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The American Institute of Funeral Service Associates

The American Institute of Funeral Service Associates offers a comprehensive, quality, Certification program for qualified applicants practicing as funeral service associates or assistants in a funeral home. Certification is by educational preparation and/or practice experience. The American Institute of Funeral Service Associates is a division of the American Academy of Grief Counseling.

NOTE: This certification program is for Funeral Service Associates/Assistants only. This program is not for any type of credential for licensed funeral directors.

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FUNERAL SERVICES BLOG: Please visit our Funeral Services Education interactive web blog. Our blog contains articles, news, events and information related the Funeral Services field.


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The objectives of the American Institute of Funeral Service Associates are:

  • Provide a high quality program of Certification for those practicing and employed as funeral service associates or assistants.
  • Develop and support high standards of education and practice requirements for the attainment of certification and recertification.
  • Provide the funeral service industry with a mechanism to support appropriate education, standards of practice and a code of ethics for those employed as funeral associates or assistants.
  • Provide the funeral service industry with a means to evaluate and support education and continuing education for quality practice as a funeral service associate or assistant.
  • Provide a mechanism for the ongoing involvement of a peer advisory board of qualified professionals to oversee program development and requirements for certification and recertification.
  • Provide society with a mechanism to ascertain the appropriate education, skills, knowledge and experience required by those who are employed in the funeral services industry as funeral associates or assistants.
  • Establish quality standards and requirements for the recertification of credentialed members, attesting to ongoing education and skill attainment in the practice specialty of funeral services.
  • Provide a comprehensive program of approvals for continuing education, seminars, offerings, independent study, and other related educational activities, to ensure high quality standards are met and that such programs are of value to those practicing as funeral associates or assistants.


Certified Funeral Service Associate - requires attainment and/or verification of one of the following certification criteria:

  1. Completion of an official, established education program to prepare individuals for practice and employment as a Funeral Services Associate or Assistant, working under the direct supervision of a licensed funeral director. Educational programs must have provided a minimum of 200 contact hours of lecture/study. Candidates for certification must present valid evidence of successful completion of such program of study. The administrative review board will review and approve programs on an individual basis. Once a program is approved, it will be published as "approved" by the American Institute of Funeral Service Associates. Programs submitted for approval consideration must have their curriculums specifically based in funeral services education and must include courses and education on grief, grief counseling, the role of the funeral associate and education on universal precautions and other related standards when assisting a licensed embalmer.

    To view approved programs and courses, click here.

    Candidates, who can demonstrate evidence of successful completion of such programs within a seven (7) year period, prior to the date of application for certification, may be eligible to receive the certification. Such programs may include university and college based courses, continuing education courses and/or programs, seminars, and distance learning programs, etc.

Certification-Identification & Credentials

Those applicants who met the requirements as defined above will become certified by the American Institute of Funeral Service Associates, and may use the initials, C- FSA after their name (Certified Funeral Service Associate).


All certifications shall be for a period of 4 years from the date that the initial certification is granted.


doctor and a nurse THE CERTIFICATION PROCESS: We have a dedicated page that provides a quick over-view of our certification process. It will provide you with good information about the process/phases of both the education courses and application for certification. To access: click here

Affiliate degree Option

Our affiliate, The Graduate Theological Foundation, offers qualified and "certified" Funeral Service Associates of the American Institute of Funeral Service Associates, to enter their Masters in Pastoral Counseling (MPC) program. This graduate level degree program in Pastoral Counseling focuses on a major in Funeral Services. The M.P.C. degree is designed for the already credentialed ministry professional working in the various fields of counseling. Such fields would include school, parish, healthcare and counseling institutions. Registered Nurses are also eligible for enrollment into the graduate degree program.

For detailed information: access here


Certified members may receive recertification at the expiration of their four year term by one of the following means:

Obtaining 30 or more hours of continuing education within the four year period of certification. Continuing education programs must be completed in courses that are directly related to the practice of funeral services, including but not limited to, grief counseling, bereavement education, infection control, business practice, etc. The American Institute of Funeral Service Associates provides its members the opportunity to enroll into online courses that will meet this requirement.


Those applicants who have successfully achieved certification or recertification by the American Institute of Funeral Service Associates will receive a large size official Certificate attesting to certification, as well as an official letter of notification. The certificate is suitable for framing and details the official professional certification title, initials that may be used, and time frames for certification. Those recertifying receive a new, updated certificate.

Standards & Code of Ethics

The Code of Ethics for Certified Funeral Service Associates may be viewed online by clicking here. The Code of Ethics is approved by the Governing Board and the Advisory Board of the American Institute of Funeral Service Associates. All certified members are required to adhere to the Code of Ethics at all times in their practice/employment as a funeral service associate/assistant.

Fee Schedule

The certification fee for Certified Funeral Service Associates is $ 200.00 for the four year term of certification. Payment in full is due at the time of application. If an applicant does not meet certification criteria, the application fee is refunded. A completed application must be mailed in to the with full payment to be considered for certification. Application is available on this website.

  • Application for Recertification is $ 200.00 for the next four year period. This is a one time payment and is required in full at the time of application for recertification. A completed application must accompany the payment.

Online Application