Q: What is included in the training?
A: Our core training process includes (for example) modules on working with grief, awareness of diversity and privilege, and an exploration of the idea of community. Plus modules on ritual, learning how to gather information from couples and families, setting up a business, and all of the tools of the trade. You will be issued a handbook which is a valuable resource beyond the training itself, as you start to work on delivering your ceremonies.
Q: How is the training delivered?
Trainees work at their own pace, so may be completed in around six months, or may take closer to a year. You are allocated a mentor (one of the three founder-directors) and work closely with them throughout. We also encourage and facilitate group-learning through our monthly online hubs.
The first phase of the training and mentoring programme will take the form of self-study and completion of all the practical exercises contained in the Agnostic Scotland Life Celebrancy Handbook. This will be supported by regular 1-1 meetings with your assigned mentor. During this process, you will also be expected to complete assignments and provide presentations on certain aspects of your learning at the monthly Agnostic Scotland Life Celebrant Hub. Beyond your training, these ongoing monthly meetings with the wider Agnostic Scotland network will be provided for support, development, and confidence building.
The second phase will take the form of shadowing your mentor while they conduct meetings with couples/families and undertake ceremonies such as weddings, namings, and funerals. The shadowing process will be adapted according to the skills, confidence and experience of the mentee.
Q: If I am accepted to the training, will I definitely become an Agnostic Scotland Life Celebrant?
A: Whilst this has generally been the case so far, it is important that we make sure Agnostic Scotland Life Celebrants meet our standards and adhere to our professional code of conduct. We have built in a mid-way assessment to ensure trainees are on track (we would work closely with anyone we were concerned about to ensure the best outcome) and trainees must complete all aspects of their training and pass their final assessment to be invited to join us.
Q: Will I be employed by Agnostic Scotland?
A: No, you would be self-employed. As an Agnostic Scotland Life Celebrant, you would work under our branding, benefitting from our ongoing training and development opportunities, contributing to our evolution as an organisation, and having a network of support (including cover celebrants for your ceremonies). As part of your membership you would be expected to pay a small monthly fee to Agnostic Scotland.
Q: Will I be able to conduct legal weddings as an Agnostic Scotland Life Celebrant?
A: Agnostic Scotland is recognised by the Scottish Government as a belief body and approved by the National Records of Scotland (NRS) to conduct legal marriage ceremonies. It is our aim and expectation that all Life Celebrants invited to join our team, who wish to undertake wedding ceremonies, would be able to conduct legal Marriage ceremonies.