The role of the funeral association is to provide support to its members by representing them on both a local and national scale. As with many membership associations, there is often a cost to becoming a member but generally the benefits outweigh the subscription fee. One of the most important reasons for a funeral director to sign up to these associations is for the purposes of better marketing. Membership of a funeral association is synonymous with good professional practice, as they represent the kitemark of quality assurance in the industry. Here is a synopsis of membership associations available to funeral directors and suppliers to their businesses in the UK and Ireland.
The National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD)
Members: 4100+ Funeral Directors (plus various suppliers to the industry from the UK and around the world)
Subscription Fees: Applications to join the association are subject to supporting information to attest to the qualifications and high standards of the applying funeral home. Prices are not published on their website but subscription fees are dependent on the size of business operations conducted by the applicant. Industry suppliers can join from £478 p/a.
The National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) has a long heritage, supporting the industry since its foundation in 1905 when it began as the British Undertakers Association. With more than 4100 members in the UK, the NAFD is the UK’s number one funeral association providing guidance to their members and their members’ bereaved customers too. At a national level, the NAFD continues to provide advice to All Party Parliamentary Groups, helping to shape future legislation associated with the funeral industry. Since 2007, the NAFD have held a biennial National Funeral Exhibition for various suppliers to the industry and they also provide online funeral courses and training programmes to further the professional development of funeral directors. These are accredited by leading institutions such as Birmingham City University and the National Open College Network. A big incentive for new members to join is the indemnity cover of up to £5m as part of the association. Legal cover is also available as part of the membership package.
The National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF)
Members: Around 950 Independent Funeral Directors
Subscription Fees: Membership fees are graded, based on the volume of funerals conducted each year by the homes, plus an initial £200 administration fee. The grades vary from £345 p/a for the lowest volume of funerals conducted (up to 50) to £2105 for independent homes with 1000 or more funerals per year. Associates can join for £472 p/a.
The National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF) represent privately owned, independent funeral directors within the UK. Members are inspected biennially to ensure that the funeral directors maintain a level of excellence for their customers. As with the NAFD, the SAID offers support to MP’s for parliamentary legislation, charities and consumer groups throughout the UK, also providing helpful online advice for the bereaved who need assistance to find the right funeral home. They also provide some funeral director training for members at no additional charge, with accredited training from the Independent Funeral DIrectors College at a reduced cost. A free counselling service also available as part of the membership.
The Irish Association of Funeral Directors (IAFD)
Subscription Fees: Prices are not published but application forms are available to download directly on the website. Fees are determined by the size of funeral operations and only applies to applicants in Ireland - though an overseas membership is available too.
The Irish Association of Funeral Directors (IAFD) members represent around 80% of all funerals conducted in Ireland. Founded in 1979, the association was set up to uphold and promote excellence within the funeral industry. As with the NAFD in the UK, the IAFD are also regularly consulted by the Irish government and media on all matters relevant to funerals. Membership benefits include indemnity insurance, online funeral courses and a legal advisory service.
Other UK based Associations:
The British Institute of Funeral Directors (BIFD)
Subscription Fees: Cost of subscription available upon application. Other membership levels include associate, student and honorary.
The British Institute of Funeral Directors (BIFD) was established in 1982, focusing on members sharing best practice and educating new staff into the industry. With over 300 members nationwide, BIFD offers 2 courses for funeral professionals accredited by the University of Greenwich. These are the Certificate in Funeral Service and the Diploma in Funeral Service.
The London Association of Funeral Directors (LAFD)
Subscription Fees: No additional fees, membership is automatically granted for NAFD members in London and the home counties.
The London Association of Funeral Directors (LAFD) is a part of the NAFD, specifically supporting funeral directors based in London and the Home Counties. There are no additional subscription fees to join as membership is automatically granted to NAFD members located in the catchment area. As with their parent association, the LAFD have a regionalised approach to training with a separate executive committee and president.
The Association of Green Funeral Directors (AGFD)
Subscription Fees: Fees are based on the volume of funerals conducted each year. Membership starts from a free first year for new start-up homes to £746 p/a for businesses conducting 1000+ funerals per year.
The Association of Green Funeral Directors (AGFD) is a not for profit organisation, encouraging the industry to conduct more eco-friendly and natural funerals as part of their offering. Established in 2009, the AGFD assists members of the public to find more environmentally friendly options for their loved ones funeral. They also provide assistance to traditional funeral directors by encouraging greener and more environmentally friendly offerings for their customers, helping to shape the future of the funeral industry.