As a profession, funeral directors typically strive to deliver the highest quality of care and compassionate service.

Yet in light of recent events, this reputation has sadly been called into question, spreading a dark shadow over the industry. We are greatly saddened to hear of families receiving less than poor funeral service, but wanted to use this moment as a chance to reflect on the importance of funeral regulation and reassure families that William Purves will always abide by the highest standards of funeral care.

 UK Funeral Director Standards

The Scottish Government was the first of the UK nations to formally regulate the funeral sector north of the Border. The passing of this act entails regular inspections of funeral businesses, training, reviews on mortuary safety, and an official Code of Practice for funeral directors.

Funeral directors in the rest of the UK remain self-regulated, with the option of joining one of the two trade bodies, the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) and the National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF).

William Purves has been a proud member of both organisations for many years, undergoing the required inspections and checks, and adhering to a voluntary Funeral Director Code to meet the highest professional standards. Covering the entire spectrum of the funeral business, including care of the deceased, the quality of operational facilities, confidentiality and data protection, the Funeral Director Code is a comprehensive guide for how members must conduct themselves. Regular assessments are carried out to ensure such standards are being upheld, and an independent complaints procedure affords consumers the chance to share negative experiences.

It is for this reason that we recommend, when choosing a funeral director, families look for businesses that are part of the NAFD or SAIF, or better yet – both. Membership is a demonstration of the funeral director’s commitment to a code of practice, reassuring the consumer as to the quality of service.

Further Regulations

In 2021, the Competition and Markets Authority regulated the sale of pre-paid funeral plans to increase transparency within the sector and better inform and protect consumers investing in funeral plans. Subsequently, several funeral firms that did not abide by the regulations were required to close.

Soon-anticipated outcomes from the Fuller Inquiry also hold severe implications for the industry, specifically concerning the protection of the deceased in mortuary settings. As an organisation, we are in favour of any legislation that will prevent distress to clients and enhance the overall funeral experience.

 The William Purves promise

At William Purves, we promise to deliver the highest levels of compassion, respect, dedication, and integrity.

Having long been a member of both the NAFD and SAIF, with past and current Directors being SAIF Scottish Executives, we have been at the forefront of establishing and implementing the highest standards for the funeral industry.

Approaching funeral care with the seriousness and compassion it deserves, all our staff – regardless of how long they have served – are required to undergo rigorous training to achieve the required industry qualification. By placing all staff on this pathway, we seek to ensure our funeral directors provide the gold standard in funeral service.

William Purves stands at the forefront of funeral training, offering professional embalming workshops through our embalming academy. In partnership with leading Universities, we have delivered embalming courses to students and trainee embalmers to instil the highest quality practice in all professionals.

As recent reports shake up the funeral industry, we are here to reassure you that William Purves continues to follow the Funeral Director’s Code across all our branches in the UK to offer our clients the support and protection they need at the most challenging times. Where necessary, we will always review our practices to ensure they align with the latest regulations and highest standards.  It is our sincere hope that no family will have to experience any less than the highest level of care.

If you are looking for a funeral director committed to meeting the highest of standards, please do get in touch with us.