Notice to the Profession: BAO’s new information system for licensees and the public launches on April 30

The Bereavement Authority of Ontario’s new information technology system goes live on Tuesday, April 30, providing a modern platform for the Licensee Portal and anyone accessing our Public Register.

The BAO’s new Ontario Bereavement Information System (OBIS) will provide licensees with more reliable access to your portal, replacing an archaic system which we’ve used since the days of the former Board of Funeral Services.

OBIS Licensee Portal

OBIS will be the platform for our Licensee Portal and for the BAO Public Register. The new internet addresses for each will be emailed to you in a Notice to the Profession on Tuesday, April 30. Until that notice is sent, please continue to use the current system.

OBIS will be more user friendly and stable, compared to the unexpected outages of the previous system. Our OBIS Licensee Portal will provide easier access to information for licensees, and to consumers using the Public Register, which provides information on BAO-licensed businesses and professionals.

The new system has been in development since late 2022. It represents the BAO’s most significant investment in information technology since the authority’s inception in 2016. OBIS is an essential tool for the BAO in the achievement of its:

  • Mandate to protect the public interest and administer the law – the Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act, 2002 – in the bereavement sector on behalf of government
  • Implementation and sustainment of expansive recommendations from the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario
  • Modernization of operations and providing key data to address the changing needs of consumers, while providing better resources and services to licensees toward their professional compliance with the law

OBIS will provide the tools necessary for features from electronic inspection reports and improved tracking and analysis, to sharing bereavement sector data with BAO licensees and the public.

Among the improvements, OBIS will:

  • Provide a more stable and reliable system for the public and licensees
  • Organize the BAO’s services, while tracking progress, licensee compliance and other data
  • Promote modernization through improved online services for the public, who may access the Public Register of all licensees
  • Provide accurate data modelling and reporting
  • Share analytical data with licensees and the public
  • Align and deliver detailed corporate planning, performance, statistical and reporting requirements as outlined in the BAO’s Administrative Agreement with the Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery
  • Increase BAO responsiveness to external audits and amendments to internal controls, including those from the ministry
  • Standardize and optimize BAO’s business processes to meet and exceed its consumer protection mandate
  • Protect against data breaches and cyber security threats
  • Enable risk-based, technology-assisted compliance activity, rather than a more reactionary inspections approach arising largely from complaints
  • Parse data regionally and provincially in categories including –
    • Trends in numbers of deaths responded to by funeral establishments and transfer services
    • Increases and decreases in numbers of licensed professionals and businesses
    • Changes in the number of burials, cremations and hydrolysis compared to previous years
    • Inspection outcomes data
    • Numbers of new and all current service providers

OBIS will be updated periodically by the BAO. 

OBIS Licensee Portal Webinar

To assist you all once you’ve had a chance to use OBIS, the BAO will be offering a webinar to licensees after it goes live on April 30. Stay tuned. We will announce the webinar date, time and how to access it.