Common Questions

Role of the BAO

The BAO is considered a Delegated Administrative Authority (DAA) – what is a DAA?

A DAA is a not-for-profit corporation that delivers a regulatory program for government. It receives its delegated authority under the Safety and Consumer Statutes Administrative Act, 1996. A DAA is fully funded through the fees it collects from the industry it regulates and it is governed by an independent board of directors. This does not mean that the sector is self-regulating. The government retains responsibility for the legislation and regulations which are administered by the DAA. The delegating ministry maintains a strong oversight and policy role while a DAA assumes responsibility for day to day operational service delivery decisions (e.g. licensing, enforcement, complaints handling, education, inspection, etc.).

What will the relationship be between the Bereavement Authority of Ontario and the government?

Although the BAO is arm’s-length from government, a strong relationship between the BAO and government is maintained. An administrative agreement sets out the roles and responsibilities of both the BAO and the government and will be renewed or amended from time to time, as appropriate.

How will the BAO address cases of misconduct across the sector?

The BAO will develop a code of ethics for the bereavement sector. This code will be used when considering disciplinary action against a licensee. In the past, the Board of Funeral Services Act (BOFS Act) outlined actions that were considered professional misconduct. The BOFS Act has now been repealed to allow for the transition to the BAO.

Have inspections and compliance activities changed since the BAO became active?

No. Inspections and investigations are provided for in the Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act, 2002 (FBCSA), and there are no planned amendments to the legislation at this time.

How often should funeral homes and cemeteries expect to be inspected by BAO inspectors?

Cemeteries, crematoriums, transfer services and funeral establishments should all expect to be inspected consistently and fairly. The Compliance team will be working with licensees to assist in maintaining compliance. While the authority to conduct inspections, unannounced at any time during regular business hours, still exists, most inspections will be scheduled to ensure the process is as productive and least interfering with the regular business as possible.

Since the BAO was delegated authority for both cemetery and funeral sectors, have licensing requirements changed?

No. Licensing requirements have not changed. The FBCSA and its regulations set out the requirements for cemetery and crematorium operators and for funeral and transfer establishments, funeral directors, transfer service operators, preplanners and transfer service sales representatives.

No changes to the legislation are being made and only one minor regulation change was made to allow the transition to the BAO.

How is the BAO be funded?

The BAO is funded by the fees it collects from licensees in the bereavement sector.

Is the BAO responsible for cemetery closures, abandonments and burial sites?

No. The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services continues to be responsible for these areas of the FBCSA. Any questions relating to cemetery closures, abandonments and burial sites can be directed to the ministry.

What will the government’s role be in the bereavement sector once the Bereavement Authority of Ontario is active?

The government will retain responsibility for:

  • Burial sites, cemetery closures and abandoned cemeteries
  • Legislation administered by the BAO; and
  • A strong oversight and policy role.

BAO Organizational Structure

What does the organizational structure of the BAO look like?

The BAO now has a staff complement of 16 with one Registrar. The BAO has two main branches: Licensing and Compliance. Each branch has one manager.

Earlier consultation indicated that there would be two Deputy Registrars. Have these positions been removed?

Deputy Registrar appointments will be made later this year.

Will the role of the Registrar change under the BAO?

No. The role, responsibilities and duties of the Registrar are set out in the FBCSA.

Are all the BAO staff from the ministry and BOFS?

No. Some staff from both the BOFS and the ministry have joined the BAO, but there are a number of new staff.

Which staff are working at the BAO?

The organization chart and a staff directory are posted on the BAO website. The Registrar is Carey Smith, the Manager of Licensing, Education and Outreach is Michael D’Mello and the Manager of Compliance is Peter Jordan.

Cemetery and Crematorium Licensing

What is the status of annual licensure reports?

Reports were requested by the BAO mid-February 2016 and the BAO has since been receiving and processing the licensure reports from cemetery and crematorium operators.

The BAO was not able to process any reports submitted on ministry forms. The ministry will no longer process any reports submitted to them.

When do I have to submit my licensure report forms?

Within 90 days of the operator’s year-end. This is consistent with the ministry’s requirements from last year.

Did the requirements for annual licensure reports change this year?

No. The requirements did not change. The forms sent out by the BAO are substantially similar to the forms previously used by the ministry.

Funeral and Transfer Service Licensing

When will license renewals be sent out by BAO?

