History

The Coroner’s Officers Association (COA) was formed in November 1997 when a number of like-minded Coroner’s Officers from across the country got together to discuss the problems we all face in our daily tasks. A large number of these problems seem to be because so few people actually understand what we do. We agreed that we needed our own body to be able to address the serious problems that beset us, and to try and enhance the standing and influence of Coroner’s Officers.

It was clear that before we could address these problems we needed to ensure that we operated to a consistent and minimum standard. It was therefore felt that to set up a national training programme together with a measure of standardisation across the country was our main priority.

We have since been recognised by the Home Office, Ministry of Justice (formerly Department for Constitutional Affairs) and theAssociation of Chief Police Officers as an established professional body, and were mentioned in the Tarling report on the Coroner Service.
More recently, we had an input into the Fundamental Review of the Coroner’s Service and gave evidence to the Shipman Inquiry. We have regular meetings with the Ministry of Justice (formerly Department for Constitutional Affairs), especially in this time of potential change and a new Coroner’s Reform Bill.

We are working with the University of Teesside on a number of training courses – of which there is more in the Training Section on this site.

We have been involved in talks with the Department of Health and the Department of Transport on various national issues which impinge on our work.

There is of course a good deal more to do but we can only progress if we grow as a body of professionals.

Why not join us and add your voice to ours and positively affect the future for Coroner’s Officers?

Naturally there is a cost involved and you will understand that it is necessary to build our infrastructure. Some employers allow their staff to attend our conferences in duty time with expenses paid as a necessary part of our job.

In no way do we wish to take the place of or encroach on the preserves of any trade union or the Police Federation. Our position is that of a professional body which will eventually confer a qualification and a proper status on our members. We have a working agreement with the trade union UNISON, who represent a considerable number of our members.

We regularly publish an informative newsletter to all our members, both in England and Wales and overseas.

The objects of the Association are:

 

  • To advance the expertise of Coroner’s Officers, in the field of investigating sudden unexpected and unnatural deaths
  • To formulate and promote training courses for Coroner’s Officers

 

  • To aim for all Coroner’s Officers (other than serving police officers) to work within a national standard of working practices of pay, terms and conditions, irrespective of who their employers are. Coroner’s Officers to be defined as:

    persons responsible to one of Her Majesty’s Coroners who have an investigative role in the procedure for dealing with sudden, unexpected or unnatural deaths
  • To act as a negotiating and advisory body when required
  • To act as liaison on matters concerning Coroner’s Officers between the following bodies:
    Ministry of Justice (formerly Department for Constitutional Affairs);
    Coroner’s Society;
    Association of Chief Police Officers;
    Association of Local Police Authorities;
    Association of Local Government Associations;
    and any other appropriate body