In this section you will find the latest news and campaign updates from the National Association of Funeral Directors.
Click here for useful media resources such as recent press statements, background briefings, logos and images.
If you are an NAFD member with a press enquiry to handle or would like some support and advice in managing your PR, please call the NAFD PR hotline, operated by Wordsmith Communication, on 0845 250 8435.
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The Scottish Government is consulting on Cremation Regulations as part of the Burial and Cremation Act (Scotland) 2016.
The purpose of the consultation is to seek views on draft regulations which have been informed by stakeholder working groups, with which the NAFD has been involved, more general stakeholder engagement and the findings of the Inspector of Crematoria. NAFD members based in Scotland, or with an interest in cremation in Scotland, are urged to respond to the consultation.
The UK’s funeral directors are facing increasingly aggressive behaviour from families arguing over funeral arrangements. In a survey among the 4,000 UK funeral homes that are members of the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD), nearly two-thirds (57%) reported a rise in conflict in the past 12 months, which had led to funeral directors being targeted and in some cases having to take extreme action to make peace among warring families.
In response, the NAFD, in association with Dying Matters, has released an updated edition of its guide My Funeral Wishes, which encourages people to plan their funeral with those close to them, and to record a written guide to ensure their wishes are clear and help to avoid future conflict and distress for their families.
The National Association of Funeral Directors has today warmly welcomed the appointment of Natalie McKail as the first ever Inspector of Funeral Directors in Scotland.
Mandie Lavin, Chief Executive of the NAFD, members of which carry out 80% of funerals in the UK, said Miss McKail’s appointment would “help keep standards high and strengthen public confidence” in the profession.
The NAFD has been working closely with Scottish Government ministers over the future of the profession, including the introduction of regulation, and has worked alongside Miss McKail as part of the National Committee on Infant Cremation.
Funeral directors from across Scotland have committed to work with the Scottish Government to introduce regulation to the sector.
Members of the profession made the historic pledge at a special one day conference in Stirling on Saturday 1 April. The event was attended by around 100 representatives of independent funeral directing businesses and the largest firms, including Co-op Funeralcare and Dignity.
Jointly organised by the National Association of Funeral Directors Scotland (NAFD Scotland) and the National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors Scotland (SAIF Scotland), the event began with the signing of a joint agreement by the two trade associations, whose membership comprises more than 80 per cent of the funeral profession.
Regulation in the funeral industry will help bereaved families by ensuring they are offered the highest standards of care at all time, a funeral directors’ conference will hear this weekend (1 April 2017).
Mandie Lavin, chief executive of the National Association of Funeral Directors, will tell delegates that “public trust and confidence” in funeral directors will “only be enhanced by getting the standards agenda right”.
The National Association has added its voice to those of leading bereavement charities Cruse Bereavement Care, Widowed and Young and the Child Bereavement Network, in asking the government to hold off on the introduction of new bereavement payments that will see parents who care for children after the death of a spouse or partner lose up to £30,000 in benefits.
Funeral directors from Scotland and beyond are encouraged to attend a special debate this Spring, which is set to help shape forthcoming regulation of the sector in Scotland.
The Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Act 2016 paved the way for a statutory inspector of funeral directors, new regulations and possible licensing – a first anywhere in the UK.
In response, the NAFD and SAIF have joined forces to deliver a one-day conference in the heart of Scotland this April featuring speakers from both associations and the Scottish Government.
Indeed, the NAFD and SAIF are now working collaboratively to monitor regulatory developments in Scotland and the potential impact on other jurisdictions of the UK.
The day will help shape the way the profession is regulated for the benefit of bereaved people and funeral directors.
For further details about this important event, please click here.
It was encouraging that the ITV documentary ‘Funerals: A Costly Undertaking?’, broadcast on 3 November 2016, highlighted the importance of the work undertaken by funeral directors to support families in saying farewell in the way that they want to, and that there is much more to a good funeral arrangement than handing a coffin catalogue to a bereaved person.
The programme also made some very important points about the need for Britons to think about their eventual funeral, revealing data which showed that almost three quarters of adults hadn’t done any research on the subject and two thirds didn’t know how much a funeral would cost.
However, despite highlighting these important truths about the British reluctance to plan for their funeral, the programme failed to reflect the hard work of NAFD member firms across the UK and instead allowed anecdotes and allegations made by a small number of interviewees to prevail largely unchallenged.
Sadly, we will all die one day. Yet very few people in the UK put any plans in place for their funeral, no matter how simple their wishes might be. A result of this reluctance to plan ahead for the inevitable, as Royal London’s Funeral Cost Index has revealed today (19 October 2016), is that an increasing number of people are having to borrow money to pay for a funeral, despite the fact that funeral firms are holding, and in some cases reducing, their prices.
The National Association of Funeral Directors attended the debate on the Government’s Social Fund Funeral Payment in Westminster Hall on Wednesday 14 September.
It was extremely encouraging to see MPs from across the UK debating this nationwide issue and we would like to thank Gavin Robinson MP (East Belfast) for calling the debate. It attracted a greater number of MPs than on previous occasions, a sign that parliamentarians are heeding the calls of the funeral profession and organisations such as Quaker Social Action and Cruse Bereavement Care that this issue is growing in importance in communities across the UK.