The Deceased Management Advisory Group

The bereavement sector is represented by a number of organisations, covering both funeral directors and those who manage, provide and work in cemeteries and crematoria. There has always been a great deal of mutual support and cooperation between all the kindred organisations.

In view of the current extraordinary circumstances in which our communities and individuals now find themselves, the organisations have agreed to work together in order to be able to better support not only their members but society as a whole.

The Deceased Management Advisory Group (DMAG) representatives from each of the following organisations will work together to develop a consensus approach to the many challenging issues now facing the sector.


The Association of Private Crematoria and Cemeteries aims to provide quiet surroundings for the bereaved by ensuring that the highest professional standards are applied to every aspect of cremations and cemetery services.

The Association of Private Crematoria and Cemeteries (APCC) can trace its roots back to 1924. Today, it represents just under 60 crematoria and 11 cemeteries.

Its prime aim is to provide quiet surroundings for the bereaved by ensuring that the highest professional standards are applied to every aspect of cremations and cemetery services.

The private sector has met the needs of both rural and urban communities by developing and operating 31 out of 38 new crematoria opened since 1985. Such developments have had a very beneficial effect on the environment by significantly reducing the distance and time it takes for the bereaved to reach their nearest crematorium and/or cemetery.

The APCC strives to raise awareness of the extensive facilities offered by privately owned crematoria and cemeteries. It works with central Government in the development of new and revised legislation and ensures that the current legislation and guidelines are consistently applied throughout the UK.

It assesses new technology, equipment and gives regular guidance on legal, ethical and practical issues that arise in the operation and management of crematoria and cemeteries. It also provides regular bulletins with updates on the emergence of new technology, proposed legal changes and market trends.

FBCA logo

The Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities is the UK’s principal representative of burial and cremation authorities and provides a range of services to support its members across the country care for over 370,000 funerals a year.

The Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities (FBCA) was originally named the Federation of Cremation Authorities in Great Britain and formed in 1924. Its original rules were redrafted as a Constitution and adopted at the 14th Annual Meeting in 1938.

The FBCA represents approximately 85% of all cremation authorities in the UK. Membership 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.

It was established to represent its members at the highest level and is regularly consulted by Government departments on regulatory issues and has considerable influence with these departments on matters relating to cremation and burial.

Membership of the Federation consists of three classes:

  • Members: Burial and/or Cremation Authorities presently operating cemeteries and/or crematoria
  • Associate Members: Prospective Burial and/or Cremation Authorities who, once admitted to the Federation, can obtain the same technical assistance as those in full membership
  • Affiliate Members: Open to organisations involved in the provision of services to burial and cremation authorities.

The FBCA has an Executive Committee, which consists of up to 18 members who are nominated for election by individual member authorities. The President and Deputy President are elected from the committee each year. Three meetings are held each year to discuss policy issues.

The FBCA also has a number of experienced Technical Officers who are able to advise on matters of construction, design and operation of crematoria, as well as on general issues.

In Scotland, the Scottish Sub-Committee was established to deal with matters specifically relating to the promotion of the cremation movement in Scotland and Scottish law.

The Funeral Suppliers’ Association (FSA) represents 70 businesses across the UK involved in the manufacture of coffins, caskets, refrigeration and manual handling equipment to the funeral profession, as well as Insurance Brokers and a clothing manufacturer.

Created in 1939 the FSA’s aim to safeguard and improve the traditional high standards of products and services that our members provide.

The FSA has an important role within the funeral and cremation sector, including an active and continuing dialogue with various government departments on the many technical issues that affect the industry. Over the years, the involvement of the FSA in various contentious issues has ensured continuation of supplies to the funeral trade.

In recent years, the organisation has developed a rigorous testing protocol which has resulted in the Coffin and Casket Certification scheme and provides reassurance that coffins are fit for purpose. At present this is a voluntary scheme entered into by the majority of the UK’s coffin manufacturers. The FSA would like to see this become a Government backed scheme with all Crematoria supporting.

The scheme was achieved through comprehensive meetings with fellow DMAG members, Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities, Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management, Association of Private Crematoria and Cemeteries & the support of the Cremation Society of Great Britain.

The FSA has an Executive Committee which meets regularly. In October 2018 they recruited one of the funeral profession’s most respected figures, Alun Tucker, as their Chief Executive. Alun has been in funeral service for over 50 years, most as a funeral director but over the past twenty years has been involved in the leadership of the National Society of Allied & Independent Funeral Directors where he served as National President on two occasions.

For further information please contact Alun Tucker by email

Or visit our website


The Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management aims to promote the development, advancement and welfare of its members to facilitate the better provision, operation, administration and management of cemeteries, crematoria and bereavement-related services.

The Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM) was originally founded in 1913 as the United Kingdom Association of Cemetery Superintendents. The primary aim then remains the same today:

‘To promote the development, advancement and welfare of its members to facilitate the better provision, operation, administration and management of cemeteries, crematoria and bereavement-related services.’

The ICCM has both professional members, who are those employed in cemeteries, crematoria and ancillary services, and corporate members, who are the authorities and companies that provide burial and cremation facilities and services. The ICCM provides fully accredited and externally validated education and training opportunities for cemetery and crematorium staff at all levels, including the bespoke Cemetery Operatives Training Scheme (COTS) and the Crematorium Technicians Training Scheme (CTTS).

In 1996 the ICCM launched the Charter for the Bereaved, which sets a benchmark for service delivery in cemeteries and crematoria throughout the UK. The ICCM also provides guidance and best practice covering a range of subjects across bereavement services, especially relating to social and environmental initiatives. A quarterly publication, The Journal, keeps members and others up to date with latest sector information. An annual Learning Convention and Exhibition, together with branch meetings and other events, provides opportunities for members to meet, learn and share their knowledge and experiences.

