The Federation of British Cremation Authorities

Code of Cremation Practice

 1. Conduct

The cremation of a human body is a highly emotional occasion for those taking part in the service.  This must never be forgotten by the staff of the Crematorium, who must combine to create and maintain an atmosphere of reverence throughout the entire proceedings.

2. Staff

The greatest care must be taken in the appointment of members of the Crematorium staff, any of whom may, by conduct or demeanour, detract from the atmosphere of reverence which it is endeavoured to create.  All staff employed in the operation of cremators must be suitably trained in the technical and ethical procedures and certificated as specified in the Secretary of State’s Guidance Notes of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 or any subsequent legislation made thereunder. 

3. After Committal 

(a)  A body shall not be removed from the crematorium after the service of committal except for a lawful purpose.

(b)  Subject to receiving the necessary authority to cremate, the coffin and its contents shall be put into the cremator, as soon as practicable, exactly as they have been received on the catafalque. A body not cremated on the same day as the coffin is received at the crematorium may only be retained overnight on the written consent of the Applicant for cremation and in circumstances deemed necessary by the Cremation Authority, including impacts on the environment. All bodies retained at the crematorium will be accommodated in secure and sanitary conditions within the building.

(c)  Once the coffin with its contents has been placed in the cremator, it shall not be interfered with until the process of cremation is completed.  On completion, the whole of the cremated remains shall be collected and shall be disposed of in accordance with the instruction received. 

4. Correct Identity 

(a)  No coffin shall be accepted at any crematorium unless it bears adequate particulars of the identity of the deceased person contained therein.  If a coffin is encased, the cover and the coffin must bear adequate identity of the deceased person.

(b)  Every care must be taken to ensure correct identification throughout the whole proceedings from the moment the coffin is received on the catafalque until the final disposal of the cremated remains.

 5. Separately Cremated 

Each coffin given to the care of the Cremation Authority shall be cremated separately. 

6. Coffin Covers 

When a re-useable cover is used to encase a coffin, a signed authority must be given by the Applicant for the cremation authorising its use and consenting to its subsequent removal from the crematorium.

7. Metal Residues 

Any metal found amongst the cremated remains shall be disposed of in accordance with the directions of the Cremation Authority or higher authority. 

8. Cremated Remains 

The utmost care shall be taken to ensure that the cremated remains, following their removal from the cremator, shall be kept separate and suitably identified.  The cremated remains shall be reduced and placed in a separate container.  If the cremated remains are to be disposed of in a Garden of Remembrance, this shall be conducted with reverence and respect.  Cremated Remains to be conveyed by a carrier service shall be placed in a suitably labelled robust container and dealt with according to recommendations laid down by the Federation of British Cremation Authorities. 

9. Cremators and Ancillary Equipment 

Cremators and all ancillary equipment used in the crematorium shall be kept in good repair and maintained in accordance with manufacturers’ recommendations and the requirements of the current Guidance Notes issued under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 or subsequent legislation. 

10. Statutory Regulations 

All cremations shall be carried out according to the provisions of the Cremation Acts and the Regulations made thereunder and any subsequent legislation. 


Revised May 2005