8. Next steps
There are a number of key strands of work which will be developed in the coming months, including the Scottish Government work on the Cremation Regulations ( Appendix 4), to be laid before Parliament following detailed discussions with stakeholder representatives. Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment meetings will be held with input from representatives of those working in the sectors affected by the potential legislative changes, and including input from both the Inspector of Cremation and Funeral Directors.
An Inspection Regulations Working Group will thereafter be set up to further discuss the implementation of any powers for Inspectors and the potential impacts and opportunities for businesses. Further, a re-draft of the statutory Code of Practice for Funeral Directors will be developed by Scottish Government colleagues, and circulated to Short Life Working Group members in late August/early September. This will be subject to further discussion and formal consultation with wider networks thereafter.
In addition, I will be participating in both the Treasury and Competition Market Authority ( CMA) reviews which have been recently announced, and like most people in the sector have been reviewing the scope and impact of this work to determine the interface with the existing programme of activity. I welcome these announcements and look forward to assisting colleagues where possible to create a fair and customer focussed operating environment for many years to come. A copy of my initial response to the CMA is included, in Appendix 5 for reference.
Finally, I will also be continuing to carry out inspections throughout Scotland, and continuing to liaise with bereaved families and colleagues on complaint investigations. As such I’m sure will be learning more about the work of funeral directors in advance of reporting to Ministers in a formal report on regulation, including recommendations as to whether licensing should be considered for the sector, at the end of this calendar year.