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Overview of the role

Ensure the effective operation of the mortuary and to assist colleagues in providing dignified care of the deceased.

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Mortuary technician

Details of standard

This standard has options. Display duties and KSBs for:

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in the death care industry, typically within funeral organisations, NHS and private hospitals, Universities, Schools of Anatomy, private and public mortuaries.

A Funeral Mortuary Technician prepares, dresses and encoffins the deceased, ensuring that they are cared for and presented with dignity and respect in line with religious and cultural requirements.

An Anatomical Pathology Technologist assists with post-mortems, evisceration and dissection, removal of organs and tissue retrieval, and reconstruction of the deceased following post-mortem.

The broad purpose of the occupation for both options is to ensure the effective operation of the mortuary and to assist colleagues in providing dignified care of the deceased.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with internal and external stakeholders for example, the deceased, relatives, funeral directors, embalmers, crematoria, cemeteries, funeral arrangers, funeral service operatives, drivers, embalmers, doctors, police, coroners, regulatory agencies (for example, Human Tissue Authority), religious/cultural leaders, bereavement services, midwives, trade organisations, hospital and care home staff, suppliers, managers.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for three broad areas of work:

  • ensuring that the deceased is cared for and presented with dignity and respect in line with religious and cultural requirements.
  • ensuring the organisation of daily mortuary activities including mortuary governance for example, checking documentation, reviewing the condition of the deceased, infection control, monitoring equipment and consumables and ensuring that they are replenished and available as necessary.
  • ensuring that work areas and equipment are sanitary and functional.

Mortuary technicians work as part of a team in either a funeral business, NHS or private hospital, University, School of Anatomy, private or public mortuary. They normally work set hours, however they may occasionally work unsociable hours if required by the business.

Typical job titles include:

Anatomical pathology technologist Embalming assistant Mortuary assistant Mortuary technician

Core occupation duties

Duty

KSBs

Duty 1 Monitor the safety and hygiene of equipment and mortuary in line with legislation and business standards

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K13 K16 K17 K18 K19 K26 K33

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S9 S10 S11 S12 S13 S14 S16 S17 S18 S19 S20 S22 S23 S24 S25 S26 S28

B2 B4

Duty 2 Ensure facilities, equipment, consumables and sundries are available and serviceable

K1 K2 K3 K4 K6 K8 K9 K10 K11 K16 K17 K18 K21 K22 K24 K26 K30 K33

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S10 S11 S14 S15 S16 S17 S18 S19 S20 S23 S24 S25 S26 S28 S30 S35 S36 S37

B2 B3 B4

Duty 3 Manage the receipt and release including identification check and personal effects in line with business policies and procedures

K1 K2 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K12 K13 K14 K15 K16 K17 K18 K19 K20 K21 K25 K26 K32 K33

S1 S3 S7 S8 S9 S10 S11 S14 S15 S16 S17 S19 S20 S22 S23 S24 S25 S26 S27 S30 S31

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 4 Carry out initial and on-going assessments of the deceased to monitor the condition of the deceased and any changes that occur due to natural decomposition

K1 K2 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K16 K17 K18 K20 K21 K23 K25 K27 K28 K29

S1 S3 S7 S8 S9 S10 S13 S14 S15 S16 S17 S19 S20 S23 S24 S25 S26 S27 S29 S32 S33

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 5 Manage risks within the limits of own responsibilities, notify the wider team of any concerns and escalate high risks to the senior manager

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K16 K17 K18 K20 K21 K23 K24 K26 K30 K31 K33

S1 S2 S3 S7 S8 S9 S10 S11 S12 S13 S14 S15 S16 S17 S19 S20 S21 S22 S23 S24 S25 S26 S27 S28 S29 S30 S32 S33

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 6 Carry out initial care such as cleaning of deceased and removal of soiled items

K1 K2 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K16 K17 K18 K21 K24 K25

S1 S3 S7 S8 S9 S10 S12 S13 S14 S15 S16 S17 S18 S19 S20 S23 S24 S25 S26 S27 S29 S30 S32

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 7 Manage the flow of cases in line with business and client priorities and liaise with team members to ensure that the service user or client is kept informed

K1 K2 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K13 K14 K15 K16 K17 K18 K19 K20 K21 K24 K25 K26 K29 K33

S1 S2 S3 S7 S8 S9 S10 S11 S13 S14 S15 S16 S17 S19 S20 S22 S23 S24 S25 S26 S28 S30 S32

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 8 Maintain the register of deceased

K1 K2 K12 K14 K15 K16 K17 K18 K19 K20 K21

S3 S7 S8 S15 S17 S19 S23 S24

B2 B4

Duty 9 Ensure correct documents and permissions are in place in line with legislation

K1 K2 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K16 K17 K18 K19 K20 K21 K26 K32 K33

S1 S3 S7 S8 S11 S14 S15 S16 S17 S19 S23 S24 S25 S28 S30 S31 S32

B2 B4

Duty 10 Clean the mortuary before/after procedures to maintain infection control

K1 K2 K3 K4 K6 K7 K9 K10 K11 K16 K17 K18 K33

S1 S3 S4 S5 S10 S13 S18 S19 S20 S23 S24 S25 S27 S28 S29 S30

B2 B4 B6

Duty 11 Communicate with third parties, clients, doctors, internal and external stakeholders to ensure the business delivers the highest level of care to the service user, client and the deceased

