Our Education Program’s mission is to train funeral service apprentices through quality education programs and support employers to meet their training needs.
Academic Study & Practical Experience
The formal training program consists of two equally important parts: academic study and practical (work-based) experience. In the apprenticeship program, these occur simultaneously over a given period of time.
Continuous enrolment in the two-year program is a requirement unless granted a medical leave of absence. If the student fails to obtain a leave of absence or maintain continuous enrolment he or she will be required to apply for a re-admission to the program and re-apply for their apprenticeship license.
The academic calendar is divided into two terms and runs from September through to the end of June. Enrolment is continuous for a two-year period. Students take Level 1 courses in the first year and Level 2 courses in the second year. Each academic year for both levels begins in September with a three-day orientation seminar; a three-day winter term seminar is held in January; and a final two weeks of classroom seminars occur in June. At the completion of this session, students write final examinations for each level in each subject. During each term, the student will have access to online lectures, quizzes, communication and guided reading.
A Funeral Director and/or Embalmer apprenticeship requires two years of on-the-job training in addition to the formal academic study. Each year consists of full-time on-the-job training, usually working with or being supervised by a qualified licensed journeyperson. On-the-job training provides an opportunity for students to put into practice the theory that they learn in the classroom and lab environments. An apprentice usually spends 80% of his or her time learning on the job and 20% learning technical skills in a classroom environment.
Practical experience is monitored through an apprentice logbook, mentor and peer guidelines and assessor guidelines.
The BCFA offers a fantastic school with the Canadian College of Funeral Service. The education you receive, and the helpful educators ensure you can start your career as a Funeral Director and/or Embalmer with knowledge and confidence. Online and in person learning, with real world experience creates a unique opportunity for a very well-rounded education in Funeral Service.Jessica Dovey
On the Job, Paid Training
Individuals in the Apprenticeship Program must be employed with a funeral home prior to enrolment in the program. Wages are established by the individual funeral home and will vary depending on a number of factors including the compensation practices and wage structure of the employer, the qualifications of the apprentice, and the type of apprenticeship program. A Funeral Service Apprentice is usually paid a training wage or an apprentice wage.
Apprentices may wish to explore the availability of tuition support with their employer and also review the information on financial assistance available through Skilled Trades BC.
Finding an Apprenticeship
As indicated in the About the Apprenticeship Program, you must obtain full-time employment at a funeral home as an Apprentice Funeral Director/Embalmer in order to be accepted into the British Columbia Funeral Association Apprenticeship Program or upon completion of the Foundation Program. When you apply for an apprenticeship, first make sure that you are aware of and possess the minimum skills and requirements for the job. You can find more about the requirements in the Program Information section of this website.
We encourage you to send your resume to the individual funeral homes that are of interest to you. To find a listing of funeral homes in your area, check the directory on the BC Funeral Association website.
For more information on the Apprenticeship program, please refer to the Apprenticeship Program Registration Handbook below.