HomeReinventing post-pandemic funeral services

Reinventing post-pandemic funeral services

30 June 2021
A new collaboration between Collège Boréal and the Ontario Association of Cemetery and Funeral Professionals (OACFP) aims to study the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Bereavement Sector.

Funding provided by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) College and Community Innovation program will help identify and evaluate the social and economic consequences of the pandemic on the funeral and cemetery industry’s practices and its professionals.

This 3-year applied research project will foster innovation to adapt funeral rituals to respond to the needs of individuals and families post-pandemic. Environmental scans as well as quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis will provide an overview of the industry’s response to the restrictions and regulations instituted over the past year and will help shape the future of the bereavement sector. This new knowledge will lead to the revision and expansion of an open access and bilingual toolkit with educational and outreach resources to support current and future professionals working in a pandemic impacted environment. It will also help establish new and improved best practices in the field that reflect the needs of workers, of the industry and of families.

This new understanding and expertise will benefit future bereavement professionals, as Collège Boréal’s Funeral Director Program, one of only two such programs in Ontario and the only one offered in the French language, will be adapted to reflect the results of this study.

The Ontario Association of Cemetery and Funeral Professionals (OACFP), a not-for-profit provincial association, is honoured to partner with Collège Boréal as together we embark on this important study. We believe this applied research project aligns with our objective to foster innovation and education in the bereavement profession. Further, the new knowledge generated through this project will allow OACFP to broaden its understanding of the impact of the pandemic on its members by making evidence-informed recommendations on how to adapt current practices and services while addressing the future needs of our clientele in a post-COVID-19 economy. The results of this project will be shared with bereavement professionals nationnaly to enhance the delivery of quality and compassionate bereavement services to all Canadians. Thank you to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) for this opportunity.
This project is entirely in line with Collège Boréal’s desire to continually engage in social and community innovation. Partnerships like the one with the Ontario Association of Cemetery and Funeral Professionals highlight the role that applied research can play in finding innovative solutions to complex social problems. In addition, the findings revealed at the end of this project will help adapt even further Collège Boréal’s Funeral Director program so that is better reflects the new realities of the industry.
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