K1 K2 K3 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K16 K17 K18 K19 K20 K21 K22 K23 K24 K25 K26 K31 K33

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10 S11 S12 S13 S14 S15 S16 S17 S18 S19 S20 S21 S22 S23 S24 S25 S26 S27 S28 S29 S30 S31 S32 S34 S35 S36 S37

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 12 Carry out stock / chemicals inventory and ensure stock replenishment

K1 K2 K3 K4 K7 K9 K10 K11 K16 K17 K18

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S19 S20 S23 S24 S25

B2 B4

Duty 13 Participate in on-going learning and continuous development of self and team

K1 K2 K9 K16 K17 K18

S3 S15 S19 S23 S24

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Option duties

Anatomical pathology technologist duties

Duty

KSBs

Duty 19 Prepare the deceased for post-mortem examination, such as checking for bruising, jaundice, trauma and implanted devices

K1 K2 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K16 K17 K18 K27 K28 K31 K32 K33

S1 S3 S10 S13 S14 S15 S16 S17 S19 S20 S23 S24 S32 S33

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 20 Assist with internal examination of the deceased, including evisceration and dissection of organs and structures

K1 K2 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K14 K15 K16 K17 K18 K27 K28 K33

S1 S3 S13 S14 S15 S16 S17 S19 S20 S23 S24 S34 S35

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 21 Carry out reconstruction of the deceased following a post-mortem

K1 K2 K4 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K14 K15 K16 K17 K18 K27 K28 K33

S1 S3 S13 S14 S15 S16 S17 S19 S20 S23 S24 S36

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 22 Carry out tissue retrieval and recording under the direction of supervisory staff

K1 K2 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K14 K15 K16 K17 K18 K27 K28 K29 K30 K33

S1 S3 S13 S14 S15 S16 S17 S19 S20 S23 S24 S37

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 23 Assist the pathologist where necessary

K1 K2 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K14 K15 K16 K18 K27 K28 K29 K31 K32 K33

S1 S3 S7 S13 S14 S15 S16 S17 S19 S20 S23 S24

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6


KSBs

Knowledge

K1: Industry standards, regulations and legislation relating to mortuary procedures and governance Back to Duty

K2: Organisational policies, protocols and standard operating procedures, systems and applications Back to Duty

K3: The required stock levels for consumables and sundries based on scope of practice Back to Duty

K4: The importance of ensuring the Mortuary area is safely set up Back to Duty

K5: The identification and prevention of further deterioration and decomposition of the deceased and the process to escalate issues Back to Duty

K6: The importance of infection control and how to prevent and control the spread of infection within the workplace Back to Duty

K7: The risks and control of chemical exposure Back to Duty

K8: The implications of excessive size and weight of the deceased and how to safely handle the deceased Back to Duty

K9: Risk assessments and the employee's responsibilities in line with organisational standards Back to Duty

K10: The limits of own responsibilities Back to Duty

K11: The equipment available to support and mitigate risks, how and when to utilise the equipment and how to report faults Back to Duty

K12: How and when to safely remove medical equipment from the deceased Back to Duty

K13: The implications of implants, when to remove from the deceased and escalation procedures Back to Duty

K14: The organisation’s databases and systems for recording the journey of the deceased and their care information Back to Duty

K15: The importance of treating each deceased with dignity and respect at all times Back to Duty

K16: The importance of continuous professional development and how to research opportunities for development Back to Duty

K17: Coaching and mentoring methods Back to Duty

K18: Methods of communication Back to Duty

K19: The importance of and how to complete and process all relevant paperwork Back to Duty

K20: The legal implications surrounding specialist funeral services such as burial, cremation and repatriation Back to Duty

K21: The individual needs of clients and family members and the impact that these have on the deceased’s time in mortuary care (such as: cultural, religious, age, gender requirements) Back to Duty

K22: Mouth and eye closure techniques Back to Duty

K23: How to, and the reasons for packing orifices Back to Duty

K24: Personal grooming techniques in the care of the deceased including cosmetic application Back to Duty

K25: Dressing techniques and rituals in the care of the deceased Back to Duty

K26: The embalming process and specific requirements when supporting the embalmer Back to Duty

K27: The anatomical structure of the human body Back to Duty

K28: The physiology of anatomical systems in the human body Back to Duty

K29: The structure and life cycles of bacteria, protozoa, fungi and viruses of relevance to human health Back to Duty

K30: The procedure to record and retrieve tissue from a deceased person Back to Duty

K31: The requirements for specialist post-mortem examinations Back to Duty

K32: The documentation requirements for post-mortem examination consent and subsequent procedures Back to Duty

K33: The specific requirements when supporting the pathologist Back to Duty

Skills

S1: Follow safe operating procedures to monitor and maintain the safety and hygienic condition of equipment and mortuary Back to Duty