Licence renewals for Funeral and Transfer Service Establishments and Funeral Directors and Transfer Service Operators, Pre-planners and Transfer Service Sales Representatives will be mailed in October 2016.

When are license renewal reports and fees due to the BAO?

The licence renewal reports must be filed within 90 days / by the end of December 2016. Fees are payable to the Bereavement Authority of Ontario

Can I use BOFS forms?

The BAO will not be able to process any renewals submitted on BOFS forms.

I am a funeral/transfer service operator and I already paid by 2016 licensing fees to BOFS at the end of 2015. Will the BAO charge me again?

No. Funeral and Transfer service operators will not be required to pay licensing fees until the next licensing renewal period.

Fees

What fees will the BAO charge?

For 2016, the BAO will collect fees according to the schedules previously used by the ministry and BOFS. This means that there will be no change to the licensing fees paid to the BAO.

Who do I pay my licensing fees to?

The Bereavement Authority of Ontario.

Will fees increase?

If a review of fees is undertaken, the review will take into consideration the services to be provided by the BAO and the cost of those services from year to year. It will be the responsibility of BAO management and its board of directors to control costs where possible and keep fee increases within reasonable parameters.

While it is not anticipated that licensing fees will increase as a direct result of transition to the BAO, if the need for a fee increase did arise in the future, the BAO would follow the fee increase process that will be set out in the Administrative Agreement between the minister and the BAO. This process will include consultation with stakeholders in advance of any fee increase and is similar to the process currently in place under the BOFS Act.

Compensation Funds

What has happened to the BOFS compensation fund?

The compensation fund was transferred to the BAO effective April 1, 2016. At this time the BAO will be responsible for administering and overseeing it. The funds will be available in respect of complaints in the funeral and transfer services sectors.

Is there currently a cemetery and crematorium compensation fund? If not, will the BAO be creating one?

No. There is currently no compensation fund for cemeteries and crematoriums. The BAO interim board of directors is not considering recommending changes to the fund participants at this time.

Education

When is the next Preceptor Training Program? Are the requirements to be qualified as a Preceptor changing? Is there a cost to becoming a Preceptor?

Effective April 1, 2016, the Preceptor Training Program previously offered by the Board of Funeral Services (BOFS) is no longer mandatory.

Effective April 1st, 2016, a funeral director with the following qualifications is permitted to act as a preceptor: licensed in good standing in the province of Ontario, who has been licensed for a minimum of 3 years, who agrees to fulfil the requirements of “preceptor” as defined by the college and the Registrar”.

As the previous Preceptor Training Program is no longer mandatory, there are no costs associated with becoming a Preceptor.

How do education changes impact individuals who are currently registered as interns or preceptors?

Currently enrolled interns or preceptors will continue to work with the BAO directly. The requirements that were in place under BOFS will continue, meaning that interns and preceptors will continue to utilize the online portal for tracking competencies and will contact the BAO directly for any issues regarding internships or preceptors. The BAO will be communicating the dates of upcoming licensing exams for current interns shortly.

How do education changes impact new individuals who will be registering as interns or who wish to become preceptors?

New individuals who will be registering as interns or who wish to become preceptors will now work directly with Humber College or College Boreal for all matters related to internships or preceptor requirements. Going forward the colleges will also be responsible for managing the systems to track competencies. The BAO has provided the colleges with access to the portal, but in the future the colleges may determine that changes to the system need to be made. The colleges will communicate directly with interns or preceptors on any changes.

What qualifications do I need in order to become a preceptor?

Previously, in-person training was required to become a preceptor and supervise interns. Now, to become a preceptor, individuals must meet the following qualifications:

  • Must be a licensee in good standing in Ontario
  • Must have been licensed for a minimum for 3 years
  • Agree to fulfil the requirements of the role of “preceptor” as defined by the college and the Registrar
Who do I contact if I am interested in becoming a preceptor?
  • Michelle Clarke, 416-675-6622 ext. 4260 at Humber College
  • Camille Lemieux, 705-560-6673 ext. 4601 at Collège Boréal
What if I participated in preceptor training through BOFS, but have less than 3 years’ experience as a licensee?

You will still be considered eligible to act as a preceptor.

Will interns/preceptors still be required to use the Internship Support Portal for reporting an intern’s progress?

