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Working with 3rd Party Crematories
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CANA Guidelines For Funeral Directors Who Do Not Have A Crematory - What to Inspect

The purpose of this document is to provide the funeral director, who is acting as the agent of the family, with a list of questions that the cremation facility should be able to answer or provide the necessary information so that the funeral director can make an informed decision as to the competency and the adequacy of the cremation facility.


  1. Review the cremation facility cremation authorization form. Does the form comply with state law?
  2. Has the authorization form been reviewed by legal counsel?
  3. Review the rules and regulations of the cremation facility. Are they available to the general public?
  4. Review the price list and services offered. Is the price list and services available to the general public?
  5. Does the cremation facility have a policy and procedures manual?
  6. Is there a synopsis of the manual available to the general public?
  7. How are the records of the cremation facility maintained and stored?
  8. How long are they stored?
  9. Is the cremation facility subject to inspections by local, state, provincial or federal regulatory agencies? If so, are there any reports that can be reviewed?
  10. Are any permits or licenses required to operate the cremation facility?
  11. Are they posted in the facility, if required?
  12. Are maintenance logs or reports kept on the cremation equipment? Are maintenance inspections performed on a routine basis?
  13. Is the cremation facility a current member of the Cremation Association of North America or some other cremation association?
  14. Have the cremation technicians received any formal training from CANA or some other certifying agency in cremation operations?
  15. Are the employees of the cremation facility well-mannered, informed, dressed appropriately and professional?
  16. Is the cremation facility adequately insured? What are the limits of liability?


  1. Is the cremation facility clean, neat, orderly and secure?
  2. Is the holding or storage for casket/containerized human remains clean, neat, orderly and secure?
  3. Are there individual holding spaces for each casket/container? Is the holding or storage area refrigerated?
  4. Is the cremation facility open to inspection by the general public?
  5. Is there an area for the family to allow them to witness the placing of the casket/container into the cremation unit?
  6. Is the cremation facility handicap accessible?
  7. Does the cremation facility have an area for committal services?
  8. Is the processing and packaging area clean, neat, orderly and secure?


  1. What methods does the cremation facility employ to preserve the identity of the human remains?
  2. What is the cremation facility policy on time to perform cremation and prepare cremated remains for final disposition?
  3. Is the cremation process monitored at all times by a cremation technician?
  4. What is the cremation facility policy on disposal of surgical prosthesis?
  5. Does the cremation facility contract for biohazard disposal?
  6. Does the cremation facility perform cremations of anatomical or pathological human remains? If so, what is their policy?
  7. If all of the recovered cremated remains will not fit in a single receptacle, what is the policy of the cremation facility in handling the excess?