S2: Organise the repair and replacement of faulty / damaged equipment if necessary Back to Duty

S3: Complete all relevant documents for each deceased in line with organisational system requirements reporting any discrepancies to the appropriate person Back to Duty

S4: Carry out opening checks to ensure mortuary environment is safe and ready for use Back to Duty

S5: Carry out stock rotation, control and replenishment in line with organisational systems and procedures Back to Duty

S6: Order supplies as required within limits of authority Back to Duty

S7: Carry out correct identification of the deceased, checking condition and recording personal effects and details on organisational database/system as required Back to Duty

S8: Triage the deceased by assessing, prioritising and carrying out initial care as necessary and permitted within scope of practise Back to Duty

S9: Complete on-going assessments, acting on and communicating any issues arising Back to Duty

S10: Monitor the available spaces and communicate to line manager in line with organisational procedures Back to Duty

S11: Complete necessary risk assessments on equipment and mortuary environment as required in line with organisational procedures Back to Duty

S12: Dispose of or return soiled items according to legislation and organisational procedures Back to Duty

S13: Carry out cleaning and disinfection processes in the care of the deceased according to client wishes Back to Duty

S14: Prioritise workload to meet business and client demands Back to Duty

S15: Demonstrate the use of communication methods, tools and skills, adapting technique and style to suit the individual Back to Duty

S16: Monitor the progress of the deceased through the mortuary area reporting any issues to the appropriate person Back to Duty

S17: Carry out quality checks at every interaction with the deceased Back to Duty

S18: Carry out cleaning schedule in line with organisational requirements, reporting any issues to the appropriate person Back to Duty

S19: Assist other colleagues within the mortuary environment as and when required Back to Duty

S20: Apply manual handling and safe working practices in the completion of duties Back to Duty

S21: Prepare the deceased for release and complete final quality checks before the deceased leaves the mortuary Back to Duty

S22: Monitor the standard of care within the mortuary, identifying training and development needs and reporting to the appropriate person Back to Duty

S23: Identify areas for self-development and maintain continuous professional development Back to Duty

S24: Demonstrate and share best practice with the team Back to Duty

S25: Prioritise workload considering initial assessment of the deceased, business, family members and client requirements, timescales and collaborate with the wider team Back to Duty

S26: Accurately measure the deceased considering size and weight implications, communicate any concerns to the appropriate person Back to Duty

S27: Prepare the deceased for embalming Back to Duty

S28: Support the embalmer in the embalming process Back to Duty

S29: Carry out preparation of the deceased for example, washing, feature setting, orifice packing, dressing, application of cosmetics, personal grooming and any specific individual requirements respecting religious and cultural beliefs Back to Duty

S30: Implement family-specific and cultural needs and wishes Back to Duty

S31: Carry out identification and personal effect checks at every interaction with the deceased Back to Duty

S32: Prepare the deceased for post-mortem examination Back to Duty

S33: Carry out external examination of the deceased Back to Duty

S34: Carry out evisceration and dissection of the deceased under the direction of supervisory staff Back to Duty

S35: Carry out examination of dissected organs and structures Back to Duty

S36: Carry out reconstruction of the deceased following post-mortem examination Back to Duty

S37: Carry out procedures for tissue retrieval and recording under the direction of supervisory staff Back to Duty

Behaviours

B1: Treat colleagues and the deceased with respect and dignity Back to Duty

B2: Maintain professionalism at all times Back to Duty

B3: Be considerate of the diverse needs of individuals Back to Duty

B4: Demonstrate attention to detail Back to Duty

B5: Demonstrate empathy and sensitivity Back to Duty

B6: Be adaptable and flexible to situations as they arise Back to Duty


Qualifications

English and Maths

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.

Other mandatory qualifications

RSPH Level 3 Diploma in Healthcare Science (Anatomical Pathology Technology)Guided Learning Hours (GLH) 363 hours Total Qualification Time (TQT) 615 hours

Level: 3

Ofqual regulated

This qualification is mandated for those learners using the APT option


Additional details

Occupational Level:

3

Duration (months):

18

Review

This apprenticeship standard will be reviewed after three years

Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 3
Reference: ST0889
Version: 1.0
Date updated: 27/07/2022
Approved for delivery: 30 March 2022
Route: Health and science
Typical duration to gateway: 18 months
Typical EPA period: 4 months
Maximum funding: £13000
Options: Funeral mortuary technician, Anatomical pathology technologist
LARS Code: 677
EQA Provider: Ofqual

Find an apprenticeship

Contact us about this apprenticeship

Employers involved in creating the standard: The Co-operative Group Funeralcare People 1st international Dignity Plc Funeral Partners Ltd Lincolnshire Co-op East of England Co-op East Sussex Healthcare Trust S. Stibbards & Sons Family Funeral DirectorsS.Stibbards & Sons Family Funeral Directors A.R Adams (Funeral Directors) Ltd C.P.J Field Funeral Directors The Association of Anatomical Pathology Technicians The British Institute of Embalmers Health Education England Royal Society for Public Health North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.0 Approved for delivery 30/03/2022 Not set Not set

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