Education and Training

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 ClassCredentialCourse WorkNormal Internship TermEstimated Timeline for Program Completion
Funeral Director – Class 1 (embalming)Ontario College Diploma5 semesters1 year2 years
Funeral Director – Class 2 (non embalming)Ontario College Diploma4 semesters6 months1.5 years
Transfer Service Sales RepresentativeOntario College Certificate2 semesters3 months6 months
Funeral PreplannerCertificate of AchievementonlineN/AN/A

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

Effective April 1, 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 1, 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 fulfill 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.

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 four (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. Any training conducted by any bereavement-related organization which has been approved by the Registrar,
  1. Any Local or Regional professional association meetings which have been approved by the Registrar.

1. What workshops/conferences/seminars count towards the requirements for continuing education or professional development?

a. Any participation in sessions conducted or offered by the Ontario Association of Cemetery and Funeral Professionals (OACFP), Ontario Funeral Service Association (OFSA), Funeral Services Association of Canada (FSAC), or the Bereavement Authority of Ontario (BAO) is eligible as continuing education. Additionally, any workshop, conference or seminar conducted by Humber College, Collège Boréal, or education provided by another organization or licensee may qualify if it can be reasonably justified as furthering one’s education in the funeral profession and if the provider has obtained prior approval of the Registrar.

2. Does my course/webinar/presentation count?

a. If the course/webinar/presentation is related to the bereavement sector, fulfills the 4-hour requirement, either in one session or throughout multiple sessions that add up to 4 hours, and you can provide proof of attendance or completion (invoice, certificate, confirmation) and meets the requirements of 1 (a) above, then it will count towards your continuing education requirements.

b. The content must be directly related to a licensee’s professional education, and be designed to enhance professional knowledge or skills. It is not likely that a meeting or an event that is offered to the public will have sufficiently detailed content or depth to enhance a licensee’s existing professional knowledge.

3. Does the seminar/conference/workshop have to be based in Ontario?

a. Yes.

4. I no longer work in the funeral/transfer service sector, but I’d like to stay licensed; Does this mean I am exempt from the continuing education or professional development requirements of my licence renewal?

a. No. You must complete 4 hours of continuing education or professional development if you would like to maintain and renew your licence regardless of whether or not you are currently working in the bereavement sector.

5. The BAO encourages establishments to host or conduct training for continuing education for their staff. What do you need to do to host/organize a webinar/presentation/training session for your staff and/or other bereavement sector professionals?

a. You may provide the Registrar, Bereavement Authority of Ontario, the following:

      i. Obtain approval from the Registrar or contact one of the approved associations to see if they will deliver your training.

     ii. Provide a list of all licensees who have attended to

     iii. Issue certificates of attendance to all licensees who have attended.

6. How do I report my continuing education?

a. When you apply to renew your licence through the Licensee Portal found on the BAO website, there is a section that allows you to self-report your continuing education. You are required to provide the following information: Course Name, Course Provider/Link, Date of Completion and Duration of the Course in hours.

Please note: Only use numeric digits in the duration of course section (e.g. 1, not 1 hr, or 1 hour).

7. What local and regional associations meetings are approved for continuing education or professional development?

a. Local and regional associations that provide funeral service related professional development and have obtained prior approval from the Registrar.

8. Is reading a book considered an acceptable form of continuing education?

a. No

9. Does anyone check to make sure that I have attended the course I am reporting to have attended?


a. You should retain proof of attendance at developmental events and of your continuing education or professional development for the year as random audits may be conducted.

Continuing Education Troubleshooting

1. Please ensure that you are logged in to the Licensee Portal with the email address associated to your licence number.

2. If you receive an error message you may need to clear the cache on your browser. In order to do this, please follow the following steps:

   Step One: Please log out of your Licensee Portal and return to,

   Step Two: In the upper right corner, you will see an accessibility icon (wheelchair). Please click this icon and choose “Clear Cookies”,

   Step Three: Close your browser completely and reopen it,

   Step Four: Head to and click on “Licensee Portal Login” found directly left to the “Home” button in our main banner,

   Step Five: Please log in with the email address associated to your licence number.

3. You must fill in 4 of the 5 input values in the step for Continuing Education

   a. Split the course/seminar values or,
   b. Input the same course multiple times in these fields.

4. If you continue to experience an error while inputting your Continuing Education please ensure that the values you use for “Duration of Course” are numeric only, do not use the word “hours” or “hrs” in that field.

5. If your manager has issued a credit for payment of your licence renewal, please select “Individual Renewal Credit” from the drop-down menu (final step).

The Bereavement Authority of Ontario requires that all licensees complete a minimum of four (4) hours of continuing education or professional development per year to meet the requirements set out by the Registrar, FBCSA. Licensees are required to self-report the details of their continuing education on their licensing renewal forms or through the licensee portal on an annual basis. Licence renewals are due December 31 of each year with a $75 late penalty for those who renew after the deadline.

Please note that Licensees may be required to register and attend more than one event or training session to fulfil the four (4) hour requirement.

Below is a list of continuing education opportunities that fulfil the continuing education and professional development requirements.

Ontario Funeral Service Association (OFSA): 

Ontario Association of Cemetery and Funeral Professionals (OACFP):

Funeral Service Association of Canada (FSAC):

Collège Boréal:


Western University and Western Ontario Funeral Service Association (WOFSA)

Seminar invitation 2019

Click here to register.

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