A funeral bureau offers a wide range of services to families, including arranging for the cremation of remains. They also assist in planning a memorial service and help the family select a suitable place for a burial.
As a funeral director, your duties include directing the services of a staff of embalmers and other professionals who prepare the body for burial or cremation. They also oversee all logistical details and ensure that all legal requirements are met.
Licensing and Regulation
Licensing and regulation are important for funeral bureaus because they ensure that licensed professionals provide quality services to consumers. The bureau investigates complaints and takes disciplinary action when it finds that licensees are not meeting their standards.
The Board issues licenses to qualified funeral directors and embalmers, inspects crematoriums, and regulates funeral homes. In addition, it offers continuing education to funeral directors and embalmers.
Applicants for licensure must complete a written, standardized examination on funeral services. This exam is created, administered and graded by the Board.
The Bureau also has authority to inspect cemeteries and can issue administrative citations and disciplinary actions to cemeteries. It is a good idea to check with your local cemetery and funeral bureau for this information.
Education and Training
Funeral bureaus need staff with the right education and training to properly assist people in their time of grief. This includes understanding how to treat and care for the body of a deceased person, the laws that govern the industry, and how to counsel grieving families.
In addition, funeral home workers need exceptional interpersonal skills to speak to distraught family members and friends. They must be able to understand how to listen to someone’s grief and respect the different ways that people of different religions handle their own practices.
The right combination of education and training can lead to an excellent career in funeral service. An AAS degree with courses in mortuary science and embalming, along with classes in ethics and communication can give you the tools you need to start your career. You’ll also need to have a strong grasp of the law and regulations that govern funeral business, including state licensing and continuing education requirements.
Standards of Practice
Depending on your jurisdiction, funeral bureaus must meet certain standards of practice in order to maintain their license. These requirements can be regulated by the state, or by a trade association that represents funeral directors.
Typically, these trade associations have codes of practice that funeral directors must follow, and they make inspections of their premises. The National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) and the Society of Allied and Independent Funerals (SAIF) are two examples of these organizations.
The best funeral businesses go beyond simply meeting these standards. They display attributes such as organization and reliability, communication, and creativity.
One of the biggest challenges that many funeral homes face is obtaining payment from life insurance companies. This is often a time-consuming process that can include cumbersome paperwork and payment retrieval procedures.
The funeral bureau enforces its licensing and regulation laws through investigations of complaints and disciplinary actions. Allegations often begin as consumer complaints, and if the CFB believes a licensee has violated the law, it may sanction them or strip them of their license.
The board is responsible for regulating all funeral establishments and branches of those establishments under the laws set forth in this chapter and the rules of the board. No establishment may operate unless the establishment or branch has been licensed with the board.
Each establishment or branch must have a licensee in charge to oversee its activities. When a licensee dies, retires, becomes incapacitated or is unable to perform the duties of his or her license, the establishment or branch must notify the board in writing that a replacement licensee in charge has been engaged.
The FTC’s Funeral Rule requires funeral directors and firms to provide consumers with accurate itemized price information and various other disclosures about their funeral goods and services. However, a recent survey by the Funeral Consumers Alliance found that only 82% of funeral homes nationwide comply with the rule.