Funeral sector overview
10.42Training of funeral directors and embalmers is made available via an industry training organisation known as the Funeral Services Training Trust (FSTT). Currently two trustees of the FSTT are representatives of the FDANZ, and two are representatives of the NZEA. The FSTT offers a Diploma in Embalming and a Diploma in Funeral Directing and registers assessors for those diplomas. The training combines on-the-job learning with modular courses taught at the Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec). The New Zealand Qualifications Authority reviews the external moderation process annually. Students will not be accepted for these courses unless they already have a year’s experience working in a funeral home and are able to nominate an approved supervisor. The FSTT also promotes ongoing training for funeral directors and embalmers, and oversees the continuing education requirements for practising certificates issued by NZEA and FDANZ.
10.43We note there are concerns that the existing training structure is relatively inflexible, and does not provide a clear pathway into funeral directing for those not already employed in the industry. However, it is not within the scope of this project to assess whether a different training structure should be adopted.
10.44Training is not mandatory and it is possible to establish a funeral home and act as a funeral director without having completed the Diploma in Funeral Directing or any informal practical training. As discussed in more detail in the next chapter, some funeral directors are concerned that this can result in low standards.