The Nova Scotia Board of Registration of Embalmers and Funeral Directors was established in 1938 and represents Funeral Directors and Embalmers in Nova Scotia, and their commitment to protecting the public and consumers best interests. We aim to protect consumers, while being a valued and trusted profession. In Canada, the regulatory control of funeral homes and licensed funeral professionals comes under jurisdiction of the Provincial Government. In this Province, the funeral profession is regulated under Legislation entitled, "The Embalmers and Funeral Directors Act Chapter 144 of the Revised Statutes, 1989". The funeral profession is not unlike any other profession; as licensed Funeral Directors and Embalmers, we are all governed by a "Code of Professional Conduct". There are also Federal and Provincial Legislation to which we must adhere.
The responsibility for the actual administration of the Act is undertaken by a duly constituted Board of Registration of Embalmers and Funeral Directors, consisting of the Registrar and five other people. In addition, all licensed Funeral Directors and Embalmers, are governed by a "Code of Professional Conduct". This administration includes matters relating to the licensing of Funeral Directors and Embalmers, apprentices thereof, coordinating funeral service education programs, and addressing any violations of the Act for this Province. The industry, as such, is a self-regulating body, which falls under the jurisdiction of Service Nova Scotia and its Registrar.
The Board has the authority to define what constitutes incompetence and misconduct of Embalmers and Funeral Directors. They have established procedures to deal with complaints from fellow practitioners. But, more importantly the Board has an obligation to the public. It is also part of their mandate to hear and, if deemed warranted, take action concerning complaints from consumers or family members. These complaints may be associated with the practices or conduct of either a funeral home and/or its licensed staff.
As mentioned, the Board's primary function is to administer the Act on behalf of the Minister of Service Nova Scotia. This includes matters relating to the licensing of Funeral Directors and Embalmers, coordinating funeral service education and continuing education programs, and addressing any violations of the Act for the Province.
Funeral Directors are appointed Division Registrars of Death under the Vital Statistics Act. As Division Registrars, they assume the responsibility for certain activities when someone dies and is entrusted to their care. Division Registrars for Death must hold a valid Funeral Directors License issued by the Nova Scotia Board of Registration of Embalmers and Funeral Directors and approved by the N.S. Deputy Registrar General for Vital Statistics.
The Nova Scotia Board of Registration of Embalmers and Funeral Directors is the regulatory board for the following professionals:
• Embalmer - any person who preserves a dead human body, who treats corpses with preservatives. An embalmer function is to so treat the body by means of chemical substance, embalmers' fluids, gases administered either externally or internally, or both, as to disinfect and preserve the body.
• Funeral Director - any person who, for gain or profit, takes charge of a dead human body for the purposes of burial, cremation, removal or other disposition; one whose profession is the management of funerals, who supervises or conducts the preparation of the dead for burial and directs or arranges funerals • Apprentice Embalmers and Funeral Directors - individuals training to obtain the necessary qualifications to obtain a license under this Act.