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NFDA Expands Cremation Certification Program

January 31, 2017

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NFDA Expands Cremation Certification Program

New in 2017: Choose the designation that best fits your role in offering cremation 

Brookfield, Wis. – The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) Certified Crematory Operator Program has changed its name to the NFDA Cremation Certification Program™. It will continue to lead the way as the profession’s cremation certification of choice and, beginning this year, it will offer two designation options. Program attendees will choose their preferred designation based on their role in offering cremation to families.

The name change and addition of a second designation option reflect NFDA’s ongoing efforts to respond to the needs of cremation providers. 

“Some funeral homes own and operate crematories. Others partner with a third-party crematory to provide cremation services to families,” said Mike Nicodemus, NFDA vice president of cremation services. “By offering two designations, the NFDA Cremation Certification Program will better reflect the diverse roles funeral professionals have in the cremation process.”

Developed for funeral homes that offer cremation services, the NFDA Cremation Certification Program sets the bar high with a comprehensive training program that covers ethics, crematory operations, safety and compliance, liability issues, customer service, and more. Since the program’s launch in September 2013, 2,177 individuals have been certified.

Regardless of the designation selected by program participants, the day-long training program and certification exam are the same. During registration, attendees will select the designation they aspire to earn upon successful completion of the program certification test:

  • Certified Cremation Services Provider (CCSP) – for funeral directors and staff that offer cremation services through a third-party crematory
  • Certified Crematory Operator (CCO) – for crematory owners and/or operators 

“During my career, I’ve been called on numerous times to testify as an expert witness in cremation litigation cases,” said Nicodemus. “The mistakes I have seen have caused heartache for families and damaged the reputation of businesses. With cremation litigation on the rise, it is critical that you understand the steps you need to take to protect your firm from the moment a family walks in your front door until you deliver the cremated remains to the family – that’s true whether you own a crematory or use a third-party. NFDA’s Cremation Certification Program covers everything you need to know in order to safely and ethically provide cremation services to families.” 

NFDA has a number of Cremation Certification Programs scheduled for 2017; additional programs will be confirmed in the months to come. Registration is open for most programs.

  • February 4, 2017, San Antonio, TX
  • February 24, 2017, Nashville, TN
  • March 7, 2017, Pace, FL
  • March 17, 2017, Atlanta, GA
  • March 30, 2017, Mount Vernon, IL
  • April 4, 2017, South Jordan, UT
  • April 12, 2017, Detroit, MI
  • April 26, 2017, Newton, MA
  • May 22, 2017, Bloomington, MN
  • June 28, 2017, Williamsburg, VA
  • August 2017, Birmingham, AL (exact date TBD)
  • September 19, 2017, Greenwood, SC
  • October 28, 2017, Boston, MA (a preconvention seminar for the 2017 NFDA International Convention & Expo)

Information about upcoming NFDA Cremation Certification Programs and registration details can be found on the NFDA website,

The NFDA Cremation Certification Program has been approved for CE by the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice; the program is state-approved for crematory operator certification in Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia at this time. It also meets specific training requirements in states that require training but not certification.

State associations, mortuary science schools, funeral homes, and crematories that would like more information about hosting an NFDA Cremation Certification Program should visit the association website ( or contact Nicodemus (800-228-6332 or [email protected]) for more information.

NFDA is the world’s leading and largest funeral service association, serving 19,700 individual members who represent more than 10,000 funeral homes in the United States and 49 countries around the world. NFDA is the trusted leader, beacon for ethics and the strongest advocate for the profession. NFDA is the association of choice because it offers funeral professionals comprehensive educational resources, tools to manage successful businesses, guidance to become pillars in their communities and the expertise to foster future generations of funeral professionals. NFDA is headquartered in Brookfield, Wis., and has an office in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit