• Why start "another training organisation"?
    IPC isn't primarily a training organisation. Yes it does provide training but its primary business model isn't predicated upon an endless supply of new, hopeful recruits wanting to make their fortune as a celebrant. IPC is primarily, as the name suggests, a society for promoting the work of professional celebrants in the wider community and supporting celebrants in their career as self-employed professionals. The Institute exists:
    • to help the public and policy makers better understand what celebrants can do to facilitate the important rites of passage of human existence
    • to help celebrants develop their skills both in celebrancy and in business
  • Membership criteria:
    The IPC as an organisation is committed to the concept of human equality in values and rights regardless of age, gender identity, race, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or religious background. We also recognise that there is a wide spectrum of celebrants, from those who are experienced but who have not had any formal training, through to celebrants who have no experience at all and have just finished a training course. The Institute seeks to promote excellence and best practice in both the running of celebrants' businesses and in the more delicate art of helping our families through their most exciting and tragic times.
    As such the Institute does not have formal Membership Criteria. Anyone who aligns themselves with these ideals is welcome to join the IPC. Over time, with membership input, we may develop a more formal set of criteria that reflect the ethical, business and other standards that, as a community, we feel a professional celebrant should embody. What we cannot do is impose an arbitrary set of competence standards without an effective way of measuring that competence. Such standards might also discriminate against new celebrants who are still developing their craft.
    We currently expect there will be two levels of IPC membership. Exactly how is still to be decided but at the moment we're working on the premise that anyone can be a “member” because how can people improve if they aren’t part of a community? The second level will be Fellowship. People who have passed a certain quality threshold will be allowed to use the title “Fellow of the Institute of Professional Celebrants” and the letters F.I.P.C. after their name. It is fellowship that will denote a recognised level of quality.
  • Can I join if I'm already a member of another association?
    Of course! Some training organisations have tended to have a rather exclusive approach. IPC's culture is one of strategic alliances rather than competition. Celebrancy is tough enough without narrow minded turf wars.
  • Do I have to give up my membership to another organisation in order to join?
    No. Of course we can't speak for other organisations who might take a different view but we are an inclusive community.
  • What if I'm already insured with another association?
    The dirty secret of the Professional Indemnity and Public Liability insurance industry is that it is the administration of policies that costs the money, not the insurance itself. An individual seeking to get insurance may see policies costing between £50 and £150 per year. As a membership organisation we pay a bulk policy premium based on the number of members. The incremental cost of an additional member is remarkably small - partly because we're doing the administration for the insurance company. In fact, the cost of administration of not insuring a particular member (who is already insured elsewhere) is greater than the cost of insuring them. This is why we don't offer a reduced membership for people who are already insured elsewhere. The insurance is actually one of the cheapest parts of running the membership system!
  • Where does your insurance cover?
    At the moment our insurance only covers celebrants who are primarily based in the UK but it covers them for their professional activities anywhere in the world except the USA (you wouldn't believe how expensive it is to add that cover for all members). We are currently extending the coverage for members who are based in Ireland, France, Australia and New Zealand and expect to be able to make announcements very soon. Cover for members based in the USA and members based outside the USA but wishing to operate in the USA is in negotiation and will be subject to additional charges.

If you have other questions that you think might be of general interest please email us at [email protected] and we'll add them to this FAQ.


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