Funeral directors’ regulation “will benefit families”, conference to be told

Regulation in the funeral industry will help bereaved families by ensuring they are offered the highest standards of care at all time, a funeral directors’ conference will hear this weekend (1 April 2017).

Mandie Lavin, chief executive of the National Association of Funeral Directors, will tell delegates that “public trust and confidence” in funeral directors will “only be enhanced by getting the standards agenda right”.

Funeral Directors from across Scotland will meet in Stirling on Saturday to discuss how bereaved families can benefit from the introduction of regulation in the profession. The one-day conference, which will feature key speakers from the profession and the Scottish Government, will assess its impact and also that of a new Inspector of Funeral Directors, both of which are being introduced under the Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Act 2016.

The conference is being organised by the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD).  A recent survey among members of the NAFD and the National Society of Allied Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF), the two principal trade bodies representing over 80% of funeral directors in Scotland, showed that 74% backed regulation as a way of ensuring the highest standards in the profession, while 95% said the existing professional standards codes should be used by Government as a starting point for a regulation model.

Ms Lavin will tell attendees: “Standards make sense for families, the profession and for the public. The public trust and confidence in the work of funeral directors will only be enhanced by getting the standards agenda right.

“As so much of what we do is sensitive and away from public gaze, the assurance that the public rightly seek and deserve is at the top of our list.

“Caring for those who have died with respect and compassion are the hallmarks of our practice, everyday this is happening here and abroad, the opportunity to demonstrate this has arrived and we are all committed to delivering regulation in the public interest.”

Terry Tennens, Chief Executive of SAIF, said: “SAIF and the NAFD have quality assurance programmes to ensure our members are compliant to appropriate standards and redress procedures in the unlikely event there are complaints.  Together SAIF and the NAFD will align their codes of practices and compliance protocols to serve the needs of regulation, which will further protect families during what is their most difficult time.”