The role of Coroner's Staff varies greatly across England and Wales.
The Report on the Provision of Coroner's Officers (2002) published by the Home Office attempted to categorise some of the various tasks and roles performed by Coroner's Officers across the country. These were defined as:
- Forensic investigator
- Medical investigator
- Family liaison
- Statement taker & evidence gatherer
- Public relations manager
- Court usher
In some areas of England and Wales coroners' officers are police staff; in other areas they may be employed by the local authority.
Coroners' administrative staff may be police staff or they may be employed by the local authority.
All staff work under the direction of the senior coroner and liaise with bereaved families, police, doctors, funeral directors and other professionals.
The staff job titles may be (in no particular order):
Coroners' Officer, Coroners' Administration Officer, Coroners' Liaison Officer, Coroners' Clerk, Clerical Officer, Coroners' Personal Assistant, Coroners' Secretary, Coroners' Office (or Service) Manager, Coroners' Court Clerk (or Usher).
The senior coroner holds office under the Crown and is an independent judicial officer presiding over the Coroner's Court in England and Wales and discharges his duties in accordance with the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, the Coroners (Investigation) Regulations 2013, The Coroners (Inquest) Rules 2013, and other relevant legislation. The coroner will have a legal (in some cases a medical qualification) of not less than five years standing. The senior coroner is responsible for all decisions in connection with any death reported to him within his jurisdiction and will direct coroners' officers and coroners' staff as to his requirements.