We are testing a new beta website for gov.scot go to new site

Burial, Cremation and Death Certification

Both legislation and policy for burial, cremation and death certification matters in Scotland are fully devolved to the Scottish Government.  The Scottish Parliament passed the Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Act 2016 in March.The Act will make much-needed improvements to burial and cremation process in Scotland. 

Details of the Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Act 2016 are set out in more detail elsewhere in these pages.

Crematoria in Scotland

Local authorities in Scotland are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of their burial grounds and crematoria. There are currently twenty nine crematoria in Scotland, just over half of which are local authority controlled.

The remaining are either jointly or privately owned and run. Should you have any issues or concerns with the running or maintenance of your local cemeteries or crematoria, you should contact the relevant local authority or owner organisation.

Trade and Representative Bodies

Most, if not all, crematoria owners and their staff in Scotland are members of the UK-wide bodies The Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management and The Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities, both of whom require adherence to their codes of practice as a condition of membership.

Funeral directors, or undertakers, are private businesses who utilise the services and facilities provided by crematoria and burial grounds. Their main trade and representative body is the National Association of Funeral Directors, whose membership comprises over 80% of funeral director businesses in Scotland.