The FPA's new Rules and Code of Practice and what this means for Independents

In the latest edition of SAIFInsight, Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) CEO Graeme McAusland discusses regulation of the funeral planning sector, and how the FPA’s new Rules and Code of Practice will help us protect customers and continue to put them at the heart of our businesses.

Regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is expected by mid-2022, meaning the only form of voluntary regulation currently available is the FPA’s new Rules and Code of Practice which came into effect at the start of 2020. It is important that all our members are adhering to these new standards to ensure consumers’ needs are being met and to continue the evolving professionalism of the funeral plan sector.

The new FPA Rules and Code of Practice are designed to help us put consumers at the heart of everything we do and give consumers greater protection, especially if we identify a potentially vulnerable consumer. In line with this, Golden Charter has developed a Vulnerable Customer policy which is available on for us all to adapt to our own businesses.

Under these new rules, plan providers will be held responsible by the FPA for the behaviour of funeral directors and therefore need to have a written agreement in place with those who choose to work with them. After months of careful consultation with Independents, Golden Charter has developed a Funeral Plan Handbook and a Funeral Director Agreement which will be introduced over the coming month for us all to review and sign if we want to continue to sell Golden Charter plans.

The handbook will clearly set out our responsibilities as funeral directors and Golden Charter’s responsibilities as plan provider, as well as offering practical support on all aspects of Golden Charter funeral plans – from the enquiry through to the funeral being carried out.

Graeme discussed this in detail when he featured on the Partnership Podcast and we would encourage all members to take some time to listen to this episode and read his full article in SAIFInsight.

If you have any questions on the handbook and agreement please contact your Golden Charter Business Manager.