Licensing

With a mandate to ensure Ontario consumers are being served by competent and professional licensees, the Bereavement Authority of Ontario sets and imposes training standards and mobility requirements aimed at delivering optimal outcomes.

For funeral and transfer service, the Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act, 2002 establishes the following classes of licences:

Personal Licence Classes

  • Funeral Preplanner
  • Transfer Service Sales Representative
  • Funeral Director – Class 1 and Class 2

Business Licence Classes

  • Funeral Establishment Operator – Class 1 and Class 2
  • Transfer Service Operator – Class 1 and Class 2

What Are Authorized Practices?

What are the authorized practices for each licence class under the Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act, 2002?

As stipulated in the Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act, 2002, an individual must hold a personal licence if they are selling or offering to sell licensed services or supplies on behalf of a licensed establishment. Unlicensed individuals who choose to perform duties requiring a licence, are committing an offence. Contravention of the Act may be subject to monetary penalties and/or restitution.

Funeral Preplanner

Supporting Ontario consumers to prepare final arrangements in advance of the time of need is an important role. Licensed funeral preplanners are responsible for meeting with consumers to prepare and sign preneed contracts on behalf of a licensed establishment.

If you have an interest in offering additional services, you may want to consider completion of the Transfer Service Sales Representative Program.

Transfer Service Sales Representative

Supplying the basic requirements for cremation or burial arrangements meets the needs of a specific segment of consumers who don’t require visitation or a formal funeral services. Licensed transfer service sales representatives are employed by a transfer service operator to provide Ontario consumers with direct cremation and direct burial services.

If you have an interest in offering additional services, you may want to consider completion of the Funeral Director – Class 2 Program.

Funeral Director – Class 2

Administering funeral and memorial services serves a valuable role in commemorating lives and supporting the bereaved. The Funeral Director – Class 2 licence permits the licence holder to arrange and direct customized funeral rites and ceremonies on behalf of a licensed establishment. A Funeral Director – Class 2 cannot provide arterial embalming or restoring of deceased human bodies. Those licensed as non-embalming funeral directors prior to July 1, 2012 will automatically receive this licence.

If you have an interest in offering additional services, you may want to consider completion of the Funeral Director – Class 1 Program.

Funeral Director – Class 1

Providing embalming can be a meaningful way to assist those who select it as part of the funeral rituals. The Funeral Director – Class 1 licence permits the licence holder to supply the practice of embalming in addition to all the professional services associated with arranging and directing funeral and memorial services on behalf of a licensed establishment. An embalming funeral director licensed prior to July 1, 2012 will automatically receive this licence.

Funeral Establishment Operator – Class 1

This licence is needed to operate a full service funeral establishment. It is basically the equivalent of the funeral operator’s licence in effect before July 1, 2012. Any establishment holding a funeral operator’s licence prior to July 1, 2012 will automatically be licensed as a Funeral Establishment Operator – Class 1.

Funeral Establishment Operator – Class 2

This is a new type of licence required for visitation centres or similar establishments offering room rentals for visitations prior to burials, cremations or scatterings. A visitation centre operator will automatically be licensed as Funeral Establishment Operator – Class 2 after July 1, 2012.

Transfer Service Operator – Class 1

With this type of licence you may operate a transfer service that also sells a limited preparation of deceased bodies. A Funeral Director – Class 1 must manage the day-to-day operations of this service.

Under this licence you may care for or prepare a deceased human body by washing it, applying a disinfectant externally, setting its features and placing it into a casket. However, you may not offer arterial embalming.

This licence also permits you to transfer a human body from the place of death to a holding room, visitation, ceremony or cremation and then to a cemetery or crematorium. It does not permit you to arrange, coordinate, conduct or participate in a visitation, funeral or any other ceremony where human remains (including cremated remains) are present

This licence also permits you to sell caskets and arrange the scattering of cremated remains

Transfer Service Operator – Class 2

Those licensed as a transfer service prior to July 1, 2012 will automatically receive a Transfer Service Operator – Class 2 licence.

With this licence you may only have contact with a deceased human body to remove personal belongings and place it into a casket. You are then permitted to transfer the body from the place of death to a holding room and then to the place of final disposition. You may also sell caskets and arrange the scattering of cremated remains.

This licence does not permit you to arrange, coordinate, conduct or participate in a visitation, funeral or any other ceremony where human remains (including cremated remains) are present.

New Applicant

The process for achieving licensure in any of the four personal licence classes is consistent throughout and requires completion of the following steps:

  1. Funeral Service Education requirements (online or in person, depending upon licence class specifications)
  2. Internship competencies
  3. Licensing examinations
  4. Application for a personal licence

An individual must fulfill all requirements for each step prior to being eligible to move forward.

