The Institute was established in 2004 as a result of the need to drive up the quality of funeral ceremonies in the UK. Its aims are to further the provision of Civil Funerals and support the work of Civil Funeral Celebrants.

The Patron of the Institute is Professor Malcolm Johnson, Emeritus Professor of Health and Social Policy at the University of Bristol.

Management of the Institute lies within the hands of the Council of Management. Council Members are both practising Civil Funeral Celebrants and Industry representatives who promote the work of the Institute in their own areas of expertise. Each member of the Council is an expert in their field, and brings invaluable experience to the table. The Council decides the policies of the Institute and works hard to ensure the Institute's objectives are met.

The Council is elected by the members who put themselves forward when a vacancy occurs. If there are more applicants than spaces on the Council, an election is held. All full members of the Institute are eligible to vote in the election. The Council themselves vote on the Chairman position when a vacancy occurs.

The Institute of Funeral Celebrants is a Company Limited by Guarantee (Reg No: 5179139) and as such is limited in its powers by the Articles of Association and the Rules and Regulations.