My name is Deborah and I started working in the funeral industry in 1992 at the age of 15 when I completed my work experience while at school. On leaving school I entered the funeral industry and trained and worked as an Embalmer, passing the British Institute of Embalmers examinations. I took a development opportunity and worked at a University Medical School as a Anatomical Technician before training and working as a Crime Scene Investigator- part of my role included attending Forensic Post Mortem examinations.
I had cause to return to the funeral industry in 2017 only to find an industry that I didn’t quite recognise, while the job roles and how they were carried out was the same – the landscape of the industry had changes, prices were shockingly high and professional practice was low. I no longer have connection to any organisations within the industry but actively seek ways to improve the funeral services and bereavement care services for people in the UK.
The way the funeral industry is now structured and how it operates is not conducive to fully meeting the needs of bereaved people or the people who have died. The industry has become fast paced and money driven with people continually looking for ways to make death a commodity, the lack of any legislation or regulation has not only enabled the funeral industry to get to the point that it has, but perpetuated the problems too.
The industry is crowded with people who have no formal qualifications, training or experience specific to the funeral services, the administration of death or the professional practices and processes concerning a deceased person. This is leading to the funeral industry becoming a very fragmented, with inaccurate information being disseminated and a lack of consistency of standards of care.
Taking all the elements of the issues into account – lack of regulation, fragmented market, no training or qualification requirements, no requirements of facilities and no operator requirements, and also seeing a lot of inaccurate information being disseminated – the information on this website is intended to highlight the need for regulatory requirements and consumer protection, the need for minimum standards of care of the deceased and also to provide general information to the public, with the aim being to demystify death and funerals.