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What Is a Funeral Director

In general, a funeral director is a person who arranges a funeral on behalf of the next of kin or loved ones, but how much of lead role they play in the funeral usually depends on what the next of kin wants them to organise on their behalf and what they want to do themselves.

The work of a funeral director usually begins when a relative or friend of someone who has died asks them to arrange the funeral. They then visit the family to offer advice and make detailed preparations for the funeral.

A funeral director will then go about organising transport, flowers, the service, catering, accommodation and obituary notices, or as much of these as the relatives want them to. On the day of the funeral, the funeral director is responsible for making sure the event runs smoothly, and usually rides in the hearse ahead of the procession to the ceremony or burial place.

More than 17,500 people in the UK work in the funeral profession, either as funeral directors or receptionists and helpers in the funeral parlour. The National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) is the country’s leading funeral trade association and dedicates itself to maintaining high standards in the industry.

Although no formal qualifications are necessary to become a funeral director, there is an industry qualification, the NAFD' Diploma in Funeral Directing, which is awarded to funeral directors with a high standard of professional competence and experience.

Funeral directors are on call 24 hours a day, every day of the year and are generally good communication skills, sensitivity to other people’s feelings and good organisational skills.

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