It is likely that interns and preceptors will continue to use the Internship Support Portal. However, effective April 1, 2016 Humber College and Collège Boréal will be in charge of administering the internship program, and it is up to them to determine if the portal will be used to monitor an intern’s progress, including the tracking of completed competencies and oversight of preceptors, for all new interns.

Are the requirements for AIM remaining the same? Will there be a RDL (regular defined learning) and SDL (self-defined learning) requirement for 2016? When can licensees expect the RDL portion to be available for completion, given that this must be completed by December 31, 2016?

For the AIM program, current educational requirements established by BOFS will remain in place until such time as the BAO determines that a review is appropriate. Licensees will be required to report RDL and SDL achievements in the AIM Portal for the 2016 licensing period. The BAO will begin developing the 2016 RDL requirement shortly; full details will be provided to licensees as they become available. At this time, licensees can still update their 2016 SDL achievements via the AIM Portal.

Is the BAO planning a review of educational requirements for the funeral and transfer service sector?

It is anticipated that a review will be conducted to examine the educational requirements. Stakeholders will be consulted on any proposed changes.

Governance

Who sits on the board of directors now?

The BAO currently has an interim board of directors that includes individuals from:

  • the Ontario Funeral Services Association;
  • The Ontario Association of Cemetery and Funeral Professionals;
  • A religious organization;
  • a municipality;
  • the Board of Funeral Services;
  • government; and
  • an individual with extensive delegated administrative authority experience.

Full director bios can be found on the BAO’s website.

When will the permanent board of directors be in place for the BAO?

The transition to a permanent board of directors for the BAO will happen after the full-delegation of the FBCSA effective April 1, 2016.

Who will sit on the permanent board of directors?

The permanent board of directors will be comprised of 10 individuals, including the chair of the board.

The permanent board will include:

  • 4 directors selected based on their skills and governance experience
  • 3 directors appointed by the Minister of Government and Consumer Services; and
  • The 3 chairs of the stakeholder advisory committees (funeral and transfer services; cemetery, crematorium and municipal; and faith-based advisory committees)

A majority of the directors will be at arm’s-length from industry and will not be involved in the bereavement sector.

What does “arm’s-length from industry” mean for directors?

This means that these directors cannot be currently:

  • a bereavement sector licensee;
  • have ownership or financial interest in any segment of the bereavement sector;
  • be a supplier to the bereavement sector; or
  • be a member, or be associated with a funeral, burial, cremation or memorial society.
Why will only three out of 10 directors be representing the cemetery/crematorium, funeral and transfer services and faith-based sectors?

The majority of the directors on the board will be selected based on governance skills and key competencies. This will ensure that the members of the board can make decisions based on good governance practices. The chair from each of the advisory committees, representing the cemetery/crematorium and municipal, funeral and transfer services, and faith-based sectors, will also sit on the board. This will provide sector input and feedback on board decisions.

What are advisory committees?

Three stakeholder advisory committees will provide expert advice to the Registrar and the Board of Directors on sector issues and matters of faith as they relate to the bereavement sector. The BAO will have three stakeholder advisory committees:

  • Funeral and Transfer Services Advisory Committee
  • Cemetery, Crematorium and Municipal Advisory Committee; and
  • Faith-based Advisory Committee
Who will sit on the advisory committees?

Each committee will be comprised of individuals who provide balanced representation of their sector, taking into consideration the effective representation of urban, rural and diverse geographical areas of Ontario.

When will I be able to submit a nomination to participate on an advisory committee?

The BAO hopes to have the nomination process finalised within the next few months. The BAO will circulate the committee terms of reference documents and the nomination process to licensees and consumers. Nominations will be accepted from licensees, associations, organizations and consumers and will be reviewed by a committee who will select individuals based on eligibility criteria.

Miscellaneous

Where is the BAO located?

The BAO’s offices are located at 100 Sheppard Avenue East, Suite 505.

If I have questions for the BAO, how do I contact them?

Email: info@thebao.ca

Main office number: 647-483-2645

Website: www.bereavementauthorityontario.ca

Will there be a 2016 business directory?

Yes, but not printed. All contact information for licensees can be found on the public register on the BAO website.

Can I change my information on your website?

Yes, the BAO website has all the same and more features (cemeteries) than the BOFS website had:

  • Directory for both funeral and cemetery licensees
  • Renew personal and business licences
  • Update address, name, place of employment
When will BAO Consumer Information Guides be ready?

BAO branded guides are available now. Send your order to info@thebao.ca to be filled.


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