The Federation represents almost 85% of crematoria in the UK, a high level of membership which demonstrates the reputation and standing of the FBCA within the death care industry. The Federation is proud to be the only organisation in the UK focused solely on representing the interests of Burial and Cremation Authorities, whether Local Authority or Private Sector. Membership of the Federation is open to all burial and cremation authorities and is the only organisation dedicated to representing and furthering the interests of burial and cremation authorities, remaining answerable only to its member authorities.
A major role of the FBCA is to protect the common interests of its members, the Burial and Cremation Authorities. It has a history of doing this and it has funded the successful opposition to the Ginns and Gutteridge Bill. More recently, it carried out research to determine the levels of Mercury emitted from crematoria which proved the figures quoted by DEFRA to be substantially flawed. This has led to the requirement to abate only 50% of cremations which had the effect of preventing the forced closure of 24% of crematoria in the UK. The Federation jointly led work with the Funeral Furnishing Manufacturer’s Association which has led to the introduction of two coffin accreditation schemes.
The FBCA was formed in 1924 and has a vast experience in offering its members technical advice on cremation matters and representing the interests of its members at Government level. The opinion of the Federation is regularly sought prior to the issuing of consultation documents on a wide range of matters relating to the disposal of the dead. In addition, the interests of Burial and Cremation Authorities are promoted with FBCA involvement on the Management Board of the British Register of Accredited Memorial Masons, active participation with the Ministry of Justice’s Burial and Cremation Advisory Group, the Department of Health’s England and Wales Death Certification National Steering Group, and the Burial and Cremation Committee in Scotland.
The Federation sets a series of standards its members are required to meet through adherence to the Codes of Burial and Cremation Practice. It is recognised as setting the industry standard which provides the bereaved with the reassurance that the burial or cremation of their loved one is being conducted in an entirely appropriate and ethical manner.
Adherence to the Codes of Practice also gives the Burial and/or Cremation Authority the assurance that it is providing the best possible service to the bereaved within nationally agreed guidelines.
The Federation carries out a programme of random visits to member’s establishments to ensure these standards are being met, inspect facilities and offer advice. Details of which are published in order to ensure the public are aware of the standards being met at their local facility. The Ministry of Justice has an open invitation to accompany the officers on these visits, which they often take up.
The Federation operates a scheme for the training and examination of crematorium technicians. The TEST scheme, which started in January 2004, allows operators to be trained at their own place of work and supplements their training in procedures appropriate for the competent operation of cremators, compliance with the appropriate Regulations and Codes of Practice and prepares the candidate for a practical exam in cremator operation.
The Federation also provides bespoke burial related courses tailored to meet the specific needs of each member which are delivered in the member’s own cemetery using their equipment.
The Federation has a comprehensive website facility, regular email updates to member authorities regarding important industry developments or changes and a telephone and written advice service through its secretariat. The FBCA produces the quarterly professional publication for Burial and Cremation Authorities “Resurgam”, which is an informative source of up to the minute information for the sector.
The Federation can be called upon at any time for an on-site inspection and report should a member have an area in which it wants advice or guidance. The Federation‘s team of Technical Officers, who are all highly experienced professionals in cemetery and crematorium management, can also advise those Cremation Authorities who control burial grounds on any matter relating to cemetery management.
The Federation sponsors an annual Joint Communication and Education Event specifically designed to meet the needs of Burial and Cremation Authorities. This event provides the ideal opportunity for members to meet with other professional managers and equipment suppliers from all over the country and abroad. As well as professionally presented papers from industry and Government specialists on a wide range of relevant subjects, there is ample opportunity for informal discussions to take place between like-minded professionals.
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