Registrars in Scotland are responsible for collecting information about every birth, marriage, civil partnership and death within a local authority area. They record this information and issue documents like birth or death certificates that are needed for legal reasons. With training they can also perform ceremonies such as civil marriages, civil partnerships and citizenship ceremonies.
You could be:
- interviewing parents to get the details necessary to register a child’s birth and issuing a birth certificate
- advising and guiding couples planning a marriage or civil partnership ceremony
- performing marriage or civil partnership ceremonies
- interviewing family or close friends registering a death or stillbirth, checking documentation from doctors or coroners, and issuing a death certificate and the necessary information to let them plan the funeral
- informing the procurator fiscal if there are suspicious circumstances surrounding a death
- issuing extracts of birth, death and marriage entries requested by members of the public and collecting or taking payment for these
- in some local authority areas providing extra services such as helping members of the public research their family history and performing naming ceremonies and renewal of marriage vows
- issuing information on past registrations or on past census returns to individuals on request or on payment of a fee
- entering information on births, marriages, civil partnerships and deaths electronically to the National Records of Scotland (NRS), which keeps all records on individuals as well as information collected in the 10-yearly census.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
- where you work
- the department in which you work
- the demand for the job.
Trainee assistant registrars are on a salary scale of around £16,200 to £17,800 a year. Once qualified, an assistant registrar earns around £18,000 to £20,000 a year.
Registrars can expect to earn around £25,000 a year, while a Principal registrar could earn up to £40,000 a year.
- You would be based at a local registry office, but in remote areas you could be working from other premises or even from your home.
- You may perform ceremonies in a wide range of places approved by the local authority such as hotels, castles and public buildings.
- You work a 35 or 37-hour week, including some weekends and public holidays.
- You could work part time, especially in remote areas, and may combine being the local registrar with another job.
- You might have to deal with distressing situations, for example when registering the death of a young person.
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- Entry depends on each individual local authority. You would enter as an assistant registrar. You would usually need 3 to 5 subjects at National 5 including English and Maths.
- Administrative experience and computing and keyboard skills may be necessary.
- You might need experience of working with the public or a wide range of people for some posts.
- Assistant Registrars must be at least 18 years of age and Registrars 21.
- A driving licence is useful and may be essential.
Registrars are employed by Scotland’s 32 local authorities.
Workforce Education Levels (UK)
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What Does it Take?
You should be:
- able to relate to people from different backgrounds and cultures
- tactful, sensitive and discreet
- clear and precise in written work
- able to apply rules and laws
- confident when speaking in public.
You should have:
- a good understanding of the necessary laws
- excellent communication skills
- the ability to work under pressure.
- Training is normally on the job and includes registration procedures and law.
- You will complete a two-year distance learning package including workshops, before sitting the exam for the Certificate of Proficiency in the Law and Practice of Registration in Scotland.
- You might also complete an SVQ in Customer Service at SCQF Level 5 or 6.
- You start as an assistant registrar and then go on to the post of registrar.
- You could be employed by a local council, or you could work independently.
According to the National Records of Scotland (NRS) there are currently over 900 registrars employed both by the Registrar General and the 32 local authorities. However some councils employ Civil Ceremony Officers who conduct civil marriages and civil partnerships but who do not require to hold the Certificate of Proficiency in the Law and Practice of Registration.
More information can be found on the Association of Independent Celebrants website.
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