Embalmers, Funeral Directors, and Funeral Service Establishments (216-RICR-40-05-25)


216-RICR-40-05-25 ACTIVE RULE

25.1 Authority

These regulations are promulgated pursuant to the authority conferred under R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-33.2-3, for the purpose of adopting prevailing standards for the licensing of embalmers, funeral directors, and funeral service establishments.

25.2 Incorporated Materials

A. These regulations hereby adopt and incorporate the World Health Organization’s “Guidelines for Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies: Report of a WHO Consultation” (1999), not including any further editions or amendments thereof and only to the extent that the provisions therein are not inconsistent with these regulations.

B. These regulations hereby adopt and incorporate 16 C.F.R. § 453 titled “Funeral Industry Practices” (2018) by reference, not including any further editions or amendments thereof and only to the extent that the provisions therein are not inconsistent with these regulations.

C. These regulations hereby adopt and incorporate 29 C.F.R. § 1910.1030 titled “Bloodborne Pathogens” (2018) by reference, not including any further editions or amendments thereof and only to the extent that the provisions therein are not inconsistent with these regulations.

25.3 Definitions

A. Whenever used in these rules and regulations, the following terms shall be construed as follows:

1. "Act" means R.I. Gen. Laws Chapter 5-33.2 entitled, "Funeral Director/Embalmer Funeral Service Establishments".

2. "Alternative container" means a receptacle, other than a casket, in which human remains are transported to the crematory and placed in the cremation chamber for cremation. An alternative container shall be:

a. Composed of readily combustible materials suitable for cremation;

b. Able to be closed in order to provide a complete covering for the human remains that is resistant to leakage or spillage;

c. Rigid enough for handling with ease; and

d. Able to provide protection for the health, safety, and personal integrity of crematory personnel.

3. “Authorizing agent” means a person legally entitled to authorize the cremation of human remains.

4. "Board" means the State Board of Funeral Directors/Embalmers.

5. "Body parts" means limbs or other portions of the anatomy that are removed from a person or human remains for medical purposes during treatment, surgery, biopsy, autopsy, or medical research; or human bodies or any portion of bodies that have been donated to science for medical research purposes.

6. “Burial transit permit” means a permit for disposition of a dead human body as required by state legal requirements.

7. "Casket" means a rigid container which is designed for the encasement of human remains and which is usually constructed of wood, metal, fiberglass, plastic, or like material, and ornamented and lined with fabric and which may or may not be combustible.

8. "Cremated remains" means all remains of the cremated human body recovered after the completion of the cremation process, including pulverization which leaves only bone fragments reduced to unidentifiable dimensions, and which may possibly include the residue of any foreign matter including casket material, bridgework, or eyeglasses, that were cremated with the human remains.

9. "Cremation" means a two (2) part procedure whereby a dead human body or body parts are reduced by direct flame to residue which includes bone fragments and the pulverization of said bone fragments to coarse powdery consistency.

10. “Cremation authority” means the legal entity or the authorized representative of the legal entity which is licensed by the state to operate a crematory and perform cremation.

11. “Cremation chamber” means the enclosed space within which the cremation takes place. Cremation chambers subject to this Part shall be used exclusively for the cremation of human remains.

12. “Cremation container” means a container in which human remains are transported to the crematory and placed in the cremation chamber for a cremation. A cremation container should meet substantially all of the following standards:

a. Be composed of readily combustible material suitable for cremation;

b. Be able to be closed in order to provide a complete covering for the human remains;

c. Be resistant to leakage or spillage;

d. Be rigid enough for handling with ease; and

e. Be able to provide protection for the health, safety and personal integrity of crematory personnel.

13. "Department" means the Rhode Island Department of Health.

14. "Director" means the Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health.

15. "Domestic partner" means a person who, prior to the decedent's death, was in an exclusive, intimate and committed relationship with the decedent, and who certifies by affidavit that their relationship met the following qualifications:

a. Both partners were at least eighteen (18) years of age and were mentally competent to contract;

b. Neither partner is married to anyone else;

c. Partners were not related by blood to a degree which would prohibit marriage in the state of Rhode Island;

d. Partners resided together and had resided together for at least one (1) year at the time of death; and

e. Partners were financially interdependent as evidenced by at least two (2) of the following:

(1) Domestic partnership agreement or relationship contract;

(2) Joint mortgage or joint ownership of primary residence;

(3) Two (2) of the following:

(AA) Joint ownership of motor vehicle;

(BB) Joint checking account;

(CC) Joint credit account;

(DD) Joint lease; and/or

(4) The domestic partner had been designated as a beneficiary for the decedent's will, retirement contract or life insurance.

