About the BAO
The Bereavement Authority of Ontario (BAO) is a government delegated authority administering provisions of the Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act, 2002 (FBCSA) on behalf of the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services. Responsible for protection of the public interest, the BAO regulates and supports licensed: funeral establishment operators, directors and preplanners; cemetery, crematorium and alternative disposition operators; transfer service operators; and bereavement sector sales representatives across Ontario. The BAO is wholly funded by licensee fees (not tax dollars).
The BAO was established as a delegated administrative authority (DAA) on January 16, 2016, under the Safety and Consumer Statutes Administration Act, 1996. The delegation to the BAO occurred as a result of the mutual desire of the Ontario government and the bereavement industry to enhance professionalism, increase consumer protection and provide an effective, efficient and responsive regulatory framework.
The BAO is not a government entity; it is governed by an independent Board of Directors. Like other DAAs, the BAO is wholly financed by the fees paid by the industry sector it oversees. The transition to the BAO does not mean that the bereavement sector will be “self-regulating”. The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services maintains a strong oversight role in the sector and continues to be responsible for policy decisions under the FBCSA. The ministry also retains responsibility for cemetery closures, abandonments and burial sites of the FBCSA.
Effective April 1, 2016, the licensing and enforcement responsibilities previously exercised by the Board of Funeral Services (BOFS) was transferred to the BAO and BOFS was dissolved as a corporation. The BAO provides a more effective one-window approach for both licensees and consumers. Consumers now have a single point of contact for any questions or complaints they may have about funeral and transfer services or cemetery and crematorium services.
Functions of the BAO
The BAO will:
- Offer a convenient single point of contact for the bereavement sector of funeral, transfer service, cemetery, crematorium and alternative disposition services
- Inspect and license funeral establishments, transfer services, and cemeteries and crematoriums, and individuals who work in these sectors
- Provide more efficient service delivery and enforcement
Stakeholders from the cemetery/crematorium and funeral/transfer services sectors, religious organizations, municipal organizations and other interested stakeholders were consulted on the establishment of the BAO.
Mission / Vision / Values / Objectives / Responsibilities
To protect consumers by regulating funeral, burial, transfer, cremation and alternative disposition services
To provide fair, safe and supportive funeral, burial, transfer, cremation and alternative disposition services in Ontario.
• Honesty and Integrity
• Communication and Confidentiality
• Cooperation and Teamwork
• Healthy Co-existence with our Environment
The Bereavement Authority of Ontario (BAO) is an independent, not-for-profit corporation that administers
provisions of the Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act, 2002 (FBCSA). The BAO’s mandate is to serve
and protect public interest and govern the bereavement sector in the province of Ontario.
• Increase consumer awareness of the BAO and access to useful and relevant regulatory information.
• Develop and maintain effective communications with key stakeholders.
• Improve resolution of consumer complaints.
• Enhance educational requirements.
• Conduct inspections and reviews and resolve matters of non-compliance.
• Increase the effectiveness and efficiency of inspections and compliance methods.
• Coach for compliance.
• Ensure financial sustainability.
• Improve operational capabilities.
• Ensure effective Board oversight of the BAO.
• Ensure compliance with the FBCSA and regulations.
THE BAO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR –
• The licensing of establishments: funeral; burial; transfer; cremation; and alternative disposition services.
• The licensing of individuals: funeral directors; funeral preplanners; transfer service; cemetery
and crematorium sales representatives.
• The monitoring of cemetery care and maintenance trust funds/accounts and prepaid trust funds.
• Promoting confidence and awareness in Ontario’s bereavement sector through licensing, inspections,
investigations, responding to complaints and public education activities.
• Providing information and education to the public.