Infant cremation code of practice: third edition (2019)

Key principles and minimum standards for all organisations conducting infant cremations in Scotland, as agreed by the National Committee on Burial and Cremation. This edition reflects the implementation of the Cremation (Scotland) Regulations 2019.

Code of Practice Level 2 - Record Keeping


1. This Code sets out the minimum standards and general principles that should apply to all forms, records and registers associated with the decisions about, and the conduct of, infant cremations. Record keeping processes may also take account of relevant NHS Scotland requirements e.g. codes of practices and guidance such as:

Code of Practice


2. Documents requiring the signature of next of kin should be worded in such a way as to minimise the risk of additional distress to them.


3. All staff, at all levels, should be appropriately trained so that they are fully aware of their personal responsibilities as individuals with respect to record keeping and management, and that they are competent to carry out their designated duties. This should include training for staff in the use of electronic records systems, where appropriate.

Security & Confidentiality

4. Records must be stored and secured in such a way as to ensure any legal right to confidentiality of the signatory/next of kin.


5. Information pertaining to policies and procedures must be regularly checked to ensure it is accurate and up-to-date.

Transparency and Accessibility

6. Options available to next of kin, including in relation to ashes recovery and return, must be clearly set out alongside the point in the document that requires their signature.

7. The decisions required and who they are required from should be clearly set out in documentation for next of kin.

8. A copy of any form or record signed by next of kin should be offered to them at the time of signing, for their own personal records.

9. A copy of any form or record signed by another party on behalf of the next of kin should be available to next of kin, where possible and within the scope of all relevant legislation.


10. All records should be maintained electronically, wherever possible, in an appropriately secure manner.

11. Forms and documents signed by next of kin should be kept in such a way that the entirety of the form's content and the signature are available.


13. The formal retention period for records and documents, and how to access them in the future, should be advised to next of kin.

14. Procedures should be in place to manage control of access, retrieval and use of records to ensure continued integrity, reliability and authenticity of the records as well as their accessibility for the duration of their retention.

Monitoring, Audit and Assurance

15. All organisations and institutions involved in infant cremations must allow and assist with regular inspection of their premises, personnel, policies, procedures, records, registers etc. by the individuals or bodies designated by statute for this purpose.



Back to top