Accredited training for those working in childhood bereavement

Categories: Education.

The Certificate and Advanced Certificate in Working in Childhood Bereavement are run by Hospice UK and St Christopher’s Candle Child Bereavement Service.

Programme lead Isobel Bremner, who also heads up St Christopher’s Candle service, reflects on why the courses have gone from strength to strength since they were set up over ten years ago:

“These were the first university validated courses in the UK in this field. Since then, they’ve been increasingly recognised as useful and relevant qualifications for people working in the field of childhood bereavement.

“When they were re-validated, they were commended for their contribution to the personal and career development of students, their impact on the development of bereavement services, and the way in which they model good practice in inter-professional work.

“Other features of the programmes which were singled out at re-validation were the richness of the programme content, the quality of support from course tutors and the specialist librarian at St Christopher’s, and the contribution of practising clinicians, many of whom are experts in their field.”

Isobel and her colleagues often hear about past students and the impact of the courses on their professional development. This is of obvious interest as one of the aims of the courses is to enhance students’ opportunities to contribute more actively to childhood bereavement services and to further their careers.

Currently, there is no obvious route into managing services and one of the aims of these qualifications is to help fill that gap.

Just over half the students have come from hospices; others come from either voluntary or statutory bereavement services, or from a range of posts in education.

Following successful completion of the courses many of the students moved into new roles supporting bereaved children, young people and their families.

“I cannot overstate how much I gained from the 2014/15 level 5 course,” said Denise Ozanne, a project worker from The Sunflower Project, Barnardos.

“The mix of trainers made every day that I attended truly inspirational. Working in a room of people who were daily supporting bereaved families gave the most amazing level of peer support and opportunities for professional development.

“The academic requirements ensured that I developed what was taught in each session by further reading, thanks to excellent guidance from the librarian at St Christopher’s Hospice.

“It is now a year since we finished the course and every month I refer back to my notes or essays and I have also contacted some of my ‘study buddies’ for advice and suggestions.”

We are now accepting applications for the 2016/17 Certificate or Advanced Certificate in Working in Childhood Bereavement. For more information visit Hospice UK’s website or contact Amber Morgan at

Completed application forms should be returned by 17 June 2016

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