Committee Report

Annual Report from Professional Development Committee


Since our last AGM, the Professional Development Committee has offered Continuing Education Sessions and there has also been Continuing Educations Sessions offered by independent parties.


The Medical Examiner’s Office continues to welcome licensed embalmers into their facility to view an autopsy, and if time permits, be active in the autopsy procedure. The opportunity can be utilized for two CEUs once every five year block.


In September, we had our APFD&SC at White Point Beach Resort; this convention was well attended and the weather was superb. During our time there, we welcomed Jim Fullerton who offered courses for embalmer CEUs and we also welcomed Glenda Stansbury via live-feed who offered courses for funeral director CEUs. Glenda was supposed to be with us in person, however, had some departure issues with her airline.


In November, at Debert Hospitality Centre, Lisa Smith spoke about Funeral Merchandising Strategies: Consumer Satisfaction = Increased Funeral Home Revenue. During the first hour, Lisa examined how consumer lifestyles and generational values are reflected in consumer’s attitudes toward death, funerals and modes of disposition including the selection of products and services. Today’s consumers want more service, options and they place value on memorialization products and services. Currently, six out of ten Canadian funeral consumers are selecting cremation. In response, Doug Francis presented a strategic cremation solution for funeral directors to capitalize on cremation that will lead to increased satisfaction for the consumer and greater revenue per cremation service. Two funeral director CEUs were earned.


In March, women in funeral service were welcomed to Kingstec Campus, NSCC, for a day of education and networking. This day offered seminars on the following topics: History of Women in Funeral Service, Emerging Trends in Funeral Service, Influential Women Who Have Inspired Change, Challenges and Opportunities, Benefits of Networking and Advocacy, Activism and Recognition; two CEUs were offered for these educational seminars.


This afternoon we will welcome Jake Smith from The Body Farm in Tennessee and we are very much looking forward to his presentation. We have invited members of the Medical Examiner’s Office and law enforcement personnel. We believe that this seminar will be of great interest to them and a chance for our Association to meet others who work in the front lines and establish relationships.


Next month the National Convention will be held in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Although the details of speakers have not been released as yet, there will be ample opportunity to earn CEUs.

It is always challenging to find speakers who will capture our attention and also not duplicate courses offered. We are fortunate to have so many resources available to us through the faculty of the funeral services course and company representatives, and I would be remiss if I didn’t pass on our appreciation to them for their willingness to help out when they can.


Respectfully submitted, Bruce Varner

1083 Queen Street Suite 123 | Halifax, NS B3H 0B2 | Phone: (782) 409-1088 | Fax: | Email: