Education & training

Being a SAIF member demonstrates to the public that you uphold the highest standards within the industry and having industry recognised qualifications will help you stand out from your competitors.

However, it is important that you regularly keep up to date with training and the latest developments. We have significantly expanded the education and training support we provide to members and it is now easier than ever to get involved.

Training – open to members and free of charge (charge for refreshments/meals)

Our annual Education Day brings together funeral professionals and specialists from areas which affect the profession.  It allows SAIF members to keep up to date with issues and gain ideas for best practice for their own funeral business.  This year’s event will take place at Leicester Tigers Football Club in Leicester on 10th November 2021. Click here for the latest details.

SAIF runs a series of regional meetings to which members, Associate members and non-member funeral directors are welcome. These events offer an opportunity to update guests with current issues affecting the funeral profession. Each session features a guest speaker covering a wide range of funeral related subjects. The meetings are informal and welcoming, with an opportunity to meet up with local funeral directors over a meal. They include an update on the funeral profession by SAIF, news from SAIFCharter and Golden Charter and short presentations by local Associate members. There is no charge for attending the meeting, but guests are asked to pay the cost of the meal.

To ensure all members have the opportunity to take part in our events and training days we recently launched a series of webinars (online seminars). These help you enjoy all the benefits of our training sessions from any computer at home or at work. The sessions typically last for one hour and are free to join for members.

Training available at discounted rates for members:

The Independent Funeral Directors (IFD) College

IFD College Overview

The IFD College is a virtual college started in 1995 to provide basic vocational training to members of SAIF. There are four regular courses, each split into units. Students may register for all or any of the units; however we recommend that the health and safety modules are studied first. Students will receive a certificate for each completed course but – in accordance with our assessment policy – all work must be completed within two years. Students who do not wish to complete the coursework may apply for a letter of Confirmation of Attendance.

IFD College / BIFD Partnership October 2018

The Independent Funeral Director’s (IFD) College and British Institute of Funeral Directors (BIFD) have teamed up to simplify the journey to becoming a qualified funeral director. By joining forces, the IFD College and the BIFD are able to offer a range of vocational and academic courses accredited by One Awards and the University of Greenwich. The wide range of subjects covers Health & Safety for funeral staff right through to the industry standard Diploma in Funeral Service.

IFD College Units

BIFD Units

Membership of the IFD College

  • The Governors of the IFD College are inviting holders of the Cert. FP, NAFD Diploma and BIFD Diploma to become a Member of the IFD College. Members of the College will be able to use the letters MIFDC after their name, will receive an annual Membership Certificate and will be offered free entry to SAIF’s Education Day next year. Membership for the introductory year will cost £30.00.
  • Members will be obliged to provide evidence of 12 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to continue their membership after the first year. Membership of the College will demonstrate that members are actively maintaining and developing their knowledge to perform to the highest standard within the profession.
  • The Governors are keen for membership of the College to reflect both the academic achievements and high standards of professional conduct. For that reason, they may reserve the right to refuse membership or strike off any member whose conduct has or may bring the College and/or the profession into dispute.
  • To apply for Membership, please complete and return the Application Form with your payment. A form is also available to begin recording CPD for continued Membership in 2018/2019.

For more information or an application form, please contact the IFD College Administrator, Corinne Pengelly.

Units include:

Health & Safety for Funeral Staff (Units 1/HS1 & 2HS2)

  • Aimed at all staff employed in funeral work and should ideally be a first step in funeral service training
  • Topics include: hygiene, handling hazardous substances, risk assessments, fire safety, first aid, good housekeeping and manual handling

Foundation Funeral Practitioner (Units 4/G1 & 5/G2)

  • Focussing on basic skills, the units are aimed at all staff employed in funeral work
  • Topics include: taking first calls, identification, preparations for viewing, the chapel of rest, measuring, communication and conduct and professional standards

 Funeral Operative (Units 6/OP1 – 9/OP4)

  • Designed for members of staff who are providing manual skills, the Foundation units must be completed or in progress before these units are studied
  • Topics include: driving and vehicle maintenance, pallbearing and funeral procedures, care of floral tributes, coffin fitting and finishing and removals

 Funeral Administrator (Units 10/AD1 – 15/AD6)

  • Designed for administration staff, funeral arrangers and receptionists, the Foundation units must be completed or in progress before these units are studied
  • Topics include: arranging the funeral, cremation and burial procedures and documentation, coroner and registrars procedures, bereavement, funeral planning, trade associations and repatriations

Certificate in Funeral Practice (Cert.FP)

Learners who successfully gain a pre-determined combination of units will receive a Certificate in Funeral Practice (Cert.FP) (awarded by external moderator One Awards) and will be eligible to use the letters Cert FP after their name. To achieve the Certificate in Funeral Practice, students must take:

  • Units 1/HS1-2/HS2 and Units 4/G1-g/G2

Plus either:

  • Units 6/OP1-9/OP4 and at least 2 units from 10/AD1-15/AD6


  • Units 10/AD1-15/AD6 and at least 2 units from 6/OP1-9/OP4

Current course dates can be found on our Events page, while more details on the IFD College can be found here.  For more information, please contact the IFD College Administrator, Corinne Pengelly.

BIFD Units

BIFD Certificate in Funeral Service (Cert.FS)

This is offered to people working at least 20 hours per week in the profession who wish to gain an understanding of, and formal training in, the basic aspects of funeral services. Classes are run locally by qualified tutors following a 7 unit syllabus with tutor marked assessments after each unit. Students also need to complete reports on specified subjects and two written essays. Upon completion, students do a 90-minute written assessment, aiming for a minimum of 60% to pass.

Graduates of the Cert.FP can then upgrade to the Cert.FS, which paves the way to the Diploma in Funeral Service.

BIFD Diploma in Funeral Service (Dip.FS)

Having achieved the BIFD Certificate in Funeral Service or equivalent qualification, the Dip.FS is the next step. This consists of five modules, with varying numbers of units and tutor assessments, 10 reports on specified subjects and a 15 minute presentation given by the candidate on any subject covered in the course syllabus. There is a final examination which consists of a written paper (2.5 hours), an oral exam on arranging a funeral with an examiner (1.5 hours) and an observation assessment on conducting a funeral.

To achieve this Diploma, students must reach a minimum of 60% in all assessments, reports, the presentation and each element of the final exam. The qualification is externally accredited by Greenwich University for 30 credits at level 4.

Further information on BIFD courses.

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