A month of meetings

words: Jim Auld, SAIF President

I can’t believe it is that time again and as I write this, I’m on a train south (again), this time to attend the North-west Regional Meeting near Bolton. What a busy month it has been.

I attended the Regional Meeting for the South West, kindly hosted by the Musgrove family at Musgrove Willows. We were fortunate with the weather and had a fascinating tour of the farm; it was great to see so many of our members attend.

The following day it was off to Pencoed for the Welsh Regional Meeting – with time out during the day to visit Ernest Heal & Sons Funeral Directors in the Forest of Dean – and again this meeting had a good attendance with lots of relevant questions. I can’t emphasise strongly enough the benefit of attending your regional meeting.

At the beginning of June, the announcement was made from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) that funeral plan regulation would be moving to the FCA – this news has been long awaited and is reassuring. Thankfully, as a provider currently registered with the FPA, Golden Charter abides by a set of rules and a code of practice that exceeds the current statutory requirements and provides good building blocks for moving to operating within an FCA-regulated funeral planning market.

Golden Charter is currently scoping a programme of work to get regulation ready to position the company as the ‘best’ funeral planning company in the market for independent funeral directors to sell funeral plans with by offering simple compliant sales solutions, and we will be sharing the outputs of this over the coming months. So, instead of being feared, this should be embraced.

Staying on regulation, in Scotland, the consultation on the Government’s Code of Practice for Funeral Directors was published on 21 June. The consultation will remain open to 20 September and the draft code, along with how to respond, will be sent out to the members in Scotland by SAIF. Please read the code carefully and respond appropriately; remember when passed this will be statutory by law.

On the day before attending the National Funeral Exhibition (NFE), I was delighted to attend the service of dedication and formal opening of Babworth Crematorium near Retford. This Westerleigh Group Crematorium was set amid beautiful grounds and is providing a much-needed facility to an immediate catchment area of 70,000 people.

To wrap up for this month I can’t fail to mention NFE at Stoneleigh.

I hope you managed to get a day at it. I had three very busy days on the SAIF stand, along with members of the Executive, Chief Executive Terry Tennens and Claire Day from National office, Brian and Jo from SAIFInsure and Catherine and team from SAIF Care, not to mention the SAIF NextGen group. It was great to see so many members and lots of connections being made with a huge interest in training and SAIF NextGen. I also attended the Funeral Celebrancy Council launch and hope to speak a bit more about that in a future issue of SAIFInsight.

Please do consider SAIFInsure when your insurance is due for renewal; Brian Hart and his expanding team offer some excellent packages for your business.

I must also say: by the time you read this, Brian and an intrepid band of friends will be just about to participate in the Peak District Challenge; please consider sponsoring them for my charity Breast Cancer Care. You can sponsor them on JustGiving.

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