Funeral directors: draft code of practice

Draft statutory code of practice for funeral directors. Funeral directors will be inspected against this code once it comes into force.

4. Delivery of the funeral

46. The funeral director is responsible for managing the delivery of the funeral according to the wishes of the client, including:

  • Making, when instructed to do so by the client, bookings of the requested venues, church, celebrant, etc.
  • Ensuring that the client has completed the required statutory forms and that these forms are sent to the appropriate statutory authorities in good time.
  • Keeping and updating records and documentation, and ensuring that the client's requests for goods and services are recorded accurately, including any changes made.
  • Ensuring that the deceased is presented in accordance with the wishes and instructions of the client.
  • Managing donations appropriately, transparently and as requested by the client. All funeral directors must have a policy in place for managing donations which is understood/known by staff and is readily accessible to the client.

47. The funeral director must keep the following records, which are accessible by authorised personnel only:

  • A record of all the funerals provided, including requested services, estimates and invoice.
  • A record of all deceased individuals who have been cared for by the funeral director and the actions carried out in relation to each deceased individual.
  • A record of assessments, assessment outcomes and training requirements/training undertaken in relation to staff training for care of the deceased.
  • A record of the advice given to clients in relation to viewing of the deceased and the outcome of the advice.
  • A record relating to the management and handling of ashes.


48. The funeral director must have a written ashes management policy in place. This must set out the business practices and policy for the management of ashes. The funeral director must ensure the careful and appropriate storage, handling, recording and dignified management of ashes. All records relating to ashes must be kept by the funeral director.

49. At a minimum, an ashes management policy must cover:

  • Ashes storage in a designated, locked, clean, dry and well maintained location.
  • Ashes and the cremation certificate be stored together.
  • Procedures for recording each individual set of ashes.
  • Procedures for the splitting of ashes, including the transfer of ashes from one container to another.
  • A clear description of the options available to the client e.g., scattering, interment, retention in an urn.
  • Procedures for the transfer or release of ashes, including procedures for contacting the client and obtaining identification prior to the release of ashes to the client.
  • Adequate safeguards to ensure ashes cannot be combined with other(s) i.e., only preparing one set of ashes at a time.
  • Provision for a change of instruction by the client in respect of ashes.
  • Procedures for reporting lost or damaged ashes to appropriate management.
  • Procedures for reporting lost or damaged ashes to inspectors within 48 hours.
  • A record of the scattering or interment of ashes if undertaken by the funeral director.
  • An audit trail of all actions taken with the ashes.



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