The CFSP Designation

Successful candidates for certification in the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice may use the designation CFSP (Certified Funeral Service Practitioner) with their names on their business letterheads, business cards, and elsewhere as appropriate. Members are required to renew membership renewal and submit 2.0 CEUs or 20 hours each year to remain active and continue to use the CFSP designation. Certification is for individuals only and may not be used to imply that a firm is certified.

Those registrants who reside in states which require continuing education for annual license renewal will find the services of the Academy useful and helpful in completing such requirements. A complete list of State Board Licensing Requirements is maintained by the National Funeral Directors Association.

Achieving Professional Certification

The Academy believes that personal as well as professional development, together, combine to help insure a better funeral service professional. Because of this certification credits are allowed for involvement in both types of programs (i.e., those directly related to funeral service as well as those directly related to improving the professional as an individual).

Using the Activity Reporting Form or the On-Line Activity Reporting, Academy members let us know about activities completed. The Academy evaluates these activities and, where appropriate, awards credit in the form of Continuing Education Units (CEUs). Credit is awarded in one of three categories: Academic, Professional Funeral Service, and Public Education and Service.

Members are also may earn retroactive credit for activities completed from the date of licensure to the date of joining the Academy by submitting an Application for Career Review. No time limit is imposed on the member in which all credits must be earned and members proceed at their own pace.

Once 180 hours of activities across the four categories has been achieved, the member is eligible for certification, and the designation of Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP) may be awarded.

As a CFSP, the member remains active by attending at least 20 hours (2.0 CEUs) of events each year in order to maintain certification and paying their annual renewal each year.

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  • An applicant must be currently licensed by a state licensing authority to practice funeral service.
  • To become a member of the Academy, an applicant must complete a membership application and submit the initial enrollment fee of $95.
  • Each year, the member renews their membership on their anniversary date, and pays the annual renewal fee (currently set at $75) in order to continue to actively seek the CFSP certification unless the member has paid the lifetime membership.
  • Students currently enrolled in an accredited mortuary school may enroll as a member of the Academy. As a student, you are not be permitted to submit an Application for Career Review or become certified until you have received a license from the state licensing authority to practice funeral service.

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Designated Credit Evaluation

Credit toward professional certification shall be granted in terms of Hours. An Hour shall consist of fifty (50) minutes of academic instruction or its rated equivalent.

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Qualifying Activities for Professional Certification

The following activities are examples of programs approved for credit leading to certification by the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice. Appropriate credit for specific or innovative activities will be determined on a case by case basis.

Sample activities include:

  • Attendance at conferences, conventions, seminars and workshops sponsored by funeral service.
  • Committee work or Board leadership in local, district, state, regional and national associations and regular attendance at meetings of these associations.
  • Completion of related courses offered by associations and accredited institutions of higher learning.
  • Serving as a speaker for school (elementary and secondary) and college or university presentations and for other related conferences, institutes, seminars and workshops.
  • Published articles, papers or other literary contributions as well as research studies and questionnaires to better understand the many facets of funeral service.
  • Completion of home study, on-line learning, or web-based training from organizations certified by the Academy.
  • Development and implementation of In-Service Training Programs.
  • Service in civic or community organizations.
  • Professional and community activity completed prior to registration in the Academy (Career Review).

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Category A: Academic Activity

Category A includes those more intensive learning experiences such as higher education-level instruction. Also, professional effort demonstrated by writing, speaking, and research are credited here as are home study and on-line learning programs accredited by the Academy. (Up to a maximum of 108 Hours/CEUs may be earned toward initial certification in this category.)

  • Program must contain educational content covering one theme only, and lasting at least 3 hours including no more than a total of 30 minutes of break time (i.e., 9 a.m. - noon program will count for 3 Hours/CEU's in Category A, if no more than a total of 30 minutes is allowed for breaks).
  • Scholarly articles published in professional journals receive credit based on the number of words and the nature of the content. More significant publications, including books, are evaluated on a case by case basis.
  • Professional speeches, lectures, etc. are evaluated based on the length of the program and the preparation required for effective presentation.
  • Completion of home study courses by approved providers. See Home Study Providers.
  • Deployment in a disaster recovery effort will receive 10 Hours/CEU's in Category A per deployment.
  • College courses will normally receive full Hours/CEU credit (i.e., 45 Hours/CEUs for a 3-semester hour course).

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Category B: Professional Activities

Category B includes activities related directly to the funeral service profession. Attendance at conventions, short workshops or seminars, and service in funeral service organizations count in this category. (Up to a maximum of 72 Hours/CEUs may be earned toward initial certification in this category.)

  • Attendance at any funeral service organization meeting or convention which has been accredited by the Academy.
  • Attendance at any single-theme workshop or seminar lasting less than three hours.
  • Service as on the Board of Directors, as an officer, or service on a committee of a funeral service organization will count for a total of 10 Hours per year. In addition, the member can receive a maximum of  2 hours for each meeting attended.

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Category C: Career Review

Category C provides the opportunity to receive credits for experience prior to joining the Academy. Assignment of credits generally follows the guidelines for Categories A, B, C. (Up to a maximum of 54 Hours/CEUs may be earned toward initial certification in this category, although additional credits in other categories may also result for activities that occurred within 2 years of becoming a member of the Academy.)

  • Upon submission of the Career Review Form and proper documentation to the Academy, up to 54 Hours/CEUs may be awarded for activities carried out between the time of licensure in funeral service and the time of joining the Academy.
  • The Career Review is evaluated only once.
  • Career Review entries which reflect ongoing activities, or those which took place since the member joined the Academy, will be evaluated for credit in either Categories A, B, or D.
  • If the Career Review analysis results in a potential award of more than the maximum of 54 Hours/CEUs, additional credits earned within two years of joining the Academy will be allowed, and will be credited to Categories A, B, or D according to the nature of the extra credits earned.

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Category D: Public Education and Service

Category D acknowledges civic and community activities and leadership. Service in community or religious organizations, including officer status, are included. Short talks to community groups, funeral home tours, and similar activities count in this category. (Up to a maximum of 18 Hours/CEUs may be earned toward initial certification in this category.)

  • Credit will be awarded for service in civic or church organizations, including offices held and specific programming activities carried out.
  • Hours will be assigned to include preparation time in addition to program presentation time as appropriate.
  • Civic-related activities sponsored by the funeral home will count in Category D. This includes such things as funeral home tours for civic or school groups, meetings with civic or school groups, and services of remembrance.

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Maintaining Certification

Once certified as a CFSP, the member must earn 20 hours per year and pay the annual renewal fee to remain an active CFSP. Excess Hours on the member's record at the end of each year may be carried over into the next year up to a maximum of 40 hours. Credits are earned prospectively, with those earned in one year providing re-certification credit toward the next.

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