National President of the British Institute of Embalmers (BIE)

Richard Van Nes, Director of Central Operations for Funeral Partners has been re-elected to serve a second term as National President of the British Institute of Embalmers (BIE), a worldwide membership organisation for professionally qualified embalmers, with members in over 35 countries worldwide. 

Richard was re-elected National President at the BIE’s Annual General Meeting that was held in North Yorkshire in April 2023.  With the exception of the period during the Covid pandemic, there hasn’t been a National President elected to serve two terms for over 75 years. 

Richard said: “ I am delighted to have been elected to serve a second term as the National President of the British Institute of Embalmers.

I am looking forward to working with my colleagues to support people in our profession and provide them with advice, training, and education.”

Richard started his career in funerals with a family-owned business in Canada before joining the Service Corporation International (SCI) in North America, which was then the largest funeral company in the world. He followed the company to the UK in 1994, joining the BIE and being involved as a full member ever since.

He continues: “After leaving SCI I worked for Dignity for several years, holding various management roles. I then went to work for Co-operative Funeralcare as a Regional Manager before joining Funeral Partners as the Deputy Operations Director in 2010. Since then, I have held many different management roles.” In his current role at Funeral Partners, Richard is responsible for ensuring the highest quality standards and compliance with all regulations affecting the funeral industry, from health and safety and data protection to the new regulations arising from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) review.

Richard is a professionally qualified Embalmer and Funeral Director and in 2023, he celebrates his 40th anniversary of working in the funeral profession.

Speaking about the changes Richard has seen during his 40 years in the profession, he said “At the centre of these changes is the official and government regulation of the funeral and related professions in the UK.” The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) issued the Funerals Market Order in 2021 which legally regulates certain activities of all providers of funeral services in the UK. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulation of Funeral Plans and Funeral Planning Providers came into effect in July 2022. Richard added, “Improving standards and education is my passion and I believe we have seen more change in the past few years than over the preceding decades and the coming years are poised to bring even more change.”