Transparency of Pricing at The Point of Sale
42. The draft guidance included a number of measures to encourage funeral directors to provide clear information on pricing to clients. These included presenting the full range of price options for each purchasing decision and providing written confirmation of costs, both in the form of a written estimate and in a detailed itemised final account.
43. The draft guidance also proposed that funeral directors should describe their processes for care of the person who has died, to help people understand how the deceased person will be cared for, and the costs associated with this care. There was strong support for this measure, with 39 (80%) respondents agreeing that it should be included. Five did not agree, one respondent was undecided and the remainder did not answer the question. Although most responses were supportive, a number did highlight that this should be handled sensitively and that the information should not be forced upon a bereaved person, as some may find it upsetting. It was also suggested that the Scottish Government's statutory Code of Practice for Funeral Directors, when it comes into effect, should be sufficient to provide families with reassurance about how the deceased person will be cared for.
44. While we agree that the Code of Practice for Funeral Directors should provide this reassurance to families, the consultation has shown strong support for this proposal. All of our discussions with funeral directors have indicated that they are supportive of the principle that they will provide this information if asked. In light of this, we have decided to retain the recommendation in the published guidance but have altered the wording slightly so that funeral directors should not feel compelled to provide this information in all cases.
45. In light of comments made about the relationship between the guidance and the statutory Code of Practice for Funeral Directors, we have included a statement to clarify that the guidance is distinct from the Code of Practice.