One of the cornerstone activities of the national association is its Annual Conference held in conjunction with an Exhitibion of products and services provided for the profession
This major annual event brings funeral professionals together from across the country, for a comprehensive conference that offers educational seminars, an opportunity to exchange information with colleagues from coast-to-coast and to discuss many of the important issues facing funeral professionals and the public they serve.
Some of the highlights from past national conferences include forums on a wide range of relevant topics, including: meeting changing consumer needs; survivor support programs; regulatory, legal and environmental issues facing the profession; and motivational experts whose insights have helped FSAC members improve the ways in which they serve families in their communities.
Information for Membership
One of the important roles of the Funeral Service Association of Canada is to furnish its membership with information that will help meet the mission of providing a high level of service to Canadian families. To this end, FSAC publishes a quarterly newsletter as well as a bi-monthly electronic newsletter for its members. Highlights of the valuable information conveyed to the membership include:
Providing status reports about various provincial and federal regulatory issues
Communicating information to members from provincial funeral associations
Providing health information relevant to the funeral professional
Conveying information to members about programs and services available to better serve their families
Conveying information about continuing education
Providing programs for recognizing members' accomplishments
In addition to the national newsletter, FSAC supplies members with information about media issues and also provides various materials to assist members with their day-to-day operations
Continuing Education and Membership Recognition
The FSAC Professional Development Network (FPDN) is a valuable source of continuing education for funeral professionals across the country. Courses are available on-line and can be taken from the comfort of your office or home. The nine (9) course available are all accepted in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland for credits. These courses are also very relevant for any funeral professional.
The Funeral Service Association of Canada is also committed to serving as a national resource for education, information and research. To this end, FSAC works with the educational institutions within funeral service to provide resources useful to the early training and continuing education of funeral professionals.
One of the primary roles of the Funeral Service Association of Canada is to provide an effective voice for the funeral profession among various stakeholders, with a particular emphasis on the federal government departments involved in funeral service.
The Funeral Service Association of Canada has forged effective relationships with key government departments to ensure that issues affecting funeral professionals, and the funeral service consumer, are clearly articulated to those who make the policies and regulations that impact funeral service.
Some of the milestones of FSAC's government relations activities include the following:
Throughout FSAC's evolution, the association has worked with the departments of National Defence, Finance, Veterans Affairs, Indian Affairs, Consular Services and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police regarding funeral rates and the delivery of dignified funerals.
Veterans Affairs Canada consulted with FSAC in revising regulations affecting funeral and burial programs funded by Veterans Affairs Canada. Also, Last Post Fund, consults on an ongoing basis to ensure that established policies and regulations are understood and adhered to by funeral service professionals, to ensure that qualifying veterans are provided with dignified funerals.
The Funeral Service Association of Canada also affected a major change with Revenue Canada by securing amendments to the Income Tax Act, which resulted in an exemption of income tax on interest earned from prepaid funeral trust funds.
FSAC is also committed to ensuring the federal government is aware of the importance Canadians place on the need for the Death Benefit available to Canadians through the Canada Pension Plan. It continues to make this position known to government officials and politicians.
In addition, the Funeral Service Association of Canada endeavors to make submissions and presentations to various government policy makers to ensure that issues affecting Canadian funeral consumers are clearly articulated to relevant government regulatory agencies.
The Funeral Service Association of Canada is committed to promoting to the general public the value of funeral rituals and services, memorialization and the important role played by funeral professionals.
The association has a number of activities that help it meet its public awareness goals. Some highlights include:
Participation in national research studies to keep abreast of Canadian consumer attitudes and opinions about funeral services and funeral professionals.
FSAC participates in the Funeral Profession Coalition Council of Canada, a national coalition of suppliers, funeral directors and cemeterians dedicated to the development of creative media campaign materials to inform Canadians about funeral services and to develop new and improved ways to serve families.
Media releases to national media outlets to provide relevant news about the funeral service profession to the general public.
Participation in special promotional partnership projects, such as the International Year of the Older Person, that help raise the public's level of knowledge about funeral services
Articles for use by members to help provide information to the general public.
Advocacy function with government policy makers on behalf of funeral service profession stakeholders such as seniors' associations and consumer groups.
The Funeral Service Association of Canada provides a valuable role in advising External Affairs Canada on policy issues that affect the deaths of Canadian citizens while traveling abroad.
The Funeral Service Association of Canada is also committed to an ongoing exchange of information and dialogue with international colleagues throughout the world. Specifically, the Association participates in the International Federation of Thanatologists Associations and a former FSAC board members a vice-president of this prestigious international association.
The Funeral Service Association of Canada also maintains an ongoing dialogue with the Cremation Association of North America, the International Cemetery and Funeral Association, the National Funeral Directors Association of America and participates in information exchanges with funeral professionals in other countries.