Coroners look into all reported deaths from unnatural or unknown causes, or sudden deaths.

What does a coroner do?

Coroners look into deaths from unnatural or unknown causes, or those that have happened suddenly or in prison or police custody.

As a coroner you could be:

  • deciding the cause of death by analysing all the available information
  • talking to other professionals involved, like the deceased's doctor
  • ordering a post-mortem examination if there are questions around the cause of death
  • holding an inquest into the death if you believe one is needed
  • notifying the registrar about the death, and results of any inquest  
  • dealing with upset relatives
  • writing reports and recommendations to prevent future deaths

What do I need to do to become a coroner?

You'll usually start as an assistant coroner.

You should be either:

Local authorities appoint coroners and assistant coroners, with the consent of the Chief Coroner and the Lord Chancellor.

A few coroners have qualifications in both law and medicine.

Related skills

  • Administration
  • Analytics
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication
  • Customer service
  • Discipline
  • Interpersonal skills
  • IT
  • Organisation
  • Patience
  • Problem solving

Where to find out more

Where could I be working?

You could work in an office, in a court ,or in an NHS or private hospital.

Career opportunities

With experience, you can apply for the position of senior coroner, with chief coroner the most senior position.

You can also apply to become a course director with the Judicial College.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

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