know?

sunburntats Tue 14-Jul-09 08:34:45

My friend LOVES it yes.
She has been attending the death register bit of it. Says its very sad as there are lots of still births and young deaths.

She started off with the weddings and enjoyed them.

She absolutely LOVES the family tree stuff, finding births , death & marriage certificates for people, they are so delighted with any info that they are given she says it is really really interesting.

She says that the funeral directors are lovely and bring bickies and chocs in for the staff!

Every day is different, some of the weddings are very entertaining and the variety is brill.
Good luck hun, it almost makes me want to change job!

pageturner Tue 14-Jul-09 12:56:34

Oh, Saggarmakersbottomknocker! I'm so glad I found you! (Thank you MN!)

OK, the job advert is here: and there's a link to the job description and person spec. I can match all of the essential personal criteria that is specified from my previous roles, but I don't have previous experience in this exact area. The only Essential that I need to work on is the knowledge of the towns, hamlets and parishes: I don't live in this area but on the edge of it, but I do know it a bit and am swotting madly! How detailed a knowledge do they need/want/do I need to demonstrate, do you think? Also, what's the software like? I'm familiar with Microsoft but obviously don't know the registration software. I'm pretty computer literate so would that be enough? I would have thought it would be quite user friendly.

I'm hoping that my current experience as a magistrate will stand me in good stead - what do you think? I previously worked in publishing both in house and freelance, which I think gives me lots of transferable skills.

I think my biggest strength is that they are advertising for casual people who can work evenings and weekends. I can do this and can be really flexible so I want to stress that.

I've got to do my personal statement and I was going to start with an acknowledgement of the significance to people of the life events that are the core of the work and therefore how important it is that the skills they ask for (that obviously I have in shedloads!) are deployed properly. Does that sound like a good approach?

Is there something that they're really looking for that isn't in the advert? How can I show that I've done my research thoroughly?

Am I kidding myself that I have any chance?! I would really love this job (can you tell?)

Thank you!

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pageturner Tue 14-Jul-09 13:02:12

Hello sunburntats, thank you for coming back. I'm glad to hear that your friend loves it, I just feel sure that I would too. I can see that there will be sad bits, but joyful ones too. I think that's what interests me so much: it's a window on the most significant moments in people's lives. The research bit interests me too: I did a bit of family history a while back and really enjoyed all that Looking Things Up! smile

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pageturner Tue 14-Jul-09 13:46:10

Another question: "registration policies, procedures and law as a Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths" - any idea where I can find these online?

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pagwatch Tue 14-Jul-09 13:51:21

My sister is a registrar and adores it. She works most weekends but doesn't mind. She knows most of the staff at the venues locally and enjoys that contact too. She is a great big slush bucket though grin

Actually she married my sister which was a really fab wedding for the rest of us grin

pageturner Tue 14-Jul-09 14:16:43

Oh pagwatch, that sounds great! smile I would absolutely love to marry people. Only problem is I'd probably cry! blush

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Saggarmakersbottomknocker Tue 14-Jul-09 19:23:45

OK - the software is easy peasy basic data entry. There are specific questions that you ask to glean the information and I was taught to ask them in a particular way with regard to the wording of the question but that is something you'll be learn in your training.

The rules around registration are very tight as you can imagine and there is a huge manual to refer to if you need help but again it will all be in the training. As far as knowledge of the towns and villages goes, hmm, it's probably wrt to boundaries as to which is a Birth/Death in your registration area as registering an event which has taken place in another area takes a different form. Also if you're doing archivist work (family history etc) then a knowledge of areas is very useful. I am born and bred here so had no problem with this.

I think magistrate work would absolutely stand you in good stead - business like approach, working within tight guidelines etc, dealing with coroners officers, funeral directors etc. Being sympathetic whilst retaining your composure is important as folk don't want you blubbing over their Death registration (although I was known to have a weep behind closed doors on the odd occasion).

