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FIAT-IFTA is the only internationally governed Funeral Federation with National, Active and Associate Members in more than 80 Countries.
The Funeral Industry in Germany in 2022 and beyond
By Stephan Neuser, General Secretary of the German Federal Association of Funeral Directors (BDB) and Dr. Simon J. Walter, Cultural Representative of the German Burial Culture Foundation, Germany
The German Federal Association of Funeral Directors (BDB) has always been an outspoken advocate for standardized tracks of education and training to enter the Funeral Industry. It is our conviction, that there must be a clear-cut path for young people joining the industry – to ensure that funeral directors and their employees are well qualified in all aspects of their work.
The ongoing pandemic has demonstrated this necessity beyond a doubt. Mandatory procedures must be put in place by the administrative bodies to ensure the high standards we are already upholding. We owe this not just ourselves – but first and foremost the deceased and their relatives. Only under the impression of the pandemic are more and more representatives and parties in Germany coming around to support our position.
International exchange is vital
In raising the banner of education, we see ourselves in a common and concerted effort with funeral professionals in Europe and all over the world. Exchange and communication with our partners and friends in FIAT-IFTA is vital for deepening our understanding of today’s funeral market – and in tackling the many questions and challenges of the future. We appreciate the input we receive in different meetings and settings (online as well as offline) and wish to strengthen these ties even more in the future.
In Germany, we are following a double-sided approach. On the one hand, young people who wish to join the industry receive a professional education. They participate in the day-to-day work of their respective companies; and in addition, they have dedicated days and weeks of learning about all aspects of our trade.
On the other hand, those already working within the industry (including e.g. the crematoria) can receive advanced training and education according to their specific needs. We offer and facilitate training for example in plastination, cremation, customer relations and corporate communications.
Our system ensures that not just up-coming funeral directors and employees will be well versed in their trade; but also, that everyone within the industry can constantly expand or refresh his or her knowledge. This second part is of special importance in view of the shifts and changes we have been observing in German burial culture over the last 20 years.
Read full article in the summer issue of THANOS magazine - you can read online at pages 20-22