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Professional services standard

Our society’s current context has propelled funeral home personnel to the forefront in the management of funeral rituals. By the sheer force of events, we rely on them not only as funeral arrangement technicians, but as reliable guides who can be counted on to make appropriate decisions.

Even when expected, death always comes as a surprise. The bereaved are overcome by the emotional shock. The funeral director who is their guide is expected not only to be technically competent but to have psychological and historical knowledge, listening skills, discretion, and unfailing integrity.

Funeral home personnel must serve as dependable guides. They cannot stand back as silent or incompetent observers of decisions that will have considerable human, economic and social costs.

In this context, the Corporation des thanatologues du Québec, in 2006, undertook a process of reflection to answer three main questions:

  • A question of openness, respect and listening, the better to discern the needs of the bereaved. What new needs have become necessary to address new realities and cultures?
  • A question of life after death. Is there enough concern for the living who are affected by a death? What types of services should be offered to help them through this painful life passage?
  • A question of ethics and professionalism. How can meaningful funeral services be guaranteed?

To address these questions, the CTQ’s funeral directors decided to seek voluntary standardization of their profession. Since the Bureau des normes du Québec is the body recognized for the establishment of standards in Québec, the Corporation applied to it and obtained a standard for the delivery of professional funeral services (BNQ 9700/699-2009). The standard is now ready and will take effect as soon as the funeral home certification protocol is ready. We will soon have the first BNQ certified funeral homes in North America!

This standard, similar to ISO, will make it possible to verify whether the quality of facilities and services meets the prescribed standards. The funeral homes recognized by the BNQ will be among the best funeral homes in Québec. This standard will force everyone to improve and the consumers will be the winners.

The Corporation is proud to have been the instigator of both a quality standard for the delivery of professional services, and a process of reflection concerning funeral rituals and the role of the funeral director. It intends to pursue this approach, notably through the efforts of the Observatoire du domaine funéraire. 

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