The Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) is an organisation set up by the industry to regulate providers in the UK pre-paid funeral plan industry. Our primary aim is to ensure providers that are registered with the FPA are operating in a manner that will result in customers getting the funeral they have paid for when it is needed.
We do this by checking that all registered providers abide by a set of Rules and a Code of Practice, which exceed the statutory requirements.
We also help customers who have a complaint about a plan or a provider by attempting to resolve matters with the provider. If resolution is not possible we will provide access to our independent dispute resolution process.
The FPA is not a trade or membership body that providers can just pay a fee to join. Rather they can choose to apply for registration, and then the onus is on them show that they can operate to the higher standards demanded by our Rules and Code of Practice. This is then tested on an annual basis when a providers re-registration application is considered by the FPA’s Compliance Committee.
The FPA does not regulate funerals or deal with complaints about funerals. We suggest that you discuss any complaints about funerals with the relevant trade body for the funeral director involved. The two major trade bodies are The National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) and The National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF).
How do providers become FPA registered?
There is an initial application to check that the providers comply with our high standards as set out in our Rules and Code of Practice. There is then an annual re-registration process to check that they continue to comply and meet the required high standards. This involves the provider submitting detailed information to the FPA on the key aspects of how they run their plans.
Funeral plan providers can choose not to register with the FPA, and there are a small number that have not done so.
We recommend that customers choose a provider registered with the FPA.
However, if you are considering buying a plan from an unregistered provider, you should ensure you understand the provider's documents. In particular, how your money is safeguarded, what is and what is not covered by the plan and how the provider intends to ensure that the funeral will be carried out in line with your wishes.
Our frequently asked questions give further details on issues that should be considered by customers when considering an non FPA registered provider.
FPA people and operations
The FPA Board comprises 4 senior industry representatives and an independent Chair and Chief Executive. The Board is responsible for setting the FPA’s strategic direction and agrees amendments to the Rules and Code of Practice, in response to changes in the industry and customer need.
The Compliance Committee is absolutely separate from and independent of the Board. Its members come from legal, regulatory, risk and compliance backgrounds and are focussed on ensuring providers comply with the Rules and Code of Practice. They have no association or connection with any provider.
The FPA is funded by a nominal fee paid by registered providers, which varies according to the level of plans that they sell. These fees are designed to not be a barrier for any provider seeking registration and are capped so that we are never over reliant on one individual provider for income.
Since our formation in 2002 we have overseen the operation of the vast majority of providers in the market. Through this period no FPA registered firm has failed and the FPA has worked with providers to improve standards across the industry – in turn delivering an improved service to the thousands of customers each year who are purchasing prepaid funeral plans .