Coalition of Celebrant Associations

Australia’s Peak Celebrant Body

2012 CoCA Submission on Cost Recovery and Increasing Professionalism

CoCA Submission to AGD with recommendations on Professional Fee and other matters.

Background documents from the AGD:
Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) re professional fee

Web link to: CoCA response to the RIS

MLCS - Consultation Paper - Marriage Celebrants Program - Program Improvements through Cost Recovery - August 2012.PDF

The CoCA associations, at the invitation of the AGD, have provided a submission to the Department with recommendations on reforms/changes to the Marriage Celebrant Program.

This submission is the result of a collaboration between all 13 CoCA associations.

DOWNLOAD: COCA SUBMISSION in response to the MLCS Consultation Paper 2012.

We will invite you to read our submission and provide comments, thoughts, ideas to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The CoCA associations, at the invitation of the AGD, have provided a submission to the Department with recommendations on reforms/changes to the Marriage Celebrant Program. This submission is the result of a collaboration between all 13 CoCA associations. Read more … see TABLE OF CONTENTS DOWNLOAD FULL DOCUMENT: CoCA-submission-on-professional-fee We will invite you to read our submission and provide comments, thoughts, ideas to us.
Preamble: The celebrant peak body, the Coalition of Celebrant Associations (CoCA) in conjunction with members of their associations and submissions from individual celebrants, put forward in this document our recommendations for improvements to the Marriage Celebrants Program.
1.0 Guiding Principles It is recommended that the Attorney General, in aiming to increase professionalism of marriage celebrants and ensure the ongoing viability of the Commonwealth Marriage Celebrant Program be guided by the following principles: A professional model of celebrancy as “professional ceremonialists” is the most appropriate model upon which to base the future development of celebrancy.The definition of a professional ceremonialist is a person who adheres to high ethical standards. They uphold themselves to, and are accepted by the public as possessing special knowledge and skills in creating appropriate dignified and meaningful ceremonies to meet the needs of individuals,…
It is recommended that the Attorney General, in aiming to increase professionalism of marriage celebrants and ensure the ongoing viability of the Commonwealth Marriage Celebrant Program be guided by the following principles: A professional model of celebrancy as “professional ceremonialists” is the most appropriate model upon which to base the future development of celebrancy.The definition of a professional ceremonialist is a person who adheres to high ethical standards. They uphold themselves to, and are accepted by the public as possessing special knowledge and skills in creating appropriate dignified and meaningful ceremonies to meet the needs of individuals, couples, families and…
The aim of this recommendation is to balance the intake rate with retirement, de- registration rates, regionally based community need and adequate access to work to improve and maintain skills.It is recommended that the model for limiting numbers involves: similar principles for appointment and registration being applied to civil as currently apply to Recognized religious (refer Division 1 – Subdivision A section 31 of the Marriage Act 1961) minimum overall average level of 24 weddings p.a per celebrant in each region, and upon the best applicant for an area by interview with a Regional Advisory Panel. Refer Appendix 3 for…
CoCA recommends that the following 6 main principles be used by MLCS in the consideration of Conflict of Interest: A professional is expected to be impartial in advice/ service giving. Thus a celebrant needs to be at arm’s length from any related activities. The other activities of a professional can harm the public perception of the profession. Free and informed consent to choose a celebrant must not be hampered by the actions of the celebrant’s other activities. A celebrant’s other activities or roles must not impact on their ability to fully and competently prepare and deliver a marriage ceremony. The…
4.1 Fit and Proper Persons The aim of this recommendation is to determine the suitability of the applicant for the profession PRIOR to commencing any course of celebrant training. It is recommended that some parts of the current Fit and Proper Person criteria be applied to those wishing to become civil celebrants. This would involve gaining information on: The reasons the applicant wants to be a marriage celebrant, What knowledge, skills and personal strengths the applicant would bring to the role, Their understanding of the need for a professional attitude to the work, and; Their levels of literacy and numeracy.…
The aim of this group of recommendations is to strengthen the training process at all stages, to improve the knowledge and skills of marriage celebrants, to increase professionalism, and to minimise MLCS staff time in addressing compliance. 5.1 Different approaches to training for different roles. The aim of this recommendation is to improve the knowledge and skills of all classes of marriage celebrants (Commonwealth & state, religious and civil) who conduct marriage ceremonies. It is recommended that: Civil marriage officers in Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages (BDM) and Court Houses – complete 2 of the compulsory legal units of…
It is recommended that a self-funded uniform pre-appointment assessment process of knowledge and skills by interview be provided. This would ensure: a uniform high standard of entry for all independent marriage celebrants a qualitative baseline for trainers qualifications to provide training with the VET system, and a measure against which existing celebrants could be tested as part of their OPD in a 5 year review cycle. CoCA recommended a Pre-Appointment Assessment Process be established and presented a model for such a process at the October 2010 AGD-CoCA meeting. It is believed that some of the benefits of this process would…
As noted at the beginning of this document, these recommendations are made in the context of an approved training and appointment system. Celebrants would be supported by associations and/or BDM’s, and an Expert Advisory Team. Celebrant Only Fact sheets and other information would be available inside the MLCS website. The aim of this group of recommendations is to strengthen the Ongoing Professional Development (OPD) process. There is no change to the minimum number of hours recommended for OPD, it remains at 5 hours. This is considered appropriate, given the part-time nature of marriage work. 7.1 Flexible OPD phased-in over six…
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