The ICCM is governed by an elected Board of Directors. It has a full time workforce of 6 officers, as well as a team of accredited consultants, who provide training, guidance, management cover, undertake consultancies and develop best practice policies and member services. The ICCM recently gained ISO 9001:2015 accreditation, demonstrating its commitment to quality and continuous improvement.

NAFD logo

The National Association of Funeral Directors is the largest representative body for the UK funeral sector. It supports its members in arranging meaningful funerals and caring for bereaved people, providing advice, advocacy and support.

Established in 1905, today The NAFD represents more than 4,100 UK funeral homes, covering the entire spectrum of the funeral directing businesses – including independent businesses, corporate businesses and major funeral groups – which, between them, conduct around 80% of all UK funerals.

The NAFD demands high professional standards and, in order to be accepted as a member, funeral firms are assessed against strict criteria. All members must abide by The Funeral Director Code and are subject to regular inspections. There is also access provided to a free independent complaints and conciliation service, to ensure bereaved customers have somewhere to turn if needed.

A founder member of the Deceased Management Advisory Group, the NAFD advises government on issues relating to funeral service and campaigns on issues that support funeral directors in operating to high standards, enabling them to support bereaved people in arranging meaningful and personal funerals. It also provides online resources to help bereaved people find out about the services and prices of their local funeral directors – as well as professional education, qualifications and training to support the professional development of the sector.

The Association also hosts the biennial National Funeral Exhibition, one of the world’s largest events for the funeral sector, bringing the profession together to learn, meet and develop their services.

Find out more at:

Independent Funeral Directors logo

The National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF) is the largest trade association solely dedicated to representing the interests of independently-run funeral directors and their clients.

Established in 1989, the Association now has more than 1,000 funeral homes in membership across the length and breadth of the UK.

SAIF also represents a number of suppliers to the funeral profession, ranging from coffin manufacturers and clothing businesses to mortuary equipment and vehicle firms.

Independent funeral businesses, which conduct around 70% of funerals in the UK, differ from large chains in that they are not beholden to shareholders, and research, including by the Competition and Markets Authority, has consistently shown them to offer unrivalled value.

An incredibly diverse section of the funeral profession, independently-run funeral firms serve bereaved families in both urban and rural settings. Business sizes vary from sole traders arranging as few as 20 funerals a year to multi-chain operations serving diverse communities and delivering thousands of funerals per annum.

Additionally, many independent funeral directing firms are historic family concerns, with generations of owners spanning decades and even centuries.

SAIF’s main areas of work centre around: raising standards through the SAIF Quality Assurance Programme and member Code of Practice; helping more funeral directors attain recognised qualifications from the Independent Funeral Directors’ College; and promoting wellbeing amongst funeral directors and their clients via initiatives such as SAIF Support and SAIF Care.

SAIF Support is a best-in-class employee assistance programme offering free counselling and support to member firms and their staff, including up to six one-to-one counselling sessions. SAIF Care meanwhile provides expert support and guidance to bereaved families who are clients of SAIF.

The Independent Funeral Directors’ College (IFD College) provides education and training up to NVQ Level 3 to funeral administrators and operatives with the Certificate of Funeral Practice being awarded on completion of 40 credits. The College also delivers an extensive Level 3 Child and Infant Deaths course with an advanced Level 4 diploma planned to commence in 2021. All training is accredited and externally verified by One Awards.

The Association supports the regulation of the funeral profession and online price transparency, and is committed to working with government and policymakers across the UK to promote high standards within the sector for the benefit of bereaved families.

SAIF is based in Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, and is run by a team of five staff, led by Chief Executive Terry Tennens.

Each year at its AGM, the Association elects a President, who heads up a team of officers comprising a First Vice President and Second Vice President. Each post is filled by a practising funeral director in membership of SAIF.

Key decisions of the Association are taken by SAIF’s National Executive Committee which meets every other month.

SAIF Scotland (S. SAIF) is represented on the National Executive Committee, as well as having its own Executive Committee with officers, Quality Assurance Programme and government liaison for Holyrood Parliament. S. SAIF has played an integral role in informing and assisting the Scottish Government in developing a fair regulatory regime for its members and families alike.

SAIF is also affiliated with prepaid funeral plan provider Golden Charter, which is owned by SAIF Charter, an organisation comprising funeral directors in membership of SAIF.

Cremation Society Logo

The Cremation Society, established in 1874, was the pioneer of cremation in Great Britain and has worked tirelessly since its formation to promote and establish the practice of cremation among all members of the community. It built and operated the very first crematorium for public use in 1885 in Woking, Surrey.

The Society has aided both private enterprise and local authorities in the setting up of new crematoria and works with Government departments concerned for development in the law so that this rational, safe and dignified method of disposal of the dead can be practised with the least possible restrictions.

The Society was responsible for drawing up the forms of certification for cremation, and these were later adopted as the basis for the first Cremation Act in 1902. Cremation now accounts for approximately 78% of all funerals in the British Isles.

In 2008, the Society amended its Memorandum and Articles of Association to allow it to investigate other methods of dealing with dead bodies.

The Society’s on-going activities include:

  • The publication of Pharos International, the official quarterly journal of the Cremation Society and the International Cremation Federation
  • The collation of annual statistics from around the UK and internationally – published in a dedicated statistics issue of Pharos International
  • The publication of the annual Directory of Crematoria, which provides essential information to the bereavement sector
  • Jointly hosting the annual Cremation and Burial Communication and Education (CBCE) event with the Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities
  • The publication of a monthly news review, giving an update on the latest news and developments across the funeral sector
  • Regularly providing advice to the public and professionals within the funeral sector on many aspects of cremation.