No two days in Registration are the same as each and every day involves an interaction with the public. Behind every registration there is a personal story and behind every ceremony often a mix of emotion. The challenge is to be empathetic and understanding whilst remaining efficient and professional at all times.
A Registration Officer’s main duties can be divided into six key areas:
Registering births – interviewing the parents to find out the details needed for the child’s birth certificate. The information is then entered into a national database and the parents issued with the relevant documents.
Registering deaths – checking the documents describing why the person has died and consulting with the doctor or coroner if anything is out of place. The death registration process involves an interview in order to gain the information needed for the death certificate. This enables the relevant documentation to be issued so that the bereaved can proceed with the funeral arrangements.
Legal Preliminaries – to marriages and civil partnerships
Performing civil marriage and civil partnership ceremonies – before the ceremony can takes place, the Registration Officer will need to interview the couple to make sure they can legally marry or form a civil partnership. The Registration Officer will then perform the marriage or civil partnership ceremony either at a Register Office or another venue with a licence to hold the ceremony such as a hotel, castle or even a zoo!
Keeping records – Registration Officers are responsible for looking after the birth, death and marriage registers dating back to 1837 when civil registration began in England and Wales. Members of the public can request certificates to be issued from the register for legal or genealogical reasons. The task of preparing and issuing copy certificates is usually completed by Registration Support staff.
Nationality checking – Registration Officers provide assistance to people who are seeking to apply for British Citizenship by providing a ‘Check & Send’ service to ensure that citizenship applications meet with the strict criteria applied by the Home Office. This service seeks to ensure that applications are successful in much the same way as the Post Office carry out a passport application checking service.
In addition there are a number of other areas of work which experienced staff have the opportunity to be involved in, including officiating at naming ceremonies, civil funerals, renewal of marriage vows and citizenship celebrations.
The Registration team employs some 130 staff on a combination of different contract types. All Registration Officers are required to contract for work which will include weekends, particularly during the busy marriage season which generally runs between April and October each year. Whilst we offer a combination of part and full time positions, we are also able to offer annualised hours contracts.
During your employment with Hampshire County Council (HCC) you will receive structured and ongoing training which will help you to develop and enhance your skills as a Registration Officer. In order to offer workload variety we seek to ensure that our Officers are provided with a broad skill base which will enable them to participate in the many and varied activities of the service.
The very nature of the work requires that staff are willing and able to travel within a defined geographical boundary. For Registration purposes the county is divided into four regions – North Borders, Mid Hampshire, South East Hampshire and New Forest. Not only do we deliver our services from standard Register Office accommodation, we also work in designated out-stations, Approved Venues (which are licensed by HCC for the purpose of marriage and civil partnership) and on occasion in peoples homes when it is necessary to provide domiciliary visits.