‘If you enjoy a varied role that takes in a diverse range of customer requirements, it’s definitely worth applying, just don’t forget your pen!’
Ever wondered what it’s like to be a Registration Officer? We spoke to Shakira, who’s been with the service for 10 years to learn more..
Tell us about your role
A typical day can have you taking a notice of marriage, registering numerous babies, helping someone along the bereavement journey by registering a loved one’s death, all whilst fielding emails and queries with sometimes a ceremony popped in for good measure!
I think people often assume we marry people all day, but our role is much more varied than that! We deal with sensitive legal paperwork and are highly accountable for our own workload and actions, it is a very in-depth role and there is always something new to learn. You also need to have a good grip on IT, as we use a lot of systems for our registration work.
What might surprise people?
We still write with a fountain pen (we have special ink!).
How has the role changed to meet Covid requirements?
More than we could imagine at the beginning of the year, most of what we do is similar to when we started in 1837, but 2020 has really changed that!
Our appointments are usually face to face and can take some time, but with the legislative changes brought about by the pandemic we have adapted our processes to allow death registrations to take place over the telephone, and made our buildings and procedures Covid secure for when people attend appointments and ceremonies.
Our days are less varied as we are focusing on the Birth and Death elements of the role and we have all become very adept at using Teams! Although it is frustrating that we can’t always work exactly as we have done, we are grateful that the law allows us to continue with our roles and provide the service we care about.
What opportunities have you had?
I have recently joined the Registrar General’s nationally accredited programme for Registration Officers, which is a big undertaking, but with the support of managers and colleagues it helps me gain a much better understanding of the service and technical aspects of the role.
What would you say to someone thinking of applying?
You’ll need to be organised, accurate and good under pressure, all whilst providing a respectful and professional service to the customer.
It’s a really rewarding role and I work with a great team who are all focused on providing a good service and a happy place to work, but we are busy, and you must think on your feet and be adaptable when the pressure is on. Working together goes without saying but days can be solitary when you have a full diary so there’s little time for small talk! There’s always weekend work, so make sure that works for you, as it’s key to the role.
If you enjoy a varied, responsible role that takes in a diverse range of customer requirements, coupled with a lot of team camaraderie then it’s definitely worth applying, just don’t forget your pen!
Interested in applying for one of our Registration Officer roles? Take a look at our current vacancies here: https://www.somerset.gov.uk/jobs-and-careers/job-search/job/?jobId=1763