When it comes to changes within the funeral profession, it's always worth keeping an eye on Scotland. Whether it's cultural shifts or potential legislation, Scotland has more than once found itself ahead of trends that become universally accepted across the UK.
In 2019, the Scottish Parliament set out to put into legislation a code of practice that would ensure that 'every person in Scotland has a dignified and respectful funeral'. This code of practice would be a legally enforceable set of standards which Scottish funeral directors would need to prove they are living up to.
Whether you're a Scottish funeral director or you are located elsewhere, the Scottish Statutory Code of Practice for Funeral Directors is something everyone in the profession should be ready for. It's likely that similar legislation will be imminent in the rest of the UK and it's a great opportunity to make sure that we, as a whole, are focusing our efforts where they matter most; on caring for the bereaved as best we can.
We're going to break down some of the key points you need to look out for in terms of compliance and how funeral management software, like Arranger, can help remove any stress from the process.
1 - Care wishes:
Funeral directors must clearly record the care wishes of the family of the person who has died. This will include whether or not embalming has been requested, what clothes should be used, and whether fingerprints should be captured for memorial purposes.
Arranger records all these options, as they are entered during the arrangement process. Records can be made for actions, and any amendment request made by the client is reflected across all records as well. Should a funeral director need to produce it, a complete record of the care wishes can be shown.
2 - Viewings of the deceased:
As part of the Code of Practice, Scottish funeral directors must be able to help bereaved families view their loved ones either at their own funeral home or to facilitate viewings elsewhere.
Arranger allows you to add viewings to the care information for an arrangement and send dynamically generated emails containing a list of scheduled viewings. Viewings can be scheduled at any location, date or time. Users are able to specify who is attending, whether that's next of kin, close friends or another group. Then each viewing is auto populated on Arranger's real-time calendar, ensuring your team are aware of every viewing that's taking place.
3 - Care record:
The Code of Practice states that every funeral director must "retain a comprehensive record of all deceased persons in their care" and this record must have details of what actions have been carried out in the care of that person. This record must also be stored in an accessible and secure form.
Arranger prompts users to record care information under three distinct sections; first offices, mortuary care and transfers of the deceased. Each of these sections contains specific options relating to the care provided in the respective stage. Because Arranger stores all of its data on secure cloud servers, these care records can be recalled whenever and wherever is necessary.
4 - Transfers:
As part of the Statutory Code of Practice for Scottish Funeral Directors, the person who has died needs to have their identity confirmed, signed authorisation and recording of locations whenever they are moved and where they will be cared for. The code also requires the detailing and tracking of all of their personal effects.
Arrangers lets you add transfers to each arrangement record. Transfer types include; transfer into care, internal transfer and external transfers. External transfers give you the option to record addresses, dates and times as well. You can also keep a running record of what personal possessions have been collected, where they are and where they will be kept.
5 - Transparency of choice on goods and services
The code sends a clear message when it comes to transparency of choice, cost and what's available in terms of goods and services. If you combine this message with the ongoing investigation by the Competitions and Marketing Authority into the funeral profession, you can be sure that clear pricing and transparency of choice is going to be vital sooner rather than later.
With Arranger you can provide full pricing transparency and easy access to your entire range of products and services. You can email your catalogue, with complete pricing, to families following the first call. They can view it themselves and share it with the rest of the family before they even arrive for the arrangement. During the arrangement, you can guide families through products and services with clear pricing on a tablet. Auto-prompts ensure your team select all the necessary items, including disbursements, like doctors fees, so that your estimates reflect the full cost of the funeral. Then, at the touch of a button, Arranger will produce an accurate itemised estimate instantly that can be printed on the spot and emailed to families for their records.
To find out more, request your Arranger demo today.