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 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

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.

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. Training conducted by any bereavement-related organization,
  1. Any Local or Regional professional association meetings,

Any workshop/webinar/conference approved by the Registrar.

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?

a. No. 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 4 hours of continuing education or professional development in order to qualify for licence renewal.

2. What has happened to my AIM documents? Are they lost?

a. The BAO maintains historical documentation of your continuing education.

3. I was recently licensed (in 2017); am I still required to complete these continuing education requirements?

a. If you are a recent licensee, i.e. licensed in 2017, you are exempt from having to meet the continuing education requirements for this year.

4. 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), Cremation Association of North America or anything by the Bereavement Authority of Ontario can be counted. Additionally, any workshop, conference or seminar conducted by Humber College or Collège Boréal. Education provided by another organization or another licensee could qualify if can be reasonably justified as directly furthering one’s education in the funeral profession.

5. 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), 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.

6. Will the BAO pre-approve a course/webinar/presentation that is delivered by an organization other than those listed in section 4?

a. Generally no. There is no way that the BAO can be present to review the relevancy of the content, or determine the duration. The licensee has to assess this for him/herself, subject to section 5b above. Remember the licensee has to be prepared to justify the course as it relates to furthering their education in the bereavement industry.

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

a. No. They don’t have to be based in Ontario, but the topic of the seminar/conference/workshop must relate to the bereavement sector.

8. 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.

9. 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. An outline of the presentation/course/webinar/training session that indicates what is covered, the duration of the session and the scheduled date for the event.

     ii. A list of the licensee who will attend.

     iii. Following the event, provide a list of all the attendees.

10. 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).

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

a. Local and regional associations that are related to the bereavement sector are approved for continuing education or professional development.

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

a. No

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

Absolutely!

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.

14. Why have these changed been implemented so late in the year?

a. The Bereavement Authority of Ontario believes that continuing education is a priority and an important component of any profession. These changes to continuing education were made
after receiving feedback from our licensees. The BAO now allows licensees to have more relevancy, flexibility and options in choosing their path to further professional development.

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 www.thebao.ca,

   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 www.thebao.ca 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).

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