It is a little known – and quite shocking fact that anyone can open a Funeral Directing business without any previous experience, training or qualifications and that absolutely no licence or regulation of any sort is necessary.
When Rosedale Funeral Home was formed 12 years ago, the directors Anne and Simon Beckett-Allen immediately joined the National Association of Funeral Directors who operate a form of self-regulation and ask members to abide by their Code of Practice, but it is completely the choice of each funeral home whether or not they chose to join.
The national campaign launched by the British Institute of Funeral Directors encourages the general public to “Look for the Licence” and is committed to encouraging Funeral Directors to achieve the standard required to receive a Licence to Practice. Again, this scheme is completely optional and no one is obliged to sign up.
Anne Beckett-Allen, has been a qualified Funeral Director for 25 years and has just received her most recent Licence to Practice. She backs the campaign to encourage bereaved families to “Look for the Licence” and believes that this licence is important when choosing a funeral director after the loss of a loved one.
“By choosing a funeral professional who supports industry regulation you can be certain that you are going to receive a high level of standards both in the care that you receive as a family as well as what goes on behind the scenes. Some small family businesses don’t have any qualified staff, or may just have one member of staff who is qualified without investing in training for the whole workforce, and some of the larger corporate organisations invest very little in continuing professional development.
“Regulation for the funeral profession would be a reassurance to families that training and ongoing commitment to providing the best quality service is paramount and would also mean that all premises and facilities would have to be inspected prior to a new funeral home opening up and is something that we would wholeheartedly support. In addition to all of the above, we are one of only a handful of funeral directors in East Anglia who volunteer to have our premises inspected and our services mystery shopped by the Good Funeral Guide, which is another really helpful way of knowing that we are achieving the high standards that we aim for. ”
The certificate issued to Rosedale by the Good Funeral Guide states, “We have visited this funeral home and assured ourselves that those who have died are looked after here with the greatest care and respect. It is our judgement that here you will be: Listened to with empathy; offered the full range of choice; given all the time you need; charged fairly; and empowered to arrange a funeral which reflects your wishes and values and those of the person who has died.