The Funeral School Nebula

Since a diploma is required to practice certain funeral trades, the training courses have multiplied. But there are few guarantees as to their quality.

A diploma to bury well, the funeral home sector demanded it to hang and cry. But since it is compulsory since 1 January 2013 for the masters of ceremony, funeral counselors and funeral directors, difficult to find oneself among the mortician school that propose it.

Enamef, Ceficem, Effa and consors all offer “funeral training courses”, accessible whatever the applicant’s level of education, in order to pass the diploma examination. Some of them have existed for several decades and have been trained to the Certificate of Professional Qualification (CQP), useful but not obligatory to practice in the field of funerary. Others, on the contrary, have recently opened up, placing themselves opportunely on this new niche in the field of training. “Since the decree was issued, we have seen schools hatching here and there,” confirms Richard Furet of the Confederation of Funeral and Marble Professionals.

To make his choice, no list of approved schools on which to rely. “You have to rely on your reputation and ask for the training program,” says Yves Nessier, head of Effa. “There are only a dozen well-known and recognized schools, but it works thanks to word of mouth,” confirms Richard Feret. Especially since the large funeral establishments have their own schools. ”

Variable geometry formations

If the test and the certification are the same for all the candidates, the formations are of variable geometry. The law provides for a minimum number of hours of instruction, between 70 and 140 depending on the profession taught and the areas to be tackled: hygiene, psychology or law are on the program. But within these rather vague themes, “each school defines its own criteria”, explains Florence Fresse, general delegate of the French Federation of Funeral Services (FFPF). This sometimes gives rise to unusual situations. “I found, for example, that a school offered … first-aid courses,” she said.

And the passage to a jury to validate the theoretical achievements does not constitute a guarantee of the quality of this new formation. “The members of the jury are not professionals of the funeral and sometimes know very little about our trades,” regrets Florence Fresse. And their objectivity is all the more harmed because it is the schools themselves that have to defray them. Nevertheless, no question of distributing the – precious? – all-round sesame: of the 27 candidates who have passed the tests since the beginning of the year, only 24 have succeeded.