IFSO: A New Kind of Regulator for the Funeral Profession

The new Independent Funeral Standards Organisation (IFSO) is up and running.

Over the course of January and early February, all renewed NAFD funeral home members will be passported across to IFSO. Where NAFD previously monitored code compliance, IFSO will now provide a regulatory framework which focuses on outcomes for consumers and the management of risk – such as trends in complaints or things happening at Government level which need focus and attention.

When you passport across you’ll receive a welcome pack which will include your new quality mark logos, and other information about the changeover. 

This is about creating a trusted, independent regulatory body – one that meets the expectations of Government, acts in the public interest, and actively supports and encourages the highest possible standards from funeral firms.

We’ll be moving away from a biennial standalone visit from an inspector who completes a checklist of requirements and issues a certificate, and towards the building of a two-way relationship of more regular contact. We’ll be looking to engage with you regularly, either as individuals or groups, sharing ideas on best practice and examples of risks and how to manage them. 

Nigel Cooper, David Hunter, Gary O’Hara, and Natalie Thomas will be very well-known to NAFD members as the former NAFD Standards and Quality Management Team. All of them bring years of experience in the funeral sector to IFSO, and they provide important continuity and reassurance that we understand how funeral firms work, and the challenges they face.

The team is now known as Quality, Risk and Compliance Managers – which describes the breadth and focus of their role within IFSO. Nigel is now Head of Quality Risk and Compliance.

A key difference between their old roles and the new ones is that they’re now far more than inspectors with a list of branches to visit within a given timeframe. Their role is to work with funeral firms to understand what excellence looks like in terms of quality standards, and where the risks are to achieving that in the sector. Armed with this knowledge of the sector and your business, they’ll guide and support you, as well as being ready to take action where needed to mitigate risk to service and consumers. 

It’s a far more proactive role and they will have a more dynamic, positive, and active presence in your business going forward.