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College of Cremation Services

      
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College of Cremation Services
Dean Jim Starks, CFuE, CCrE

Cremation doesn't have to mean "no service" or "no memorialization." You'll discover how to better serve families, improve cremation operations and increase your company's cremation-related revenues. You'll also earn three types of certifications: operator, administrator and arranger.

ONE-DAY OPTION: This college includes a one-day option for those who wish to attend only the Certified Crematory Operator program. Click here for details.
 

CREMATION CERTIFICATIONS

The ICCFA cremation certification program is open to employees of all cemeteries, funeral homes, crematories and related businesses. Students completing the ICCFAU College of Cremation Services will receive three certification designations:

ICCFA Certified Crematory Operator: Currently required for crematory licensure in a number of states, this program is provided in concert with Matthews Cremation Division and covers all aspects of crematory operation and maintenance. A 12-chapter Operations Manual is provided. 6 hours CE.*

ICCFA Certified Crematory Administrator: This certification covers the business and liability aspects of providing cremation services. Instructors include a nationally renowned attorney and authority on cremation liability; a former compliance officer for a multi-ownership corporation; a nationally recognized accounting specialist; and an expert in zoning, environmental and equipment installation issues. 9 hours CE.*
ICCFA Certified Cremation Arranger: This segment will provide an interactive learning experience in understanding cremation consumers, arranging and creating meaningful tribute services, creating unique options for memorialization and effectively communicating all of this with families. The instructors have proven track records and real-world experience. 8.5 hours CE.*

In addition to the classes, students will participate in a tour of a local cemetery, crematory and funeral home and will engage in a closing summary discussion of lessons learned, for an additional 4.5 CE* credits.

* CE availability contingent on individual state approvals.

Friday, July 18

2 - 4:30 p.m.
Registration and Check-in

4:30 - 5 p.m.
Orientation

5 - 6 p.m.
University Reception

6 p.m.
University Dinner

 

Saturday, July 19

8 - 8:45 a.m.
Breakfast

8:45 - 9 a.m.
Introductions
Jim Starks, CFuE, CCrE

9 - 10:30 a.m.
Crematory Operator Curriculum
Ron Salvatore and Richard Thomas
(sponsored by Matthews Cremation Division)
You will recieve an extensive operations manual and training on:

  • professional terminology
  • incinerator terminology
  • principles of combustion
  • cremation and the environment
  • incinerator criteria and design
  • basics of operating cremation equipment
  • general maintenance and troubleshooting
  • forms and record keeping
  • handling and exposure control

10:30 - 11 a.m.
Break

11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Operator Curriculum (cont'd)

12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
Lunch

1:30 - 3 p.m.
Operator Curriculum (cont'd)

3 - 3:30 p.m.
Break

3:30 - 5 p.m.
Operator Curriculum (cont'd)

5 p.m.
Dinner

7 - 9 p.m.
Annual Sports Tournament
Join your ICCFAU colleagues for a friendly game of volleyball.

 

Sunday, July 20

8 - 9 a.m.
Breakfast

9 - 10:30 a.m.
Administrator Curriculum: Zoning/NIMBY/Equipment—Real and Imagined Issues
Ron Salvatore
One of the highest-rated portions of the ICCFA College of Cremation Services, this curriculum covers:

  • adding a crematory to your operation
  • municipality zoning hurdles to installation
  • timing, from ordering to being fully operational
  • costs to purchase/maintain equipment
  • facility requirements
  • considerations in selecting a crematory supplier

10:30 - 11 a.m.
Break

11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Administrator Curriculum: Avoiding Cremation Liability
Poul Lemasters, Esq.
This session will review areas of concern when dealing with the cremation customer and provide guidelines for avoiding liability. What are some best practices to incorporate into your standard operating procedure? Where are the areas of greatest risk and what can you do to minimize your exposure?

12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
Lunch

1:30 - 5 p.m.
Crematory Tour: A Real-World Look at All Aspects of a Cremation Provider
Mark Ballard and Winston Hoover IV
Our tour host operates five funeral homes, two cemeteries and a service center in a market with an 18 percent cremation rate. The service center operates two cremation units performing more than 100 cremations per month. In addition, the service center has a flower design shop and handles all administration for this operation. We will travel by bus and have the benefit of a guided tour of these SCI facilities. Every year, the value of this tour, the presentation and the SCI hospitality receive excellent reviews. 

5 p.m.
Dinner

 

Monday, July 21

8 - 9 a.m.
Breakfast

9 - 10:30 a.m.
Administrator Curriculum: Cremation & Crematory Risk Management: Go Ahead. Don't Bother. I Dare You!
Jim Starks, CFuE, CCrE
Jim Starks will wow you with a riveting, real-world presentation on operations and compliance. Failure to properly manage the risk of providing cremation services and/or operating a crematory is an invitation for disaster. Learn the steps you need to take to minimize potential problems and liabilities from an expert who has handled compliance and risk management issues for hundreds of funeral homes and crematories.

