Education and Training

Professional Competency Profile

As stipulated in the Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act, 2002, the Bereavement Authority of Ontario is responsible for regulation of four personal licence classes:

  • Funeral Director – Class 1 (embalming)
  • Funeral Director – Class 2 (non-embalming)
  • Transfer Service Sales Representative
  • Funeral Preplanner

Each licence class has a varied scope of practice. All educational standards are set by the Registrar and the Funeral Sector Professional Competency Profiles – Second Edition provides the foundation for all funeral service education initiatives. Developed by funeral professionals for funeral professionals, competencies as they apply to each personal licence class are defined within five key areas of focus:

  1. Communication and Responsiveness
  2. Care of the Deceased
  3. Disposition, Funeral Services and Visitation
  4. Business Practices
  5. Professionalism

Competency based education programs are designed to build learning outcomes that may be applied to another personal licence class should the individual choose to pursue further training in the funeral sector.


Competencies, as identified in the Funeral Sector Professional Competency Profiles – Second Edition, provide the foundation for all education initiatives.

As stipulated in the Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act, 2002 and Ontario Regulation 30/11, the Registrar for the Bereavement Authority of Ontario is responsible for identifying the funeral service education requirements for four specified personal licence classes including:

  • Funeral Director – Class 1 (embalming)
  • Funeral Director – Class 2 (non-embalming)
  • Transfer Service Sales Representative
  • Funeral Preplanner

For individuals wishing to pursue a career in funeral service, the Funeral Service Education program is designed to support continued development. Education requirements for each licence class build on the previous class beginning with Funeral Preplanner and ending with Funeral Director – Class 1. Selecting a program of study depends upon your level of interest and the amount of time that you are willing to invest.

Individuals may decide to pursue career opportunities at any of the four specified levels or enhance existing skill sets with the completion of additional funeral service education requirements over a period of time.

Industry Program Standards for Funeral Service Education

Approved by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, the Funeral Service Education Program Standards serve to inform curriculum development for each personal licence class at approved educational institutions in Ontario.

Designed to include vocational learning outcomes, essential employability skills, general education requirements, and process standards, through combining theoretical course work with practical internship experience, graduates of the program acquire knowledge, skills, and abilities that support continued career development.

Click here to download the Industry Program Standards for Funeral Service Education.

Currently, there are two approved educational institutions in Ontario that provide Funeral Service Education:

Normally students complete the course of study and obtain the designated credential within the timelines identified below:

Personal Licence Class Credential Course Work Normal Internship Term Estimated Timeline for Program Completion
Funeral Director – Class 1 (embalming) Ontario College Diploma 2 semesters in class 12 months 24 months
Funeral Director – Class 2 (non embalming) Ontario College Diploma 2 semesters in class 6 months 18 months
Transfer Service Sales Representative Ontario College Certificate 1 semester online 3 months 12 months
Funeral Preplanner Ontario College Certificate 1 semester online 3 months 6 months

Internship Support Program

The Internship Support Program is designed to provide support services to both interns and preceptors.

Adopted by best-in-class regulators across North America, the competency based assessment model recognizes the increased importance of the preceptor role in assessing the intern’s level competence throughout the internship term.

In an effort to offer consistent training practices and ease cumbersome reporting requirements, the Internship Support Portal provides a forum for interns and preceptors to work together to achieve identified competencies throughout the internship term.

To access the Internship Support Portal, please click here.

To download the Internship Support Portal – Instruction Manual, please click here.

Preceptor Training Program

The Preceptor Training Program previously offered by the Board of Funeral Services (BOFS) is no longer mandatory

Effective April 1st, 2016, Humber College and Collège Boréal will assume the responsibility for delivering the internship program, including the tracking of completed competencies and oversight of preceptors, for all new interns.

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

Stay tuned for more information about optional training programs that will be offered by Humber College and Collège Boréal.

Continuing Education and Professional Development

Since 1938 funeral professionals in Ontario have committed to lifelong learning through participating in mandatory professional development programming on a regular basis.

The AIM Portal, used to report and track continuing education since 2013, has been discontinued effective September 2017.

The BAO believes that continuing education is a priority and an important component of any profession, and still requires funeral licensees to complete a minimum of 4 hours of continuing education or professional development each year. Funeral licensees are required to self-report the details of their continuing education on their licensing renewal forms on an annual basis.

What activities are eligible for continuing education or professional development?

  1. Any conference/course/webinar/seminar or other training sessions conducted or offered by:
  1. Any bereavement course, workshop or seminar conducted by Humber College or College Boreal,
  1. Training conducted by any bereavement-related organization,
  1. Any Local or Regional professional association meetings,

Any workshop/webinar/conference approved by the Registrar.

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