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Infant Cremation Commission
c/o 3E St Andrews House
Regent Road


Infant Cremation Commission Remit

Remit for the Infant Cremation Commission

  • To review the current policies, guidance and practice in Scotland in relation to the handling of all recoverable remains (ashes) following the cremation of babies and infants, and to make recommendations for improvement to ensure that: parents and other bereaved relatives receive clear and consistent advice and information about the disposal of such remains and have their wishes adhered to; and that any such remains are treated sensitively and compassionately
  • To consider existing legislation, with particular reference to the Cremation Act 1902 and the Cremation Regulations (Scotland) 1935, in order to identify gaps, inconsistencies and weaknesses and to make recommendations on what issues should be addressed in future legislation
  • To consider existing practice and guidance in related fields such as the NHS and funeral services in order to identify gaps, inconsistences and weaknesses that should be addressed; and to make recommendations on the format and content of future guidance
  • To give guidance on the conduct of any investigations of historical practice undertaken by Local Authority or independent crematoria operators


Out of Scope: The investigation of specific incidents or allegations relating to any particular cremation or crematorium, or the handling of any specific infant remains.

Output and Timescales: The Commission should report in writing to Government by the end of 2013.

Guiding Principles:

  • While the Commission is primarily concerned with the cremation of babies and infants, given the particular issues that apply, it is recognised the work of the Commission may also be relevant to all cremation activity, and that recommendations may apply more generally than to infants
  • While the Commission is primarily concerned with the cremation of babies and infants, the terms "babies" and "infants" is not defined by the remit to avoid imposing any inappropriate restriction on the work of the Commission
  • The Commission will operate on the basis of transparency and will ensure that interested parties receive regular updates on the progress of its work. All minutes of meetings of the Commission will be made publicly available at the end of the Commission’s work
  • The Commission’s member organisations will be expected to share all relevant available information in order to advance the objectives of the remit
  • The Commission will seek submissions from all interested parties on perceived weaknesses in current practice, policies, guidance and legislation and proposals for improvement. Individuals with personal experience will be able to assist the work of the Commission through such submissions
  • It is expected that members of the Commission will undertake to endeavour to secure the implementation of the recommendations made by the Commission