Licensee Responsibilities

Responsibilities of a Licensed Embalmer
Responsibilities of a Licensed Funeral Director
Responsibilities of a Licensed Salesperson

Responsibilities of a Licensed Embalmer

From the Funeral and Cremation Services Act:
No person shall act as an embalmer without holding an embalmer’s license.

"Embalmer" means an individual who engages in embalming:
"Embalming" means the preservation of human remains, in whole or in part, by the external or internal application of chemicals, fluids, or gases that are intended for that purpose and includes any surgical procedures to initiate or complete the process of preserving human remains;

  • Maintain the embalming room environment acceptable to Occupational health standards, provincial Regulatory Council Bylaws and any other related agencies such as Public Health. Advise non-licensed business associates of potential health risk factors and proper respect in the handling of a deceased person;
  • Assess and note cadaver condition prior to embalming to determine embalming procedure, preservation fluid selection, unusual conditions that may affect the embalming process;
  • Feature setting (restoration) including trauma to tissue and bone structures prior to embalming, surface disinfection, cadaver orifice disinfection and closure of mouth;
  • Selection of and raising arterial injection and venous drainage points;
  • Selection and mixing appropriate preservation fluids for arterial injection;
  • Monitor and control arterial injection rates and total volume of preservation fluids;
  • Complete thoracic and intestinal cavity aspiration; trocar injection of preservation/disinfection fluids;
  • Complete leak-proof closures of all injection and drainage points;
  • Continuous monitor and care for the embalmed body;
  • Any subsequent application of chemicals due to further post mortem changes in the preservation state of the cadaver; and
  • Disinfect or supervise the disinfection of instruments, counter tops and fronts, walls and floor covering that may have had direct or indirect contact with the cadaver.

Cosmetology, hair dressing, dressing and casketing of the deceased does NOT come under the legal definition of embalming. While cosmetics and hair spray may be classified as a chemical they are about appearance and have nothing to do with preservation.
After a body has been “embalmed” a licensed Embalmer cannot perform the following without holding a Funeral Director’s License:

  • Complete funeral arrangements with a family
  • Be in charge of and conduct an actual funeral service
  • Be in charge of and complete a graveside service

Responsibilities of a Licensed Funeral Director

From the Funeral and Cremation Services Act:
‘Funeral Director’ means an individual who for a fee or other remuneration provides or directs the provision of funeral services.

‘Funeral Services’ means the coordination of rites and ceremonies with respect to human remains, the care and preparation of human remains for interment or cremation and the supply of goods, and services incidental to the coordination, care and preparation, but does not include the sale of interment rights in lots, tombs, niches, crypts, compartments or vaults.

A licensed Funeral Director can:

  • Make funeral arrangements
  • Direct funerals
  • Transfer deceased persons
  • Sell monuments
  • Contact hospitals, clergy, cemeteries, crematoriums
  • Set up gravesites
  • Do interments

A licensed Funeral Director cannot:

  • Embalm
  • Operate a crematorium
  • Operate a transfer service, unless licensed to do so

Responsibilities of a Licensed Salesperson

From the Funeral and Cremation Services Act:

Interpretations: A Salesperson as defined in the Act means an individual who is licensed to engage in the preparation of a Prepaid Funeral Contract, Deposit Contract or future cremation services contract.

Definitions: Part 1, Section 2(Y)
Salesperson means an individual employee, appointed or authorized by an owner to sell prepaid contracts on the owner’s behalf.

Licenses Required: 3(3) No person shall sell or offer for sale prepaid contracts for, or on behalf of, an owner without holding a license as a Salesperson. The word ‘offer’ is important. It is most important that any non-licensed Salesperson or employee of a funeral home not get into specifics when approached by a potential pre-arranging client. The non-licensed Salesperson should only speak in general terms and immediately suggest a meeting with a licensed Salesperson.
Although a licensed Salesperson has received some education regarding funeral home procedures and practices, and may be a long time employee with the home, he/she must not leave a potential prepaid client with the impression that he/she can conduct a funeral service. A Salesperson must not arrange an At-Need funeral service. Licensed Salespersons must be knowledgeable with Part II of the Funeral and Cremation Services Regulations: Part II is specific to prepaid Fully Guaranteed and Deposit Contracts that the licensed Salesperson will be completing.

A licensed Salesperson must be knowledgeable with Part VI of the Funeral and Cremation Services Bylaws: Although Part VI is more specific to an owner, the licensed Salesperson will need to answer client questions addressed here, i.e. transfer of prepaid funds and assignment of contracts to a new owner.

As noted above, a licensed Salesperson can only engage in the preparation of a Prepaid Funeral Contract, Deposit Contract or future cremation services contract. A licensed Salesperson must not discuss funeral or final expenses funding through Insurance unless the licensed Salesperson holds a dual license. On the other hand, a licensed life agent must not engage in preparing specific funeral cost items when planning final expense insurance. They can only speak in general terms and must not be construed by the client to be a representative or agent of a funeral home unless the life agent holds a dual license.