Regulation of Scottish funeral directors – the Stirling Debate

With the passing into law of the Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Act 2016, Scottish funeral directors will soon operate under a new dedicated regulatory framework, which will be the first of its kind in the UK and will result in the introduction of a statutory inspector of funeral directors, regulations governing the funeral profession and possible licensing of funeral directors.

The regulations stemming from this momentous Act will shape the way bereaved people are served and way the funeral profession conducts business for years to come. It’s vital therefore that funeral directors share their insights and expertise and contribute to the creation of the new system.

As part of the funeral sector’s work to assist the Scottish Government with the development of an effective and successful regulatory regime, the NAFD and SAIF are jointly staging a one-day debate in the heart of Scotland for both members and non-members.

The event will give delegates an opportunity to find out more about the powers granted by the Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Act and ensure their voice is heard at Government level.

The event will take place between 10am and 3pm on Saturday, 1 April 2017, at Stirling Court Hotel and will include a buffet lunch. Whilst open to members of the NAFD and SAIF, as well as non-members, attendance is by advance registration only. Tickets are free for NAFD and SAIF members, or £40 for non-trade association members.

9.15am – Registration opens

10.00am  Welcome to delegates by NAFD and SAIF

10.15am – What does regulation mean? NAFD CEO Mandie Lavin and SAIF CEO Terry Tennens set out the implications of the Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Act

11am – Coffee

11.15am – Highlands, Islands and Cities, the Scottish funeral directing landscape in 2017 by Paul Cuthell

12noonWhat we’ve learnt so far. Panel Q&A session

12.30pm – Lunch

1.30pm – Implementing regulation of Scottish funeral directors Cheryl Paris, of the Scottish Government’s Burial and Cremation Legislation Team, talks about work so far to introduce statutory funeral profession regulation in Scotland and the programme of work for the coming 12 months. This session will include a special interactive session where funeral directors will be able to discuss some of the opportunities and challenges arising from regulation.

2.45pm – Closing remarks by NAFD and SAIF

3pm – Close

Confirmed speakers so far include:

NAFD Chief Executive Mandie Lavin.

Mandie Lavin became the NAFD’s Chief Executive in September 2016. She is a qualified nurse and barrister – a member of Middle Temple. She joined the Association from her role as CEO of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives and has significant experience of working in trade associations having also run the Bar Standards Board and acted as Director of Regulation at the General Optical Council.

SAIF Chief Executive Terry Tennens

Whether it’s commenting on changes in legislation, consulting with other like-minded organisations or providing a comment for the media – Terry is committed to ensuring the views of independent funeral directors are heard throughout the UK.

With a background as a global human rights advocate and in senior management across various organisations Terry provides transformational leadership along with the team at SAIF Business Centre. He is also a strong advocate for education, collaborative partnerships and professional excellence in the workplace.

An MBA post graduate, Terry previously served as founding Chief Executive of International Justice Mission UK, part of IJM Global, the largest anti-slavery organisation in the world.

NAFD Past President and funeral director at Thomas Cuthell & Sons Paul Cuthell

Paul has worked for the family business for around 20 years and counts it a great privilege to be able to serve bereaved people.

He has also served the NAFD with distinction. Not only was Paul national President in 2014/15, he has also held the positions of President of NAFD Scottish Area Federation and Chairman of NAFD Edinburgh Local Association. He is a member of the Scottish Cross Party Parliamentary Group for the Funeral and Bereavement Service and is a member of the NAFD’s Panel of Examiners.

Paul is passionate about working with others in order to make a real difference to bereaved people.


The Stirling Debate takes place at the Stirling Court Hotel within the grounds of the University of Stirling. A discounted room rate including breakfast is available to delegates for the night prior to the event. For further details please email NAFD Membership Marketing and Communications Manager Mark Binnersley at

Dress code for the day is smart casual.

Stirling Debate at a glance

What: a funeral profession-led discussion on the introduction of statutory inspections and regulations

When: 10:00 – 15:00, Saturday 1 April 2017

Where: Stirling Court Hotel, Stirling Scotland

Who: Members of the NAFD, SAIF and non-funeral trade association members. Please note: Tickets are free for NAFD and SAIF members, or £40 for non-trade association members.

Why: to discuss and support the Scottish Government on the implementation of regulation of funeral directors

How: presentations, debate and Q&As