10:30 - 11 a.m.
Break

11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Administrator Curriculum: The Financial Realities of the Death Care Industry in 2014
David Nixon
David Nixon has been serving the industry since 1979 and has created thousands of budgets for clients ranging from 40 to 1,500 events per year. In this session, he will discuss:

  • today's economic picture
  • threats and opportunities
  • pricing strategies to excel
  • commercial courage

12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
Lunch

1:30 - 3 p.m.
Arranger Curriculum:
Innovative Approaches to Cremation Coaches
Gary Freytag, CCFE
You’ve heard it a thousand times: cremation is the largest growth sector in the industry. So what are you doing to capture more of the cremation market?

Find out from Gary Freytag, CCFE, president & CEO of Spring Grove, one of the largest, historic and prestigious combination properties in the U.S., what his company is doing to serve cremation consumers in every aspect of the business, as well as some great ideas he’s discovered from colleagues across the country.

Aspects to be discussed include cemetery development, funeral packaging and processes targeted at addressing cremation customer needs, such as:

  • Approaches for cemetery offerings
    • cremation-only development
    • memorialization policies
    • products that match demographics of cremation consumer
    • use of Nature (entryways, plantings, layouts)
  • Approaches for funeral offerings
    • packaging
    • presentation
    • ancillary items (jewelry)
    • key metrics to measure
    • after-funeral reception offerings
  • Integration of funeral/cemetery presentation in combination

3 - 3:30 p.m.
Break

3:30 - 5 p.m.
Arranger Curriculum: A Balanced Cremation Arrangement
Lacy Robinson, CFSP
The Balanced Cremation Arrangement has been developed to help funeral directors of all levels understand what families want and need when selecting cremation.

Participants will learn when and how to manage expectations through meaning, action and partner statements. Learning the right words to say when families present challenges is the key to allowing the conversation to flow. Specific concerns and questions families may have are presented as well as how to appropriately address those concerns.

Encouraging funeral directors to become an expert in the merchandise provided to families will build their confidence and enhance their abilities in the arrangement conference. This course will help participants learn through a combination of discussion, problem solving and skill practices resulting in meaningful cremations for families.

6 p.m.
Dinner

7 p.m.
Cryptones concert

 

Tuesday, July 22

Class pictures will be taken on Tuesday

8 - 9 a.m.
Breakfast

9 - 10:30 a.m.
Arranger Curriculum: "I Don't Want a Funeral, I Want a Cremation"
Julie A. Burn, CCrE, CSE
What do people expect from today's providers? What mistaken assumptions do providers make? Is there a psychological difference between burial clients and cremation clients? How can a provider effectively understand and relate to both? We'll take a look at products that people hate, products that people embrace and what makes the difference.  

10:30 - 11 a.m.
Break

11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Arranger Curriculum: What Is Your GRASP On Cremation Consumers?
Néctar Ramírez
Many funeral service professionals have a preconceived notion that families who choose cremation do not want to have memorial services. Batesville's consumer research supports the theory that families who are effectively presented with all of their options for memorialization will choose better than the funeral professional would choose for them.

The GRASP approach to the cremation arrangement conference uses a probing model designed to fully engage the family in making the irrevocable decisions that are made when a death occurs. GRASP also challenges the funeral service professional to offer service options for the cremation family similar to what they currently offer the burial family.

12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
Lunch

1:30 - 3 p.m.
Arranger Curriculum: Know Your Cremation Consumer
Doug Gober
Doug Gober is one of our industry's most motivational speakers. He will share ground-breaking research on what today's cremation consumers are looking for and what you can do to meet and beat their expectations.

3 - 3:30 p.m.
Break

3:30 - 4:30 p.m.
Arranger Curriculum: ICCFA Cremation Code of Ethics
Mark Krause, CFuE
What does it mean to be a first-class and consumer-friendly cremation provider? What makes cremation arrangements more complex than burial arrangements? How can you go above and beyond? How are appointments such as paintings, silk plants and comfortable furniture important around a crematory? What is the connection between food service and cremation service?

4:30 - 6 p.m.
Graduation/Reception for Students Completing Four Years

 

Wednesday, July 23

8 - 9 a.m.
Breakfast

9 - 10 a.m.
Bringing It Together: Open Forum
Jim Starks, CFuE, CCrE
We'll revisit areas of importance that were covered all week, allowing you to:

  • share problems and solutions
  • clarify topics covered
  • ask questions on implementation
  • build future networking
  • better understand what the ICCFA has to offer for cremation

10 - 10:30 a.m.
Diploma