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Improving standards of the funeral profession

The role of the funeral director in modern society has become more complex.

There are more diverse communities to serve, different lifestyles to understand, a more discerning and informed customer base, the financial aspects of supplying pre-paid funeral plans and organising the funeral donations, the growing demand for secular funerals and green funerals and the increasing regulations have made the role more challenging.

The main umbrella body for the funeral profession, the National Association of Funeral Directors, has taken on board these changes and the public's demand for professional, personal and sympathetic services.

Funeral directors who are members of the NAFD take courses and examinations that ensure they give a high quality service to the increasingly diverse customer base that is our society in the 21st century.

The quality of service provided has also improved due to the growing competition, and the growing professionalism of funeral directors ranging from the independent to the majors such as the Co-operative Funeralcare and Dignity

The role of The Good Funeral Guide, Which? Magazine and My Last Song in informing the public should also be noted.

At need and pre-need

Funeral directors have two types of client. Those 'at need' require their services because a loved one has just died or is about to die.

Pre-need are clients who are planning a funeral in advance. Such clients will be interested in the benefits of pre-paid funeral plans and ensuring the funeral reflects their lives, believes and values.

The better prepared the client, the better the service you will receive.  So it is advisable to plan in advance, which includes choosing the funeral director who best suits your needs.

When you have planned the funeral, put your instructions into your Lifebox. This is a secure area which only you can access to store and amend the information.

On your death, or when you give permission, the second key holder (your executor or trusted next of kin), can open the Lifebox and read the instructions you have left.

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