Our Education Program’s mission is to train funeral service apprentices through quality education programs and support employers to meet their training needs.
The BC Funeral Services Foundation Program is a formal training program that involves a pre-employment academic study for one year. Following the successful completion of academic study, students must obtain full-time employment as funeral services apprentices to continue the program and obtain their license.
This optional entry to the funeral service profession is offered by the Foundation Program. This option is intended to provide an introduction to the basic theory needed for study/ employment in the Funeral Service Profession prior to securing employment as an Embalmer, Funeral Director or both. The program is delivered in a variety of formats combining in-school and online studies, all designed to meet the competency standards of a Level One apprentice. Upon completion, of the Foundation Program, graduates will need to find employment, register as a Level Two apprentice, and complete the work experience requirement for Level One and Level Two of their chosen program.
The Foundation program will require three years to complete rather than the two years a licensed apprentice will require to complete their program.
The BC Funeral Services Foundation Program offers a one-year pathway into the funeral service profession, combining academic study with apprenticeship for roles such as Embalmer or Funeral Director.
Academic Study & Practical Experience
The formal training program consists of two equally important parts: academic study and practical (work-based) experience. In the foundation program, the first year of academic study is completed first, with the second year of study and the first year of work-based experience following. A further year is required in order to complete the balance of the work-based requirement.
In some cases, a foundation student obtains employment midway through their first year of academic study and becomes an apprentice documenting the work-based experience. This is a seamless transition and allows for the completion of the program in less than three years.
Frequently asked questions
Can’t find the answers you are looking for? Maybe our frequently asked questions can help you out!
Finding the right education path for you can be a challenge and there are lots of questions to be asked.
Here are some answers to help students make informed decisions about their education and career goals. This is meant to be a guide and can save you time and effort in your research. We are always available for any additional questions you have regarding entering the funeral service profession.
All of the programs start in September.
The program is delivered through online distance learning and in-class sessions.
You may take the program in the comfort of your own home. The program is delivered in an online format. Lessons are posted on the Internet on a weekly basis. This facilitates constant contact and feedback from your instructor and classmates. Periodic seminars are held in specific cities.
Classes are always held in Vancouver and are usually at a post-secondary training institution.
The seminars take place three times a year. Each level starts with a three-day orientation seminar in September and a follow-up with a three-day seminar in January. The year ends with a two-week session in spring. Sessions on these days generally run from 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Admission to this program requires all applicants to:
– Be 18 years of age or older
– Have a High School Diploma or GED (transcript must be provided)
– Provide two letters of character references (references must have known the applicant for no less than five years)
– A clean criminal record abstract (to be provided to the licensing board prior to receiving your license)
The workload will vary from student to student. Students are expected to work more than 15 hours per week.
Mature students have been very successful with our program. Hard work and determination generally guide the student to the successful completion of the program.
A toll-free number for all students is available. General inquiries can be answered by the office administrator. During the program, you will be in constant contact with your instructors over the Internet and by e-mail. Instructors will answer questions in a timely manner and can offer guidance and assistance. Students can also rely on each other through the Internet for assistance and help.
Once the program is in full swing, students will receive 3 and 4 lessons rotating per week. Lessons are released every Monday morning. The student will have online instruction, lessons, and reading assignments for the week. Students must then complete an assignment by the following Sunday for each course.
Exams are written three times per year. Students will write term exams in December and April. Students will also write final exams during their 2-week session in spring.
A sponsor/mentor is a licensed funeral director/embalmer who agrees to take part in the training process. They are responsible for your “hands-on” training. They must sign a “Sponsor Agreement Form” which sets out what is expected of them in the training process. They will be responsible to complete evaluations of your progress and signing as a witness to your practical experience.