The Consultation on Draft Guidance
11. A 12-week public consultation on draft guidance ran from 16 August to 8 November 2018. A total of 22 questions were asked (10 closed and 12 open), focussing on the following themes:
- use of language and terminology;
- display of pricing information;
- transparency of cremation charges;
- definition of a simple funeral;
- transparency of pricing at point of sale;
- burial or cremation without using the services of a funeral director;
- understanding local authority charges; and
- local authority measures to reduce funeral poverty.
12. A total of 49 responses were received from a broad range of stakeholders, including independent and large funeral directors, funeral director trade associations, COSLA, local authorities, and third sector organisations. There were also 15 responses from members of the public. An independent consultation analysis report was published in February 2019.
13. The consultation also sought views on the potential business impacts of the draft guidance on the public, private and/or third sector as well as potential impacts on people with protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010. The information received in response to these two questions has been considered fully in the Business Regulatory Impact Assessment (BRIA) and Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) for this guidance.
14. Although the consultation did not ask for views on how the guidance should be targeted, a number of consultation responses suggested that the guidance would be better aimed at the general public, rather than at the funeral industry. This issue is considered fully in the BRIA, and is not discussed further in this Scottish Government response.
15. Overall, there was support for most of the measures in the consultation. The following sections summarise the consultation's findings and the Scottish Government's response to issues raised through this process. The % responses to the open and closed questions are set out at Annex A.