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Accreditation: Recommended Funeral Directors – more details

The best of the best.

Gold star

 

The GFG ‘Recommended By’ scheme for funeral directors is the best you can get.

There is a growing, urgent demand from both consumers and funeral directors for a way of identifying the best companies in the funeral world. We believe that, unlike trade body membership or online listings, the GFG ‘Recommended By’ scheme delivers independent and insightful endorsement of those companies delivering outstanding customer service.

The assessment framework implements a rigorous and transparent process which makes our endorsement authoritative, prestigious and accountable. It is also highly selective. We only list the best.

Above all, our accreditation framework enables us to tell consumers that we have been and we have seen, and to reassure them that, to the best of our knowledge, you will look after the person who has died with the utmost respect.

The GFG’s rising prestige as a consumer advocate means that our scheme is the one that the public trusts.

Remember

  • Our mission at the GFG is to connect the bereaved with the best suppliers of services and merchandise.We enjoy the trust of consumers because we are wholly independent of the funeral industry.
  • By dint of years of hard, unpaid work we have acquired knowledge, authority and consumer recognition. We have established our integrity and proved our worth. We are uniquely qualified to offer third-party endorsement of your work. Ask yourself: who else could?
  • We are non-denominational. We do not favour one sort of FD over another. ‘Traditional’, ‘Alternative’, ‘Progressive’ – green or black, they’re all the same to us. Only excellence matters.
  • GFG website hits average over 1000 sessions a day – and the curve is rising.  A very high proportion of these were for our Best FDs listings.

Consumer experience

Our goal is maximum usefulness and credibility. Our accreditation framework focuses on evaluating the consumer experience your service offers.

In particular, our framework enables us to verify on behalf of funeral shoppers that they will be offered the full range of choice, charged fairly, listened to with empathy, treated with kindness and empowered to play their part in creating a sendoff for the person who has died which accords with their values and wishes.

Above all, it enables us to reassure consumers that you look after those who have died with the utmost respect..

In order to do this, we need to demonstrate thoroughness.

The process is two-fold; initially, we require you to complete a self assessment form. This is an opportunity for you to reflect on the service you offer and the values that are imbued in your business. We want to know about you and your staff, and how you work, what kind of service you offer, what is important to you.

When we receive the completed form, we will carry out some further due diligence, exploring your website and social media and your reputation amongst fellow professionals (without disclosing that you have applied for GFG accreditation). There is no cost to you at this stage, it is only if we decide to proceed to the second stage of accreditation that we will require payment for the costs involved.

Many of those applying for GFG recommendation do not meet our exacting criteria. This is not to say that they are not good funeral directors, but that for various reasons they do not fit the requirements we have of our Recommended FDs. The questions in the self assessment form have been designed to help us establish whether a company is likely to achieve Recommended status before we proceed to the second step, which involves our arranging to visit every branch.

If we feel, after receiving a self assessment form and carrying out further checks, that your company would not achieve the criteria we require in order to recommend you, we will inform you at this point. We are under no obligation to explain our decision, although we may consider it beneficial to you to do so.

A paid-for service

If we proceed to the second stage of the application process and agree to arrange to visit an applicant, we will at this point advise you of the costs involved in doing so. Our listing of Recommended funeral directors has to pay for itself. The only way it can do that is if you cover our costs. There is no alternative.

Because ours is, for you, a high-value service which differentiates you from your competitors and is likely to confer substantial commercial benefit, we will not devalue our own skills and knowledge, nor demean your listing, by offering it for less than the market rate.

How much?

The fee for visiting one site, writing and editing your review and posting it online is currently £550 +VAT* + travel by car (45p per mile) or train. The fee for businesses with more than one branch is negotiable depending on workload. In addition to touring your funeral home(s), we shall require to meet with all key staff and have access to all areas.

*We are presently not VAT-registered, but that will change when we breach the threshold. The early-bird fee is, therefore, the VAT-free fee.

Our fee must be met in advance. The Good Funeral Guide is a not-for-profit social enterprise company (CIC 07818343) committed to the highest standards of ethical conduct. All surplus income is used to enable the GFG to deliver on its core purpose: to maintain our website, fund our free advice service in support of the interests of dying and bereaved people living in the UK, and sponsor events which promote understanding and appreciation of the best practices and practitioners in funeral service.

For a business with just one branch, we would expect to spend around half a day with you. Businesses with more than one branch will need to ensure that we are able to visit each premises as part of the visit. Visits to larger companies with more than three branches will be costed individually, as more than one day will be required to ensure sufficient time is allowed to get a good understanding of the business.

Read about the themes and topics that we’ll cover.

The process is not adversarial. We are not po-faced box-tickers, we celebrate best practice. The process is about conversation, not cross-examination.

Is it worth it? You decide. Calculate the value of the reputational and commercial benefit of accreditation by doing a cost-benefit analysis.

Accreditation will normally renew automatically for two years, after which time you will need to be revisited, and this will be charged at the prevailing rate of an accreditation visit. The cost of revisiting you will, therefore, be tri-ennial. Any branches which have opened or been refurbished since the initial visit will also need to be visited at this time.

There will be an annual re-registration fee of £100. For businesses with more than one branch there will be a small additional fee per branch to cover the provision of new window stickers.

Who?

The visit will be carried out by Fran Hall DipFD, CEO of the GFG – or in some instances, one of the other directors of the GFG, none of whom have any business interests in any funeral home.

Highly prized

We shall accord ‘Recommended By’ status only to the very best funeral homes – those which have something very special about them.

 

Benefits

Informed, independent endorsement of your quality

  • A full review of your funeral home on our websiteDifferentiation from your competitors‘Recommended By’ annual window stickersElectronic logo for use in advertising, letterhead, etcAn extremely handsome certificate which you can frame and display

    A press release with which to announce your upgrade in your community

    Networking events

Safeguards

We will never reveal information about you which is commercially sensitive.

We always monitor feedback meticulously before it is published on the website. When we receive negative feedback – and we do – we investigate, resolve or refute. Misunderstandings happen. Mischief-makers are sent empty away.

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