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Funeral Service Code of Ethics


The American Institute Of Funeral Service Associates

A Division of the American Academy of Grief Counseling



  • Members adhere to all applicable Codes of Ethical Standards as prescribed by their current professional status and/or affiliated associations, including state/government licensing boards, as well as these defined Code of Ethics for practice as a Certified Funeral Service Associate.


  • Members provide services, teach, conduct research, supervise and/or consult only in the context and boundaries of their educational achievements and earned credentials, and within the context and scope of their job descriptions, and under supervision of a licensed funeral director.


  • Members undertake ongoing efforts to maintain knowledge and skill levels in their practice as funeral service associates/assistants.


  • Members do not discriminate with regards to their services or practices, based on sex, age, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, disabilities or socioeconomic status, or any other factors that are defined or prescribed by law.


  • Members are responsible for maintaining knowledge and updates of laws, regulations and/or policies that are implicated in their practices and services.


  • Members fully disclose their educational qualifications and professional credentials and certifications to any clients they are working with, when asked and/or when appropriate. In no instance does a certified member present themselves as a licensed funeral director or licensed embalmer, unless the certified member would hold such valid license or licenses.


  • Members shall maintain client confidentiality as prescribed by current laws and by employer policies.


  • Members shall treat colleagues and other professionals and para-professionals they are working with, with the same dignity and respect they afford clients.


  • Members shall not work with clients or provide services in any research study without first obtaining appropriate informed consent from the clients.


  • Members shall not engage in any type of sexual relations with families and/or others who are seeking funeral services for a deceased family member or loved one.


  • Members take the appropriate steps to ensure their own competencies in their practices and safe guard the health and safety of themselves, co-workers, and all who enter the establishment for funeral services.


  • Members abide by the job descriptions and facility policies of their employer.


  • Members respect each family’s or other client’s rights to self-determination in seeking funeral services and do not dissuade or persuade clients based on the members own values or belief systems.


  • Members remain sensitive to the family and other survivor needs and take appropriate steps to meet these needs, under the direction and supervision of a licensed funeral director, and by facility policies.


  • Members seek out consultation and guidance when dealing with any ethical/legal concerns and/or dilemmas related to their practice as a funeral service associate/assistant; seeking first-line guidance with the licensed funeral director they are working for.


  • Members do not do any embalming, unless the member holds a legal and valid license in their state or country as a licensed embalmer. Members may assist in the embalming room, under the direct supervision of a licensed embalmer and under policy/standards as determined by their job description.


  • Members do not abandon or neglect clients being served by their employer/facility in any way, and they assist clients in proper referrals to other professionals and/or needed continued care or services when necessitated and/or indicated, and as delegated by their supervising licensed funeral director.


  • Members do not provide services that create conflicts of interest or where conflicts of interest may likely become an issue, and report immediately, to their supervising licensed funeral director, any real or potential conflicts of interest.


  • Members do not offer or accept kickbacks, rebates, bonuses or other remunerations for client referrals to the employing facility or individual licensed funeral directors who provide supervision to the member.


Approved by the Governing Board and the Advisory Board of the American Academy of Grief Counseling.