There are a number of funeral director associations (governing bodies) throughout the UK. This article will focus on the 4 most prominent organisations widely known amongst the funeral director community.
In essence each of these organisations offer similar support to members and of course the process of redress from clients of funeral directors.
The NAFD (National Association of Funeral Directors)
This particular group probably has the majority of members within the director community, both independent and franchise groups including the Co-operative. The NAFD were established in 1905 and have grown into a well respected monitoring group over it’s 112 year history.
The NAFD publish a code of practice available on their web site; the information details how members must behave with respect to pricing information, estimates, marketing and final accounts.
You can view the code of practice here
There is a team of management personnel responsible for maintaining standard and personnel. In the very rare event that a client may feel dissatisfied with any aspects of a service provided, the NAFD is available to assist and commence a detailed investigation. If a complaint is found to be valid and upheld against the member funeral director, the NAFD have a series of sanctions that can be enforced against them in order to facilitate a fair resolution. There is a 3rd party group referred to as the Funeral Arbitration Scheme (FAS), they are used to examine the case from an independent / unbiased perspective
You can view the FAS leaflet here
The NFFD (The National Federation of Funeral Directors)
A much younger organisation with a rapidly growing membership base, the NFFD are recognised as being a modern, forward thinking face for the funeral director profession. With more and more clients seeking to break away from traditions and established precepts regarding funerals, the NFFD has succeeded in attracting members who share the same outlook, flexibility and open mindedness to funeral services.
The NFFD are very sincere on promoting price awareness and cost transparency, they believe as many independent funeral directors do, that good quality services can be provided at a much reduced cost in comparison to the large franchise groups. Historically towns and villages may have only contained 1 or 2 funeral directors which forced people into have the services conducted through a limited choice. Members of the NFFD are registered into the Funeral Directors Register which is an online directory that clients (customers) can use to search for reputable, affordable funeral directors in their local area; the directory rates each director based on past customer ratings and reviews.
The NFFD have established a fair price charter badge that is only awarded to funeral directors who have confirmed they can provide a standard cremation (including cremation fees, doctor’s fees, minister’s fees, hearse, and bearers) for less than £3200.
The NFFD have their own code of conduct that focuses more upon their members being absolutely transparent and fair regarding pricing towards clients. The organisation is recognised by the government and focuses on helping their members reduce overheads, improve business practices so that they can pass the savings onto the customer.
There is also a training program for Funeral Celebrants, a Funeral Celebrant is an alternative director trained in coordinating and running a funeral in a non-religious context.
Established in 1989, the organisation has become recognised by the government as a reliable standards monitory group for its members. Their membership base is small but growing steadily; they can be located through a bespoke register via the SAIF web site.
There is a strict code of practice made available to clients, determining the behaviour of subscribed funeral directors. As with the previously mentioned NAFD, the code covers the pricing, invoicing and estimation of funeral services. In support of the code and for the members of SAIF there are courses to train and educate personnel involved with funeral operations.
Their four main modules of tuition build around the core aspects of traditional funeral services:
- Healthy & Safety for Funeral Staff
- Foundation Funeral Practioner
- Funeral Operative
- Funeral Administrator
The smallest organisation of the four presented in this article; this group is predominantly focused on preventing the free license for individuals in the UK setting up on their own without any kind of prior training or official certification. Presently the UK law does not have much by way of checks and balances against untrained operatives in this field. BIFD provides training to introduce new funeral directors to the business along with two further courses for established professionals.
Free Funeral Plan
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