Funeral sector chiefs will meet later this year to discuss regulation, including the work of professional Celebrants.
The issue had been discussed when they met at last month’s National Funeral Exhibition.
The Association of Independent Celebrants (AOIC), had a stand at the exhibition. President Philip Spicksley says he had met with fellow professionals to discuss regulation.
Mr Spicksley spoke with Terry Tennens, the Chief Executive Officer of SAIF, and the National Association of Funeral Directors’ Chief Executive Officer, Mandie Levin, and says there was a desire for action.
“We spoke about a common theme – that of regulation and what is going to happen especially in relation to the Celebrant industry,” said Mr Spicksley.
He said this was already happening in some areas north of the border: “Only a few weeks ago I travelled to Scotland for the Stirling debate and found that I was the only representative attending from England. It was pleasing to see the NAFD and SAIF signing a joint working agreement and it was good to hear the plans from the Scottish Government.
“With this in mind I was eager to speak to both Terry and Mandie at the NFE. We have a mutual desire to see regulation in the funeral industry and especially more regulation and professionalism in how Celebrants work.”
Mr Spicksley now aims to work with Ms Levin to arrange the meeting – inviting leaders of all recognised Celebrant associations and trade bodies: “The aims and objectives of the meeting will be to map out a plan to work together for the good of our work and to prepare for regulation when it arrives.
“I see that the only people that can facilitate this meeting and get everyone around one table is the NAFD and SAIF and I am pleased to say that they have agreed to facilitate the meeting.”
Mr Spicksley said the AOIC would support any regulation: “This will be welcomed and it is hoped that the Association will play a part in future negotiations with the Government and support the NAFD and SAIF in their attempts to move forward towards their intended goals.
“It is important that all Celebrants work to the highest standards, they are members of a recognised organisation and have full professional indemnity insurance as well as public liability insurance.”
Until official regulation is put in place, he also stressed the importance of those within the industry taking their own steps to check the credentials of Celebrants.
“Professionalism is in the hands of individual funeral directors, it is up to arrangers and directors to ensure that they only engage the services of a Celebrant who is properly insured and works to a code of conduct which is regulated by a recognised trade body such as the Association of Independent Celebrants or the Institute of Civil Funerals.”