Funeral Directors Code of Practice

The National Association of Funeral Directors Code of Practice

This Code of Practice is founded on the fundamental
principle that, by virtue of their membership, category a)
funeral business members of the NAFD agree to operate
their business in a professional manner and to be responsible
for the actions and decisions of their employees.
The Code of Practice sets out the high level of service that
clients may expect in their dealings with a member of the
Association, and the NAFD carries out regular monitoring of
members’ compliance with the Code.

1. General

1) shall act in a courteous, sensitive and professional manner;
2) will not pressurise or exploit clients in the difficult
circumstances following a bereavement;
3) will respect and maintain the dignity of the deceased at all
4) shall, at all times, offer the best advice and provide the best
possible service;
5) shall observe and respect the confidential nature of the
information given to them;
6) shall disclose the ultimate ownership of their funeral
business on their premises (including branch offices) in
a visible position to the public, and on letterheads and
publicity material;
7) shall do nothing liable to bring the funeral profession into

2. Marketing and advertising

Members shall ensure that any marketing or advertising they
undertake does not bring the Association, or the funeral
profession, into disrepute and that such advertising:-
1) is legal, decent, honest and truthful and complies with all
requirements of the Advertising Standards Authority and
all other relevant legislation and Codes of Practice;
2) includes only third party endorsements or sponsorship
which have been specifically approved by that third party.

3. Dealings with clients

1) will respect consumers’ rights and abide by, and comply
with, all consumer legislation relative to their dealings with
their clients;
2) shall provide clients with full and detailed information,
including prices, on the range of funeral services available;
3) shall make available to clients price lists, Code of Practice
and Funeral Arbitration Scheme leaflets and information
about other services available, wherever the funeral
arrangements are being made;
4) shall have on display in premises price lists and Code of
Practice and Funeral Arbitration Scheme leaflets;
5) shall use best endeavours to ensure that the client
understands the range of services offered, the prices and
also any known disbursements, these being the fees to be
paid on behalf of the client to doctors, ministers, cemetery
or crematoria authorities and other third parties involved;
6) shall inform the client in writing, either at the time of
making the arrangements or with the estimate, of the
terms and conditions on which services will be provided.
These terms and conditions must be drawn up in line with
the Unfair Terms and Consumer Contracts Regulations;
7) shall give guidance to the client with regard to registration
of the death and the availability of relevant Government

4. Information to be made available

1)Within their price lists, which should be on display and
available, members shall list the itemised charges and
descriptions of the constituent elements of their services,
which should include professional services, removal
charges, coffins or caskets available, embalming, hearses,
limousines and other services available.
2) Members shall make copies of their price lists available to
be taken away by clients or prospective clients.
3) Members shall ensure that all literature detailing coffins
and/or caskets available includes prices, and that coffins or
caskets displayed on the premises are accompanied by the

5. Estimates and confirmations

1) Members shall, in all cases, provide a written confirmation
of the funeral arrangements and a written itemised
estimate of all funeral charges consistent with the price
list, and all disbursements known at the time of making
the arrangements. The estimate shall make it clear that the
client has accepted, and signed, to the effect that they have
accepted personal responsibility for the funeral charges
that will complete the contractual arrangements for the
funeral. (“Estimate” includes a quotation and is an offer to
carry out the specified funeral for the specified price).
2) In circumstances where disbursements may not be known
in advance of the funeral, the member shall give a best
estimate of such disbursements on the written estimate.
The actual amount of such disbursements shall be detailed
and shown in the final account.
3) If the client amends the instructions, the member shall
endeavour to inform the client of any possible changes to
the original estimate and, where possible, obtain written
consent to any variation from the initial agreement.
4) In the event of a funeral being cancelled the member shall,
within thirty days of the date on which the funeral was to
be performed, repay to a client any advance payment or
deposit made by the client, less any amounts which were
paid by the funeral firm to third parties (ie cremation fees)
pursuant to the funeral contract and for which the client
has received goods or services.

6. Final accounts

Members shall provide the client with a detailed itemised
final account that is comparable with the estimate provided.

7. Publicity

1) Members shall display, so as to be clearly visible to the
public from the outside of the premises, the logos of the
National Association of Funeral Directors and the Funeral
Arbitration Scheme.
2) Members shall prominently display in a public area of
their premises a current NAFD Membership Inspection
3) Members are encouraged to display the NAFD logo on
stationery and promotional material.

8. Monitoring

The Association will monitor the compliance of its members
with their obligations under this Code of Practice through
education, inspection, independent conciliation and arbitration.
The Association will annually publish a report on members’
compliance with this Code of Practice, which will also include
the annual report of the Independent Chairman of the
Disciplinary Committee on the workings of this Code of

9. Professional conduct

1)The choice of a funeral firm to carry out a funeral should
always be the prerogative of the family concerned. When
two members are called at the same time to attend a
bereavement, both shall show a willingness to withdraw,
leaving the choice with the family.
2) Members shall not solicit funeral instructions, nor employ
any person to do so, nor shall they offer or give reward
for recommendation.
3) Members shall provide employees with training, including
the provisions of the Code and legal obligations to consumers,
and written guidance which ensures that clients are given
sufficient information to make informed decisions about
entering into funeral arrangements.
4) Members shall have arrangements in place for dealing with
all reasonable consumer enquiries before, during and after
the funeral service has been completed.

10. Complaints

1) Members shall appoint a designated senior person to deal
with complaints from clients and have a formal written
procedure for handling such complaints.
2)The vast majority of funerals are carried out to the
satisfaction of clients. Through its Funeral Arbitration
Scheme, the National Association of Funeral Directors
provides a dedicated procedure for clients who feel they
have not received the service they desired. To use this
service a complaint must be made within twelve months
of the date of the funeral. The first stage is for the client
to contact the member to resolve the issues they have
about the service received. If the client is unable to reach
a resolution of the issues with the member they should
contact the Funeral Arbitration Scheme at 618 Warwick
Road, Solihull, West Midlands B91 1AA, which provides
independent conciliation and arbitration through IDRS Ltd
(the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution).
3) By virtue of the Rules of the Association, members are
required to co-operate in the client redress procedures
and to participate in the independent conciliation and
arbitration scheme. Members are bound by an arbitrator’s
4) Members also agree to abide by the decisions of the
Disciplinary Committee on any matter referred to them
alleging a breach of the Rules and Guidelines of the
Association and this Code of Practice.
5)When submitting the final account, members shall invite
the client to offer any comments they may have about the
service received. A contact name shall be provided for this
purpose, to whom any concerns about the service may be
6) Members are required to co-operate at all times with
Trading Standards Offices, Citizens Advice Bureaux,
consumer support groups and any other organisation
representing clients in the resolution of complaints or
7) A complaint under this procedure must be made within
twelve months of the date of the funeral.

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