Collaboration to benefit funeral services industry

Posted on 30 June 2020

A recently signed Memorandum of Intent between The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand, the Funeral Service Training Trust of New Zealand and Auckland Institute of Studies will see the three organisations collaborating to develop programmes of study for the funeral services industry.

The organisations are working together to develop and deliver the New Zealand Diploma in Funeral Directing (Level 5) and the New Zealand Diploma in Embalming (Level 5). Once approved by NZQA, the new programmes are expected to be delivered to learners in 2021.

Open Polytechnic Chief Executive, Dr Caroline Seelig, says the collaboration brings together the respective expertise of all three organisations for the benefit of the funeral services industry.

“The Funeral Service Training Trust is providing the industry advisory linkages and subject matter expertise for the development of the programmes, while the Auckland Institute of Studies will support the delivery of the practical component of the programmes.”

“Open Polytechnic, New Zealand’s leading provider of online and distance learning with the largest educational design team in the country, will develop the educational resources, deliver the courses, and, once approved by NZQA, award the qualifications,” says Dr Seelig.

John Schipper, Chair of Funeral Service Training Trust, says “the Trust is delighted to be partnering with the Open Polytechnic and Auckland Institute of Studies (AIS) to deliver these New Zealand qualifications and that AIS is able to provide a campus with accommodation for our learners. This new era will further enhance and develop the professional education that has developed over the past 40 years from simple in-house training to internationally recognised level 5 qualifications. As the qualification developer, FSTT will continue to maintain and enhance the qualifications and high standards of funeral service delivery in New Zealand.”

Auckland Institute of Studies (AIS), a private training establishment, will connect the delivery of the programmes with facilities that are required for learners’ skill-based training and development. AIS is a category one institution centrally located in Auckland. 

“We see this collaborative initiative between three key agencies as an important step in continuation of the provision of nationally recognised quality education for funeral service professionals” says Dr Julia Hennessy, President of AIS.