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Advanced Certificate in Grave Care


Death Care Academy Advanced Certificate in Grave Care is a six days over twelve weeks training that provides the skills and knowledge for an individual to be competent in the safe preparation, digging and back-filling of graves including ground maintenance. The training contents is in accordance with the relevant requirements of the Safety, Health and Welfare legislation and Industry standard requirements.

In addition, the course will address the issues surrounding lone working, coordination and supervision of those who wish to dig grave and the essential tools for documentation. It will also provide a structured development experience combining theoretical knowledge with actual skills application.


Course Entry Requirements

There are no formal educational requirements, however, applicant must be an existing cemetery worker who possess a suitable level of practical experience including a valid Safe Pass Card.


Learner Resources

Each delegate will receive a specially designed workbook including development plans that will help them apply their learnings from the course to the job.  This workbook will provide with them the opportunity for reflection on their roles. In addition, each delegate will be provided with a one-to-one coaching session.


Course Outline


Module 1: Safety, Health and Welfare Legislation

The aim of this module is to examine the legislative approach to safety, health and welfare and its impact on safety performance. The module commences with a review of the background to the legislation and associated documentation including Safe System of Work Plans (SSWP’s).

This is followed by a detailed examination of the statutory provisions contained in the Act, General Applications and Construction Regulations including the various Codes of Practice and guidance documents. The module concludes with a practical session on applying the legislation to workplace situations and scenarios.

Module 2: Hazard Identification & Risk Assessment

In this module the process of risk assessment is addressed. The module starts off with a review of the reasons for preventing accidents and the legal basis for risk assessment. Following this is an examination of the hierarchy of controls to managing risks including the identification of hazard categories and hazard types. The module also examines the role of safe systems of work plans, safety statements, safety and health plans and essential documentation materials. The module concludes with an examination of the impact of human error on safety and the risk assessment process.

Module 3: Manual Handling

This module will equip the learner with the knowledge, skills and competences to apply correct manual handling techniques in their working environment. The module commences with a session on the legislative requirements and health benefits of manual handling. This is followed by an examination of the anatomy and back care along with a description and explanation of ergonomic principles and risk assessment. The module concludes with a practical application and demonstration of the manual handling principles and techniques.

Module 4: Grave Digging Principles & Techniques

This module addressed the principles and techniques involved in preparing, digging, shoring, back-filling and consolidating collapsed graves including working in confined spaces.  The module is divided into three parts, part one is a theoretical review of the process.  Part two involves the practical aspects of the above including an analysis of each participant’s performance. Part three covers working in confined spaces.

Module 5: Communications and Coaching

This provides the learner with the knowledge and skills involved in communication and coaching to help them to be able to deal and cope with a number of different behavioural types including grief and trauma and people at their lowest ebb. The module commences with an overview of the communication and coaching process. This is followed by a practical on applying the techniques to a number of scenarios. The module concludes with a session on dealing and coping with trauma.

Trainer Qualifications

The trainers delivering this course are subject matter experts who possess extensive experience across a wide range of industrial sectors both public and private in the delivery of and each of the modules listed. This is combined with relevant academic qualification up to masters degree level.


(Note: The Advanced Certificate in Grave Care is valid for three years from the date of issue.)

DMG Death Care Ltd (No 504260)
t/a Death Care Academy of Ireland
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