To learn more about Funeral Service Education requirements and Internship competencies, visit the BAO’s Education & Training page.

Applicants Currently Licensed in Another Canadian Province

If you are a funeral professional licensed in good standing in a Canadian province outside of Ontario, you may be eligible to apply for a personal licence in Ontario under the Agreement on Internal Trade.

To have your credentials assessed please submit the following items to the Bereavement Authority of Ontario:

  • Confirmation that you hold a personal licence in good standing
  • Details related to your personal licence including:
    • the date the licence was first issued,
    • the date the current licence was issued,
    • the date the licence expires,
    • the licence number and
    • any conditions or restrictions, or suspensions on the licence

Prior to a personal licence being issued, the candidate must:

  • Successfully pass the Ontario Jurisprudence Examination
  • Submit a personal licence application
  • Provide a Police Records Check dated inside the last 12 months

Applicants Currently Licensed Outside of Canada

If you are a funeral professional licensed in good standing in a jurisdiction outside of Canada, you may be eligible to apply for a personal licence in Ontario.

United States

To have your credentials assessed as a funeral director licensed in good standing in a jurisdiction in the United States, please submit the following items to the Bereavement Authority of Ontario:

  • Confirmation that you hold a personal licence in good standing
  • Details related to your personal licence including:
    • the date the licence was first issued,
    • the date the current licence was issued,
    • the date the licence expires
    • the licence number and
    • any conditions or restrictions, or suspensions on the licence
  • Proof that you have successfully completed a program accredited by the American Board of Funeral Services Education (ABFSE)
  • Proof that you have successfully completed the National Board Examination (from the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards)

Prior to a personal licence being issued, the candidate must:

  • Successfully pass the Ontario Jurisprudence Examination
  • Submit a personal licence application
  • Provide a Police Records Check dated inside the last 12 months

Other Countries

For applicants licensed in another country, consideration will be given to the applicant's training and experience on an individual basis. Please contact the Bereavement Authority of Ontario to discuss your specific circumstances.

Examinations

In Ontario all aspiring funeral professionals who have completed the education requirements set by the Registrar, must pass licensing examinations for the specified licence class prior to applying for licensure.

Providing the foundation for all education initiatives, licensing examination questions are based on the competencies identified in the Funeral Sector Professional Competency Profiles – Second Edition.

The 2016 Licensing and Jurisprudence Exams Candidate Guide (*new*) offers an overview of the examination process, defines the application requirements, and provides answers to frequently asked questions.

To support further preparation, a review of relevant legislation is also encouraged:

Licence Renewal

Personal licence renewal is an annual requirement that must be completed online by the individual licence holder between November 1st and December 31st.

To renewal your personal licence, please access the Member Login page.

Emeritus Status

The Bereavement Authority of Ontario (BAO) is pleased to announce that bereavement sector licensees who have achieved fifty (50) years of continuous licensure in good standing can now apply for Emeritus Status. Emeritus Status will be granted by the BAO beginning January 2017, and eligible licensees are welcome to apply at any time.

Advantages for obtaining Emeritus Status:

  • There is no cost to apply for Emeritus Status.
  • You are no longer required to pay annual licence renewal fees. Emeritus status continues indefinitely, unless a breach of conditions is reported or discovered during establishment inspection.
  • Not required to complete annual AIM (Continuing Education) program.
  • You will receive a letter from the Registrar and a certificate of Emeritus status.
  • You will continue to receive BAO communications.

With Emeritus Status, an individual acknowledges that they will not:

  • Operate or manage a funeral establishment or transfer service.
  • Offer or sell funeral or transfer services and supplies – at need or prepaid.

To apply for Emeritus Status, eligible licensees should submit a completed Application for Emeritus Status form to the BAO by mail, fax, or email to info@thebao.ca.

Open or Purchase a Business

The decision to open or purchase an existing business can be both exciting and overwhelming; the good news is the Bereavement Authority of Ontario is here to help.

The Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act, 2002 (FBCSA) states that the mission of the Bereavement Authority of Ontario is to "regulate the provision of funeral services and transfer services in accordance with the 'Act' in order that the public interest may be served and protected". To fulfill this mandate, the Bereavement Authority of Ontario is responsible for ensuring Ontario funeral establishments and transfer services are licensed in accordance with the Act.

As a result, all individuals with an interest in opening a new business or purchasing an existing business must comply with all requirements for licensure. For more information please contact the Bereavement Authority of Ontario office.

Licence renewal

Business licence renewal is an annual requirement that must be completed between November 1st and December 31st.

Business renewal notices are mailed to each establishment during the latter part of October.


Questions? Call us at 844.493.6356 or use our automated contact form.