Births and Deaths info is here The GRO used to have their own .gov website which had more information. There's a little more here The service is in the process of being 'modernised' and generally made more accessible to the public for example when I left some of our Birth regs were done at the bedside in the hospital. Also there are mooted changes about mothers being forced to name fathers when unmarried - at the moment the mum is responsible for registering the birth and an unmarried dad can't do it without mum.

I think your personal statement approach is just fine and yes, yes to flexibility and being able to work at fairly short notice. It's probably still the case that they have to provide a full service despite sickness, holidays etc because of the legal time limits for registering so they have to be fully staffed all the time. You can't turn people away because the Registrar has swine flu!

What's your handwriting like and can you wield a fountain pen? I had to do a test.

Good Luck! smile

Saggarmakersbottomknocker Tue 14-Jul-09 19:28:00

You could look around on here for information on the Registration Acts.

pageturner Tue 14-Jul-09 20:37:41

Oh Saggar, thank you! That's all incredibly useful. smile It made me smile about them starting to send people to register at the mother's bedside: my mum told me that's what they did when she had me and my brother, someone just came round. Everything comes full circle, doesn't it?

My handwriting is OK, thankfully, as long as I concentrate. And I do use a fountain pen a lot. Do you have to practise with one? I'm shock at the test, but thank you for the tip. It does actually say that they assess that at application form interview, so presumably they do check.

I've got to work on my statement more. DH pointed out, quite rightly, that I hadn't given enough evidence to support the skills that I said I had. I'm trying not to be too long-winded but be thorough at the same time. Aaargh!

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pageturner Tue 14-Jul-09 20:44:54

Thank you for the legislation link. I couldn't find anywhere which said what the guiding act was, so that's really useful, thanks. smile

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Saggarmakersbottomknocker Tue 14-Jul-09 21:49:49

You're welcome pageturner smile

We had to use fountain pens throughout secondary and I still write with one now alot of the time. My test was to re-write a register entry neatly and within a reasonable time. I loved being complimented on my handwriting.

Top tip if you get the job - have a cheapo pen for the informant to sign with. You don't want your best nib wrecked by someone who holds his pen like a crayon lol.

pageturner Fri 17-Jul-09 10:30:45

Right, that's it, the application is done and in. Fingers crossed! Thank you for all your help Saggar, pagwatch and sunburntats. smile

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Sinkingfeeling Thu 28-Mar-13 12:36:22

Sorry to bump an old thread, but I'm very interested in becoming a Registrar too, and wondered if Pageturner got the job, and how she's finding it. Any other insights into the job would be great too!

Sinkingfeeling Sun 14-Apr-13 23:53:42

Hopeful bump - I have an interview for a Deputy Registrar job looming and would love to get it! Any tips or insights would be great.

Frecklesaplenty Fri 09-May-14 21:04:38

Well dated thread but I have just got myself a job a part time registration officer! I'm so excited about it!

storynanny2 Tue 20-Jan-15 21:00:59

I would like to ask similar questions! I have an assessment day next week for this job and would love to hear from anyone who has been thought the process.
I am a bit worried about the 5 minute presentation with ten minutes preparation time!

Timmy8034 Thu 27-Aug-15 17:26:09

Hi. I'm not sure if my last addition to dated thread (but with 2015 entry) has worked. I was following with interest the thread about working as clerical/deputy registrar. I too have an assessment day coming up and was shocked to see something about a presentation on the latest post. Please can you tell me how you got on?

Timmy8034 Thu 27-Aug-15 17:29:31

Story nanny. How did you get on? What should I expect as I haven't done any research at this stage on parishes or anything. Should I start practising writing with a fountain pen? What was your assessment day like? I wonder how many assessment days they have per post? Will the fact that I'm a single mum go against me as I haven't always been the most conventional. I can look smart but wondered if this means not being able to show your character. Any advice greatly appreciated.

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