Notice to the Profession – Miscellaneous Updates

Dear Licensee, 

This ‘Notice to the Profession’ consists of several important updates that impact you and your business.  Please contact the BAO at info@thebao.ca if you have any questions.

1. Consumer Information Guide – Digital Copy Now Acceptable

Amendments have been made to sections 112 and 113 of the General Regulation under the FBCSA to allow licensed professionals the option of providing a digital format of the Consumer Information Guide (now called A Guide to Death Care) to consumers. The BAO encourages licensees to make any adjustments to their business contracts, indicating that the consumer has received either a hard copy of the Consumer Information Guide, or a link to the electronic version of the document, found on the BAO’s website.    

2. Elimination of Inactive License Status

The BAO has eliminated the ‘inactive’ license status.  Until recently all Funeral Directors (Class 1 and 2), Transfer Service Sales Representatives and Funeral Preplanners were required to specify a primary employer in order to retain ‘active’ licensee status.  Effective immediately, licensees will still be considered ‘active’ even if they do not work at a primary establishment and are not working in the profession, as long as they continue to pay their annual license fee and complete their continuing education requirements. This measure easily enables licensees to work at multiple establishments or on a part time basis.

3. Licensees facing Registrar’s Actions 

The BAO is required by law to make available to the public any actions taken against an applicant or a licensee.  This includes registrar’s proposals to refuse, suspend or revoke a licence as well as any disciplinary actions taken against a licensee.  Details can be found on the BAO’s website, and  include a description of the action taken, the grounds for taking the action, the date on which the action was taken, and the final result of the action, pursuant to section 111 of the General Regulation . 

4. Family-Led Death Care: Licensee obligation to inform consumers of options

Pursuant to subsection 7(2) of the General Regulation, family members can provide  funeral services for their deceased loved one.  While they cannot perform embalming and cannot be paid for their  services, they are legally entitled to transfer the deceased body, register the death, obtain a Coroner’s Cremation Certificate or Out of Province Certificate or arrange for religious or personal ceremonies to mark the death.  It is the obligation of the licensee to ensure that this information is correctly and clearly communicated to consumers if asked.  

The BAO has recently added a tab to its website that provides more information about Family-led Death Care services.

5. New Resources for Consumers

Although grief counselling does not fall within the BAO’s mandate, we do receive many calls from consumers who are struggling to come to terms with the loss of their loved one.  Like many of our licensees, we want to be able to provide these family members with resources to turn to, to help them navigate their questions and concerns so that they have the appropriate support during their bereavement. The BAO has added a searchable list of resources to its website – feel free to refer your clients to this page, or to send us additional organizations that should be added.

6.Guidelines on Dealing with Ebola Virus

The Office of Chief Medical Officer of Health recently released an update on Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) including guidelines, laboratory testing and educational webinars that will teach you about occupational health and safety including personal protective equipment.  

Visit the BAO website to access information on how to protect yourself and your staff when dealing with infectious disease cases: Routine Practices in the Bereavement Care Setting

7.Elevators in Funeral Establishments, Cemeteries and Crematoriums

In September of 2017, an employee of a funeral home in Ontario fell to his death while operating an unlicensed elevating device. The device was being used to transport caskets between the basement, morgue, and chapel levels of the building. 

The Bereavement Authority of Ontario (BAO) reminds its’ licensees that they must comply with all applicable provincial regulations, including those concerning elevators and lifts. In Ontario, you may only operate elevating devices within your licensed facilities if they have been approved and licensed by the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA). 

If you are unsure about whether your device must be licensed and inspected by the TSSA, please call (877) 682-8772 (menu selection 4) or email eddesignsubmittal@tssa.org for further information. 

If you suspect that you have an unlicensed elevating device, please click here for assistance in registering your elevating device. 

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