SAIF praises groundbreaking report on funerals

24/09/2019   //   No Comments

SAIF has welcomed the findings of a new national study into funerals which has revealed five significant factors important to bereaved people when arranging the send-off of a loved one.

The research, a collaboration between Dr Julie Rugg from the University of York’s Cemetery Research Group and Dr Sarah Jones from SAIF member Full Circle Funerals, explored in detail the funeral experience of 50 individuals who had arranged, attended and participated in funerals.

SAIF contributed to the study, titled ‘Funeral experts by experience: what matters to them,’ by participating in an advisory committee and sharing aspects of the research via its media channels.

Other members of the advisory committee were the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management, Good Funeral Guide, Full Circle Funerals and the University of York.

The five main factors that people reported as being important to them were:

  • whether the person’s wishes were known;
  • if the decision-making process for funeral arrangements was inclusive;
  • whether the funeral director was sufficiently responsive;
  • having the right level of contact with the body of the person who had died and;
  • whether the funeral service met expectations.

SAIF encourages its members to read the report and to consider using the findings as a guide to making service improvements where necessary.

Commenting on the report, SAIF Chief Executive Terry Tennens said: “In recent years, there has rightly been a strong focus on standards and pricing in the funeral sector. However, to date, there has been very little if any consideration of what bereaved people actually want or need. This study sets that straight and its findings are of important relevance to everyone working with bereaved people.

“There’s a real opportunity, arising out of the report, to enhance people’s experience of the funeral profession by making the five factors a part of standard practice within funeral homes.”

The report also serves as a reminder that funerals are about much more than the funeral service itself, with funerary rituals beginning from the moment of death.

It’s important that funeral directors understand this so as to create a supportive, positive experience for their clients from the moment they are engaged to the funeral and beyond.

The report can be read in full here.

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