Consultations on Proposed Amendments to the Embalmers and Funeral Directors Act, 2008

Overview

The Embalmers and Funeral Directors Act was first enacted in 1975. In 2008, this legislation was repealed and replaced with the current Embalmers and Funeral Directors Act, 2008. It came into force on January 1, 2010 and, aside from minor amendments in 2012 and 2013, the Act has not been substantially reviewed since proclamation. The Act provides self-regulating authority to the embalmer and funeral director occupations. A copy of the current Act and Regulations can be found here.

Pursuant to the Act, the Embalmers and Funeral Directors Board of Newfoundland and Labrador consists of two embalmers, two funeral directors and three people appointed by the minister. The Board is responsible for establishing licensing requirements for embalmers, funeral directors and funeral homes; reviewing applications and issuing licences; establishing educational standards, conducting examinations and overseeing continuing education; and taking disciplinary action.

Occupational self-regulation exists to protect the public when there is a substantial risk of harm to consumers if the service is performed improperly. Allowing an occupation to self-regulate provides a reduced cost to taxpayers because the expenses of regulation are borne by the self-regulating association and recovered from practitioners.

Authority for self-regulation traditionally includes the ability to set standards of practice, admit qualified practitioners and discipline members. The Board has authority over licensing and discipline; however, it does not have the power to establish and enforce standards of practice.

Digital Government and Service NL (DGSNL) is seeking feedback from industry stakeholders regarding the proposed legislative changes discussed below.

Proposed Changes

To strengthen the regulatory powers of the Board, and improve consumer protection in the funeral services industry, DGSNL is proposing amendments regarding:

  • Standards of practice;
  • Continuing education requirements; and
  • Duties of apprentices, embalmers, funeral directors, and funeral homes.

DGSNL is recommending several housekeeping amendments, such as modifying the definition of “funeral director” to distinguish between a person and a corporate entity; adding definitions of “funeral home” and “funeral supplies and services” and providing clear authority for a system of apprenticeship for funeral directors. DGSNL is also proposing to remove the word “place” in relation to the annual general meeting and allowing the Board to determine the manner in which such a meeting will be held.

Finally, the current Act includes three categories of licensees: embalmers, funeral directors and funeral homes. DGSNL is looking for feedback from industry stakeholders regarding potential changes to the current licensing scheme to include additional licensees.

While DGSNL is aware that there has been substantial interest in updating regulations to reflect continued growth in cremation as a funeral option, and as the authority provided to DGSNL relates only to licensing, as regulatory authority for crematoria already exists in paragraph 11(1)(q) of the Health and Community Services Act, any changes to DGSNL’s legislation with respect to crematoria would need to be done in consultation with the Department of Health and Community Services.

Get Involved

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is requesting input, particularly from individuals working in the funeral services industry, regarding the proposed changes to the Act. You may provide your input online by completing the following questionnaire or by submitting a written submission by email to EFDAconsultations@gov.nl.ca or through regular mail to:

Policy and Strategic Planning
Digital Government and Service NL
Confederation Building, West Block, 2nd Floor
PO Box 8700
St. John’s, NL
A1B 4J6

We thank you in advance for your participation. Online and written submissions will be accepted until July 30, 2021.

If you have any questions related to this questionnaire or require an alternate format, please email Amanda Hewitt at amandalhewitt@gov.nl.ca.

Online Questionnaire

This questionnaire will be available until July 30, 2021.

It should take you approximately 15 minutes to complete this questionnaire.

Click here to complete the questionnaire.

In response to feedback received to date during consultations, following the end of the consultation period, an opportunity for virtual engagement will be provided to stakeholders in Fall 2021.

How will your input be used?

The information we receive will be reviewed by Digital Government and Service NL, and all feedback will be considered as the Provincial Government explores potential amendments to the Embalmers and Funeral Directors Act.

Privacy Statement

The collection of information is done under the authority of section 61(c) of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 2015 for the purpose of collecting public feedback on potential changes to the Embalmers and Funeral Directors Act.

Any personal information that may be received will be governed in accordance with the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 2015 and will only be used for the purpose of providing a response to submissions received and informing participants of public engagement results at the end of the process.

If you have any questions about how this information will be collected, used and disclosed, please contact Gabriel Williams at GabrielWilliams@gov.nl.ca.

Contact Us

If you have any questions related to this questionnaire or require an alternate format, please contact the department at  EFDAconsultations@gov.nl.ca or 709-729-5651.