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Funeral Service FAQs

Funeral of an American soldier with flag over the coffin


Welcome to the FAQs section for the Funeral Service Associate Certification. This area is provided to you as a source of information that may be more clarified, related to questions you may have in regards to our certification program. Information regarding recertification, as well as information about our online continuing education courses, is also provided. We highly recommend that you first thoroughly review all of the information on our website, under the main page for Funeral Service Associate Certification. Access main page. If after reviewing all of the provided information and this FAQs section, any other questions may be addressed by completing our request for information form online here. Thank you for your interest in our Funeral Service Associate Certification Program.

FUNERAL SERVICES BLOG: Please visit our Funeral Services Education interactive web blog. Our blog contains articles, news, events and information related the Funeral Services field.


What is Certification?

Answer: Certification is a voluntary process  provided by via an organization that through its qualified advisory boards develops comprehensive and quality standards for the practice of a type of specialty. The developed standards address high quality requirements for the practice of a certain specialty. The defined standards outline educational and/or practice requirements, any required prerequisites, and the need to adhere to a defined code of ethics for the practice specialty. Certification is different than any type of licensing. Certification is one means by which professionals may be publicly recognized as achieving a high level of education, knowledge base and practice skills for a certain healthcare related specialty. Certification also assists employer organizations and clients in their assessment of appropriate qualifications for candidates seeking positions in organizations and/or involved in private practices. It is commonly held that certification through an organization is fast becoming a “gold standard” for specialty practices. Certification testifies and provides a verification of defined educational requirements, adherence to a solid code of ethics, and in many instances prerequisites of practice experience for the practice in a variety of fields.


What Are the Criteria/standards I Will Need to Meet to Achieve Certification?

Answer: The educational criteria and standards are well and clearly defined within our website. Please access our main page to preview these requirements. Access here.


May I Apply For And Be Conferred Certification If I Have Been Practicing As An Funeral Service Associate Without The Need To Meet The Educational Requirements?

Answer: No. The Board that oversees the development and approval of defined criteria and standards for certification will not consider any practice experience as meeting requirements in full. This decision was made as those who are already in a health care practices have varied and different experiences related to this specialty and there is no insured uniformity that all who have practiced this specialty have the same knowledge base and skills attainment. The evaluation of one’s past practice experiences in health care practices is highly variable and subjective. As such, the Board has developed objective criteria/standards for the conferral of certification. For these reasons, practice experience without the attainment of education will not be considered as fulfilling criteria and standards for our certification. AIHCP Education program: access link.


Over the Years, I Have Completed Many Seminars and Continuing Education Courses Related to Funeral Services. Will These Apply Toward the Education Requirements for Certification?

Answer: Please send in any transcript for review to determine if they can be utilized and an AIHCP course waived. You can contact us here.


What is the Major Practice Focus of a Certified Funeral Associate?

Answer: a Certified Funeral Associate is one who is very well versed in knowledge of funeral services delivery. This person has a good solid knowledge base and and often times, many experiences in assisting licensed funeral service professionals (directors and embalmers) in providing full-service funeral services and care. Funeral service associates may have specific duties or may be employed by funeral homes and directors to provide a broad-base of assistance services. A Certified Funeral Service Associate is NOT a licensed funeral director and/or licensed embalmer. They are a para-professional who assists in funeral services under the specific supervision and direction of a licensed funeral director and/or embalmer. In no instance does a funeral associate practice independently or practice any part of funeral services where a state of country requires proper education and licensing. Funeral Associates are “assistants” to professional licensed directors/embalmers and in no instance do they take the place of such professionals.

Certified Funeral Associates practice in a wide array of funeral services delivery. Many practice at higher levels or practice in one major dimension of funeral services. Areas and duties that they may be involved in include (not necessarily limited to): assisting in body removal, assisting with the intake process, contacting and communicating with families or survivors of the deceased, assisting the licensed funeral director in the phase of planning a funeral, communicate with clergy, communicate with cemeteries and/or crematories, gather information and /or write obituaries and other notices, print prayer cards, receive and set up floral arrangements, escort families from their homes to the funeral home, assist in the embalming room, assist with clothing and casketing procedures, file notices of death, assist families and survivors with insurance issues and procedures, provide secretarial services to the funeral director, assist families/survivors with specific needs during viewing’s/visitations and the actual funeral services, driving funeral vehicles in a funeral procession, providing follow-up calls or visits to families/survivors following a funeral service, and other related duties as assigned by the supervising funeral director or embalmer. The overall duties of the funeral associate are defined by the supervising licensed funeral director or licensed embalmer within the limits of state laws and or the laws of a specific country or province.

Certified Funeral Service Associates may also work for cemeteries providing services of selling burial plots and other related services, as well as setting up cemetery chapels for services and working in liaison with area funeral homes and funeral directors. Some funeral service associates may be in positions of funeral service sales and may assist in pre-planning services, or provide pre-planning services, if and where allowed by law.


What is the Process for Achieving This Certification?

Answer: There is a two-phase process. In order to provide clear and sufficient information on the process we have developed a separate page that defines the process. You may access this information on the certification process at this link: click here.


How Can I Submit an Application?

Answer: Making application is easy. We provide an online application form and a printable application form as well. Those wishing to make application can find these forms at this link. Please note that incomplete applications will not be reviewed. All applications that are submitted must include all required documents and verification as specified for review and consideration of certification conferral. Before making any application, you must meet the defined pre-requisites for a given program and have successfully completed the full continuing education curriculum, or a curriculum from a program that AIHCP, Inc. has officially approved.


After Certification is There a Recertification Process?

Answer: Yes. The American Institute of Health Care Professionals provides a full program for recertification. Detailed information on the criteria to be recertified, after the four-year initial certification period, is provided on our website. Access here.


I Am Currently Certified by the American Institute of Funeral Service Associates. I Know I Am Required to Achieve Additional Education in Funeral Services in Order to Qualify for Recertification in the Future. Do You Offer Any Continuing Education Courses That I May Take to Meet My Recertification Requirements?

Answer: Yes, we offer recertification CE courses. You can view them all by category at the following link.  Access here.


Do You Have Any Testimonials From Professionals Who Have Become Certified Through Your Programs?

Answer: Yes. We have a testimonials page on our website that you may view at the following link. Access Here.