Trade Associations

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Hayley Owen

Lady Funeral Director York

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Welcome to the British Institute of Funeral Directors


It is a little known - and quite shocking - fact that anyone in the UK can set themselves up as a Funeral Director without any previous experience, training or qualifications. No licence is necessary.


The British Institute of Funeral Directors (BIFD) is aiming to end this state of affairs. We are the pre-eminent provider of education within the funeral profession; all BIFD members have achieved an appropriate level of professional training, and our Licence to Practice is only granted to professionals who follow the Institute's requirements for annual Continuous Professional Development.


Choose a BIFD member


By choosing a funeral professional who is a member of the British Institute of Funeral Directors, you can be certain that you are choosing a competent and qualified practitioner - the best qualified professional in your area. National Association of Funeral Directors


Why choose an NAFD member?


No-one ever wants to organise a funeral but, when the inevitable happens, it is reassuring to know that an NAFD member firm will guide you through the process and help you make arrangements at what can be a very upsetting time.

For more than a hundred years the NAFD has been dedicated to maintaining the highest of standards throughout the funeral profession to ensure bereaved families receive the advice and support they need and deserve. Find out more about the standards you can expect from an NAFD member through the NAFD Funeral Promise, which all members abide by.

The NAFD represents a broad spectrum of funeral directing businesses, which conduct around 80% of all UK funerals. Whether you choose a large corporate group, an independent family-owned business or a Co-operative firm, you can rest assured that an NAFD member upholds the highest professional standards.

How are they different?

Regardless of your circumstances, NAFD members will offer you help and advice, and many operate a 24-hour telephone service so you can contact them whenever you need their support.

It is very easy to become overwhelmed by the responsibilities that arise when you lose a loved one, so NAFD members are the first to support initiatives that will help ease the pain at this difficult time.

Should your loved one die abroad and need to be repatriated to the UK, NAFD members can help. Even if it is not a service they offer themselves, they can advise you on the processes involved within the UK and overseas.

With the help of a free repatriation helpline, set up by the Association, NAFD members can put you in touch with people who are experienced in this area.

High standards

The National Association of Funeral Directors demands high professional standards so, in order to be accepted into membership, funeral firms are assessed against strict criteria. Members of the NAFD are then required to abide by a stringent Code of Practice and are monitored regularly to ensure a high quality of service is maintained. These standards are set out in the NAFD Funeral Promise, which all members make to the families in their care.

Occasionally things do go wrong, and the Association’s Committee for Professional Standards is on hand to investigate complaints about the conduct of members.

In addition the Funeral Arbitration Scheme, which is operated in conjunction with IDRS Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution, provides a simple process in three easy-to-follow stages, offering conciliation and arbitration for the purpose of resolving disputes.



The Association of Green Funeral Directors


The Association expects its members to always aim for the highest level of service possible, both personal and practical. This includes providing clear price information, empowering each bereaved family to arrange a funeral which meets their individual needs, and allowing them to have as much involvement as they want.

Members also make the following specific pledges:

On Embalming:

Not to carry out embalming as a routine procedure, but instead to give an accurate and clear explanation of the procedure to the bereaved and only carry out the procedure at the direct request of the bereaved or as a regulatory requirement,

Not to refer to the procedure as ‘hygienic treatment’, which has the effect of persuading families that embalming is at least desirable, if not essential.

On Literature and Other Information provided to the general public:

To ensure that they have literature available, and information on their website (if they have one), that gives eco-friendly options for funerals at least equal prominence to traditional options.

On Coffins:

That a range of environmentally-friendly coffins is made available to all customers.

That all staff who have routine contact with the public understand what characteristics make a particular coffin environmentally-friendly, e.g. made from recycled materials, constructed from FSC sources of timber, made from renewable sources, shipped "russian-doll style", locally sourced, and/or has biodegradable fittings.

On Natural Burial:

That all staff who have routine contact with the public have a good knowledge of, at least, the two closest natural burial grounds and are able to advise (prospective) customers about the regulations in force at those sites concerning: types of coffin accepted; tree planting policy; maintenance regime and long term vision; prices; extent of grave marking / memorialisation allowed; whether ashes can be interred, or scattered at the sites; and whether the sites are members of the ANBG (and hence comply with their standards).


On Flowers:


That all staff who have routine contact with the public have a good knowledge of environmentally-friendly flower options, especially those that avoid the use of non-recyclable materials and create funeral waste. These options should be given, at least, equal prominence to other flower options



The British Institute of Embalmers was founded in 1927 by a group of 15 Funeral Directors who recognised the need for a separate organisation for the professional embalmer.



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