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Funeral Service Associate Certification Program


 

funeral assistant certificationThe American Institute of Funeral Service Associates offers a comprehensive, quality, Certification program for qualified applicants practicing as funeral service associates or assistants in a funeral home. Certification is by educational preparation and/or practice experience. The American Institute of Funeral Service Associates is a division of the American Institute of Health Care Professionals, Inc.

NOTE: This certification program is for Funeral Service Associates/Assistants only. This program is not for any type of credential for licensed funeral directors or embalmers.

 

THE OBJECTIVES OF THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF FUNERAL SERVICE ASSOCIATES ARE:

  • Provide a high quality program of Certification for those practicing and employed as funeral service associates or assistants.
  • Develop and support high standards of education and practice requirements for the attainment of certification and recertification.
  • Provide the funeral service industry with a mechanism to support appropriate education, standards of practice and a code of ethics for those employed as funeral associates or assistants.
  • Provide the funeral service industry with a means to evaluate and support education and continuing education for quality practice as a funeral service associate or assistant.
  • Provide a mechanism for the ongoing involvement of a peer advisory board of qualified professionals to oversee program development and requirements for certification and recertification.
  • Provide society with a mechanism to ascertain the appropriate education, skills, knowledge and experience required by those who are employed in the funeral services industry as funeral associates or assistants.
  • Establish quality standards and requirements for the recertification of credentialed members, attesting to ongoing education and skill attainment in the practice specialty of funeral services.
  • Provide a comprehensive program of approvals for continuing education, seminars, offerings, independent study, and other related educational activities, to ensure high quality standards are met and that such programs are of value to those practicing as funeral associates or assistants.

CERTIFICATION

Certified Funeral Service Associate – requires attainment and/or verification of one of the following certification criteria:

  1. Completion of an official, established education program to prepare individuals for practice and employment as a Funeral Services Associate or Assistant, working under the direct supervision of a licensed funeral director. Educational programs must have provided a minimum of 200 contact hours of lecture/study. Candidates for certification must present valid evidence of successful completion of such program of study. The administrative review board will review and approve programs on an individual basis. Once a program is approved, it will be published as “approved” by the American Institute of Funeral Service Associates. Programs submitted for approval consideration must have their curriculum’s specifically based in funeral services education and must include courses and education on grief, grief counseling, the role of the funeral associate and education on universal precautions and other related standards when assisting a licensed embalmer. The American Institute of Health Care Professionals, Inc. offers a full CE program which qualifies for achievement of the Certification in the Funeral Service Associate Certification Program. To review our program, click here. To view approved programs and courses, click here. Candidates, who can demonstrate evidence of successful completion of such programs within a two (2) year period, prior to the date of application for certification, may be eligible to receive the certification. Such programs may include university and college based courses, continuing education courses and/or programs, seminars, and distance learning programs, etc.
  2. Prerequisite for Certification– in addition to completion of an education program as described above, candidates for Certification must also meet at least one of the following prerequisites for this Certification: must be a Registered Nurse, LPN, Social Worker, Licensed Counselor, Licensed Clergy; other licensed health care providers may be considered on an individual basis and should contact AIHCP Administration for a pre-entry review and evaluation of credentials. Those currently practicing as Funeral Service Assistants may be considered for entry into the program and should contact AIHCP Administration for pre-entry review and evaluation of their current role under the direct supervision of a licensed Funeral Director.

If you would like to find out if you meet the qualifications for this certification program. Please submit an Inquiry Form at the following link: Access Here.

CERTIFICATION-IDENTIFICATION & CREDENTIALS

Those applicants who met the requirements as defined above will become certified by the American Institute of Funeral Service Associates, and may use the initials, C- FSA after their name (Certified Funeral Service Associate).

TIMELINE

All certifications shall be for a period of 4 years from the date that the initial certification is granted.

POLICIES OF THE AIHCP, INC: access here

funeral assistant certification programTHE CERTIFICATION PROCESS: We have a dedicated page that provides a quick over-view of our certification process. It will provide you with good information about the process/phases of both the education courses and application for certification. To access: click here

AFFILIATE DEGREE OPTION

Our affiliate, The Graduate Theological Foundation, offers qualified and “certified” Funeral Service Associates of the American Institute of Funeral Service Associates, to enter their Masters in Pastoral Counseling (MPC) program. This graduate level degree program in Pastoral Counseling focuses on a major in Funeral Services. The M.P.C. degree is designed for the already credentialed ministry professional working in the various fields of counseling. Such fields would include school, parish, healthcare and counseling institutions. Registered Nurses are also eligible for enrollment into the graduate degree program.

For detailed information: access here

RECERTIFICATION

Certified members may receive recertification at the expiration of their four year term by one of the following means:

Obtaining 50 or more hours of continuing education within the four year period of certification. Continuing education programs must be completed in courses that are directly related to the practice of funeral services, including but not limited to, grief counseling, bereavement education, infection control, business practice, etc. The American Institute of Funeral Service Associates provides its members the opportunity to enroll into online courses that will meet this requirement.

CERTIFICATE

Those applicants who have successfully achieved certification or recertification by the American Institute of Funeral Service Associates will receive a large size official Certificate attesting to certification, as well as an official letter of notification. The certificate is suitable for framing and details the official professional certification title, initials that may be used, and time frames for certification. Those recertifying receive a new, updated certificate.

