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.

Funeral Services Education

Overview

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 Diploma2 semesters in class12 months24 months
Funeral Director – Class 2 (non embalming)Ontario College Diploma2 semesters in class6 months18 months
Transfer Service Sales RepresentativeOntario College Certificate1 semester online3 months12 months
Funeral PreplannerOntario College Certificate1 semester online3 months6 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.

FAQ's - Continuing Education Requirements & Discontinuation of the AIM Portal
FAQ’s – Changes to Continuing Education Requirements & Discontinuation of the AIM Portal
 
  1. What is continuing education?
    • The Bereavement Authority of Ontario believes that continuing education is a priority and an important component of any profession. The BAO defines continuing education as any constructive activity that furthers or improves your knowledge and education of the various elements of the bereavement sector. 
  1. How will I report my continuing education or professional development if AIM is no longer in use?
    • When applying to renew your licence through the Licensee Portal found on the BAO website, a Continuing Education Tool will allow you to self-report your continuing education or professional development. 
  1. If I’ve completed both the RDL and SDL from the old AIM portal do I have to complete an additional 4 hours of continuing education or professional development for the 2017 year?
    • If you’ve completed all the requirements for RDL and SDL for 2017 you do not need to complete 4 additional hours of continuing education, or professional development. However, in 2018 all licensees must complete a minimum of 4 hours of continuing education or professional development to qualify for licence renewal. This completion must be indicated, via the portal, on the application for licence renewal.
  1. What has happened to my AIM documents? Are they lost?
    • The BAO maintains historical documentation of your continuing education.
  1. What workshops, conferences or seminars count towards the requirements for continuing education or professional development?
    • Any educational session conducted/offered/partnered by or sponsored by the Ontario Association of Cemetery and Funeral Professionals (OACFP), Ontario Funeral Service Association (OFSA), Funeral Services Association of Canada (FSAC), Cremation Association of North America (CANA) or any educational event by the Bereavement Authority of Ontario (BAO). Additionally, any workshop, conference or seminar that can be shown to be related to bereavement and providing consolation – grief counselling, or is related to your work at a bereavement related facility, and is provided by another organization, is acceptable. If you are unsure your course meets these criteria review the course with your employer and/or colleagues or call the BAO for a review or approval.
  1. Does the seminar, conference, workshop or other activity have to be based in Ontario?
    • It does not have to be based in Ontario, but the topic of the seminar, conference, workshop or activity must relate and support your professional development in the bereavement industry.
  1. How can I check to see if a certain conference, course, webinar or seminar is approved by the Registrar?
    • If you are unsure, feel free to send an e-mail to the BAO describing your intended activity. 
  1. I no longer work in the bereavement industry, but I’d like to maintain my licence status. Does this AIM policy mean I am exempt from the continuing education or professional development portion of my licence renewal?
    • You must complete a minimum of 4 hours of continuing education or professional development if you intend to renew your licence. This applies whether or not you are currently working in the bereavement industry. 
  1. What local, regional or national association meetings are approved for continuing education or professional development?
    • Local, regional or national associations that provide educational learning opportunities or have guest speakers presenting on topics related to the provision of bereavement related services to the public are approved for continuing education or professional development. 
  1. Is reading a book considered an acceptable form of continuing education?

 No

  1. Does anyone check to make sure that I have attended the course I am reporting to have attended?
    • You should retain proof of attendance at a continuing education or professional development event for the year during which the proof is applicable, as random audits may be conducted. 
  1. What courses/topics are not considered acceptable continuing education by the BAO?
  •         - First Aid Training
  •         - WHMIS
  •         - Board Governance
  1. Who’s going to pay for these courses or seminars I’m supposed to take? I don’t have any money.
    • You are responsible for the financial costs of any courses or seminars that are required as professional development to renew your licence. 
  1. What if I live up north? I can’t come all the way to Toronto.
    • Webinars etc. are available to those applicants who do not have easy access to urban facilities. You might consider contacting Humber College or Collège Boréal to get information on events and conferences that may be offered near your location.
  1. What kind of evidence do I need that I attended this course?
    • Keep any record of attendance, receipt or certificate. For internal/employer provided conferences an attendance list and information on the presenter and content of presentation is required.

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