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Registrar career guide

If you’re looking for a mixed bag of a job, which includes performing ceremonies, you may like the sound of becoming a registrar.

Safeera Sarjoo
01st March 2016
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What is a registrar?

A registrar is responsible for recording all the births, stillbirths, marriages, deaths and civil partnerships within the areas they’re working in. By law, details of all these events must be recorded. This role is suited to someone who is a clear and good communicator and likes to carry out legal procedures. There are opportunities to expand on this role and officiate at naming ceremonies, civil funerals, renewal of vows and citizenship celebrations. Other lines of work includes helping people fill out official forms so neat handwriting helps in this instance. As processes are currently being modernised, IT skills are also incredibly useful.

What are their responsibilities?

Responsibilities within this role includes

  • Interviewing parents after a birth or death
  • Issuing birth and death certificates
  • Informing a coroner if there are any suspicious circumstances surrounding a death
  • Interviewing couples looking to get married
  • Keeping records accurate and up to date
  • Collecting statistics for the General Register Office
  • Performing ceremonies

What characteristics suit this role?

If you love working with people and providing help and support to those in need then this may be the right career for you. Some key characteristics and qualities that are best suited to this job include,

  • Being tactful and working discreetly with people from different backgrounds
  • Showing sensitivity in difficult situations
  • Obtaining correct information
  • Writing clearly and accurately
  • Being able to work under pressure
  • Confident with computer system and IT literate
  • Confident speaker
  • Knowledge of a foreign language
  • Ability to exercise empathy to people who may be in distress
  • Clear handwriting

Entry requirements and training

Although there is no standardised qualification for young people looking to enter this profession, a good level of education to at least GCSE level is necessary. Computer literacy and English are of particular importance.

In order to break into this line of work, experience in excellent customer service, exercising good IT skills and public speaking is desired. Managerial experience, as well as handling budgets and a working knowledge of the legislation is necessary.

Training is given on the job and includes training on registration law and procedures. You may also be given training on how to deal with bereavement as well as providing good customer care. The Local Registration Services Association has a long term aim of developing a qualification to help standardising training across local authorities.

This qualification will include training on registration services, customer services, IT, fraudulent registrations and relationships between local government and the registration service.


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