STANDARDS & CODE OF ETHICS

The Code of Ethics for Certified Funeral Service Associates may be viewed online by clicking here. The Code of Ethics is approved by the Governing Board and the Advisory Board of the American Institute of Funeral Service Associates. All certified members are required to adhere to the Code of Ethics at all times in their practice/employment as a funeral service associate/assistant.

FEE SCHEDULE

The certification fee for Certified Funeral Service Associates is $ 200.00 for the four year term of certification. Payment in full is due at the time of application. If an applicant does not meet certification criteria, the application fee is refunded. A completed application must be mailed in to the with full payment to be considered for certification. Application is available on this website.

  • Application for Recertification is $ 200.00 for the next four year period. This is a one time payment and is required in full at the time of application for recertification. A completed application must accompany the payment.

Applications must be complete and include official transcripts verifying award of courses according the requirements for certification. For those applying for the practice experience option, the completed recommendation/reference by the supervising licensed funeral director and the application for the examination proctor, must accompany the completed application. Please print application and submit to:

The American Institute of Funeral Service Associates
C/O The American Institute of Health Care Professionals, Inc.
2400 Niles-Cortland Rd. SE, Suite # 4
Warren, Ohio 44484

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What is Certification?

“A certification is a third-party attestation of an individual’s level of knowledge or proficiency in a certain industry or profession. They are granted by authorities in the field, such as professional societies and universities, or by private certificate-granting agencies. Most certifications are time-limited; some expire after a period of time (e.g., the lifetime of a product that required certification for use), while others can be renewed indefinitely as long as certain requirements are met. Renewal usually requires ongoing education to remain up-to-date on advancements in the field, evidenced by earning the specified number of continuing education credits (CECs), or continuing education units (CE’s), from approved professional development courses. “ 1

Certification is an official recognition from a “Professional Organization” that one has met all of the established standards as determined by that professional organization to be conferred the specific “certification” by that professional organization.  Certifications are most frequently established and conferred by “professional organizations.” Certification is thus a validation that a professional has thus achieved a high standard of knowledge, learning and skills in a specific specialty area of practice. It attests to an achievement in professional practice that is beyond that achieved for licensure. It is also specialty practice specific, rather than generic in nature.

Certification is distinctly different from ‘licensing.” Licensure is conferred /granted by the Government. In most all cases, licensure is the responsibility of the State Government. Every state has its own government agencies that oversee and confer licensure to professionals, i.e. the state boards of nursing.  Licensure is established by “laws” and then specific rules and regulations which conform to the tenets of the state’s laws. Licensure is granted and over-seen by state agencies. Certification, on the other hand, is NOT licensure and is not established by any “laws.”  Licensing agencies generally do not “oversee” professional certifications, unless their specific laws mandate a certain professional certification, in order to practice. An example of this would be: for a registered nurse to receive and be conferred a license as a “Nurse Practitioner” most states require that the RN also have Certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.  So, in order to be licensed as a nurse practitioner, the nurse must hold certification from one of those two professional organizations. The State Board of Nursing does not oversee the certification, but rather requires it for nurse practitioner license.

Why Achieve a Certification?

“Professional certification shows consumers and potential employers that you are committed to your profession and are well-trained. It gives them confidence in your abilities and knowledge. Certification makes you more valuable to employers, so you can expect to earn more than someone without certification. Certification also offers advancement opportunities.” 2  Other compelling reasons to consider a specialty practice certification include: Acquire advanced knowledge and skills in a sub-specialty health care practice: 1) Achieve national recognition for attainment of knowledge and skills by meeting established standards of professional advanced practice, 2). Enhance and expand your health care practice, 3). Increase your marketability, 4). Be viewed as a credentialed expert in your practice specialty, and 5). Become part of a professional group and network of recognized and certified health care specialists.

Report findings published on Nurse.com revealed the following regarding Nurses that held certifications: 1). Certified nurses make more money, 2). Certified nurses have respect and recognition, 3). Certified nurses have validated competence in their specialty area, 4). Certified nurses are more marketable and hireable, 5). Certified nurses perceive they have more power in their organizations, 6). Certified nurses have more professional opportunities, 7). Certified nurses have standing among their professional peers, and 8). Certified nurses are more confident. 3

While these study finds were specific to the nursing profession, we believe such benefits are applicable to all health care professionals who hold practice specialty certifications, especially related to recognition, opportunities in employment and validated competency in their practices.

Ongoing Learning

A major hallmark of quality Certification programs is the mandate that Certified Members commit to continued learning in order to maintain their certifications. This is most generally achieved by requiring a recertification process in which certified member’s document continued learning in their practice specialty by way of continuing education. Certifying bodies will establish quality standards for the requirements for its certified members to achieve contact hours of continuing education credits in order to maintain their certification status by the organization or association. 1, 2

The American Institute of Health Care Professionals upholds this high quality standard for recertification of its members by an established program of recertification via mandatory continuing education as well as clinical practice hours over a four-year time frame.  Certified members may recertify their status upon meeting the standards established for recertification of their practice specialties.

References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Professional_certification October 2018. Page 1.
  2. https://www.collegetransfer.net/AskCT/WhatisProfessionalCertification/ October 2018
  3. https://www.nurse.com/blog/2018/03/14/enjoy-the-perks-of-nurse-certification/ October 2018