National Committee on Infant Cremation: 2017 annual report

Third annual report of the National Committee on Infant Cremation.

6. Inspector Of Crematoria And Inspector Of Funeral Directors

Inspector of Crematoria

Robert Swanson QPM was appointed to the role of Inspector of Crematoria for Scotland in March 2015.

Since his appointment, the Inspector has undertaken formal inspections of all 29 crematoriums in Scotland and has written individual reports on each. The Inspector formally published his annual report, 2015/16 in May 2017. The Inspector’s report can be found at:

During the first round of inspections the Inspector identified that all staff who carry out cremations have completed training, the majority of which are accredited by either the Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities ( FBCA) or Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management ( ICCM). The Inspector also reported that in every case of baby and infant cremation ashes have been recovered. Adherence to training and the recovery of ashes continues to be monitored. As of June 2017, which this report covers, all baby and infant cremation ashes have been successfully recovered in Scotland since March 2015.

The Inspector has the duty to investigate complaints regarding cremation practice which are referred to him from, or on behalf of, bereaved families. To date the Inspector has dealt with various complaints from bereaved families, and continues to respond and investigate complaints as they are received.

The Inspector’s next annual report, covering 2016-18, will be published in Summer 2018.

Inspector of Funeral Directors

A recruitment exercise for an Inspector of Funeral Directors was completed in Spring 2017. The successful candidate, Natalie McKail, was formally appointed by the then Minister for Public Health and Sport, Aileen Campbell, in April 2017. The Inspector of Funeral Directors has been appointed for an initial period of two years. The Inspector initially focused on gaining a detailed understanding of how the funeral director industry conducts its business. The Inspector is now in the process of compiling a report with a view to making recommendations to Scottish Ministers on how the funeral director industry should be regulated and whether licencing should be introduced as part of this regulation. This report is due before Ministers in December 2018. The Inspector will also make an assessment of how well funeral directors are adhering to the National Committee on Infant Cremation Code of Practice and will publish their findings as part of this report.


Back to top