The American Board of Funeral Service Education, or ABFSE, accredits mortuary schools through a three-step process consisting of a self-study, an on-site visit and an ABFSE committee meeting. Holding accreditation indicates that a mortuary school or specific program meets the ABFSE's education standards in the field, and accreditation is voluntary.
The three-step accreditation process involves the following:
- The self-study
- The on-site visit
- The committee's decision
The school seeking accreditation does a comprehensive investigation and creates a report that shows the standards it meets. It then sends the report to the ABFSE for evaluation.
After reviewing the report, an ABFSE committee visits the school to do its own evaluation. The committee reports its findings to the ABFSE's Committee on Accreditation, which will make the final decision on accreditation.
After reviewing all findings and any response the school has made to the ABFSE's findings, the Committee on Accreditation Action determines if the school will receive accreditation.
Mortuary programs are usually available at the associate's or bachelor's degree level, and graduates must meet state requirements to become licensed. Most states require only an associate's degree for licensure, but the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science notes that a bachelor's degree is necessary in Minnesota and Ohio. Graduates of mortuary science programs often work as funeral directors or morticians.