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 17

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 18

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 19

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: The Financial Realities of the Death Care Industry in 2015
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

Nixon is a Certified Management Consultant and has been serving the industry since 1979. He has created thousands of budgets for clients ranging from 40 to 1,500 events per year.

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
Hannah Moore, Mark Ballard and Betty Jones-King
The first visit will be to Memorial Park Funeral Home & Cemetery to view their impressive cremation memorialization options they have installed in their cemetery.

The second visit is at Memphis Funeral Home. The service center operates two cremation units performing over 100 cremations per month. In addition to cremation and embalming, the service center also has a flower design shop and handles all administration for Memphis operations.  

The final visit will be Serenity Funeral Home and Cremation Society. This visit will show state of the art crematory and witnessing area along with indoor and outdoor memorialization on their campus.

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: 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 the needs of cremation customers, 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


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

1:30 - 3 p.m.
Administrator Curriculum: Reducing Your Cremation Liability to Add to Your Bottom Line
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?

 

3 - 3:30 p.m.
Break

3:30 - 5 p.m.
Arranger Curriculum: Permanent Memorialization: What We Need to Share with Cremation Families
Julie A. Burn, CCrE, CSE
Have you been effective in educating cremation families on permanent memorialization? Is your website and promotional materials doing a good job of stating the importance of having a final resting place where family and friends can visit, pay tribute to and remember their loved ones for generations to come?  This session will take a look at what we are currently doing and share with you suggested ways to provide cremation families with the information they need to understand the options and value of permanent memorialization.

6 p.m.
Dinner at the Holiday Inn

7 p.m.
Student Night
NEW THIS YEAR! Dinner on Monday night will begin at 6 p.m. at Holiday Inn. From 7 to 10 p.m., there will be a DJ, dancing and an open bar available in the Holiday Inn ballroom. Thanks to friends of the ICCFA University for their financial support of this event!

Tuesday, July 21

Class pictures will be taken on Tuesday

8 - 9 a.m.
Breakfast

9 - 10:30 a.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.

10:30 - 11 a.m.
Break

11 a.m. - 12:30 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.

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

1:30 - 3 p.m.
Arranger Curriculum: Beer, Barbecue and The Beatles: A Creative Approach to Overcoming Cremation Challenges
Lacy Robinson, CFSP
"Beer, barbecue and The Beatles" is a consultative approach to helping funeral home owners, managers and directors of all experience levels align the service experience with what today’s cremation consumers really want. Robinson will address the underlying challenges faced when presenting choices with cremation and provide real solutions that help families plan memorable life celebration events. Attendees will learn ways to connect with consumers in the community prior to selecting cremation, a simple and practical approach to handling cremation phone inquiries and recommendations for taking cremation packages from good to great. Participants will walk away with in-depth knowledge about the different generational survivors (Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials) and effective relationship building techniques. Robinson will share ideas and inspiration for creating experiences that family and friends will want to remember instead of trying to forget.

3 - 3:30 p.m.
Break

3:30 - 4:30 p.m.
Beer, Barbecue and The Beatles: A Creative Approach to Overcoming Cremation Challenges (continued)

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

 

Wednesday, July 22

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