16. "Embalmer" means any person who has completed:

a. An internship;

b. Full course of study at an accredited mortuary science school;

c. Has passed the national board examination and the practical examination administered by the Board; and

d. Is engaged in the practice or profession of embalming, as defined by this Part.

17. "Embalming" means the practice, science or profession of preserving, disinfecting, and preparing in any manner, dead human bodies for burial, cremation or transportation.

18. "Funeral" means a period following death in which there are religious services or other rites or ceremonies with the body of the deceased, including cremated remains, present.

19. "Funeral directing" means:

a. Conducting funeral services; or

b. The arrangement for disposition of dead human bodies, except in the case of any religion where the preparation of the body or the provision of funeral services should be done according to religious custom or belief;

c. Only funeral directors/embalmers, working for a licensed funeral establishment, shall be allowed to meet with families for the purpose of arranging funerals.

d. Any person who assumed an ownership interest from one's spouse or any widow or widower of a licensed funeral director who, as of November 1, 1995, has been meeting with families to arrange for the conducting of funeral services shall be allowed to continue this practice.

20. "Funeral director/embalmer" means any person engaged, or holding himself or herself out as engaged in the practice, or profession of funeral directing, and the science, practice or profession of embalming as defined by this Part, including a funeral director of record, who may be a funeral director at more than one (1) establishment or any other word or title intending to imply or designate him or her as a funeral director/embalmer, undertaker, or mortician. The holder of this license must be the holder of an embalmer's license.

21. "Funeral director/embalmer intern" means any person engaged in learning the practice or profession of funeral directing and the science, practice or profession of embalming under the instruction and supervision of a funeral director/embalmer licensed and registered under the provisions of the Act, and actively engaged in the practice, or profession of funeral directing and embalming in Rhode Island.

22. "Funeral establishment" means a fixed place, establishment or premises, licensed by the Department, devoted to the activities which are incident, convenient, or related to the care and preparation, arrangement, financial and otherwise, for the funeral, transportation, burial or other disposition of human dead bodies and including, but not limited to, a suitable room with all instruments and supplies used for the storage and/or preparation of dead human bodies for burial or other disposition.

23. "Funeral merchandise" means those items which are normally presented for sale as part of the funeral home operation on a for-profit basis. These items include: caskets, sealed warranted outer burial containers and burial clothing. Items not included are urns, grave markers, and non-sealed outer burial containers. All persons engaged in the sale of funeral merchandise must comply with the provisions of R.I. Gen. Laws Chapter 5-33.1.

24. “Funeral planning agent” means a person who is at least eighteen (18) years of age, who has been duly and lawfully designated, and who has accepted the designation, to act for the principal, and who has authority and responsibility to make all arrangements, regarding funeral preparation, planning, the nature of the funeral goods and services to be provided, the manner in which funeral services are to be conducted, burial, and/or the disposition of the principal's remains, including cremation, upon the death of the principal. Duly and lawful designations shall include, but not be limited to, a legally binding will and, for those serving in the armed forces of the United States, a Department of Defense Record of Emergency Data (DD Form 93), or its successor. The funeral planning agent may be a relative or a non- relative of the principal, except as otherwise provided for in R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-33.3-3(d).

25. “Holding facility” means an area within or adjacent to the crematory facility designated for the retention of human remains prior to cremation that shall:

a. Comply with any applicable health law;

b. Preserve the dignity of the human remains;

c. Recognize the integrity, health and safety of the crematory authority personnel operating the crematory; and

d. Be secure from access by anyone other than authorized personnel.

26. "Person" means individuals, partnerships, corporations, limited liability companies, associations and organizations of all kinds.

27. "Practice of funeral service" means a person engaging in:

a. Providing shelter, care and custody of human dead remains;

b. The practice of preparing of the human dead remains by embalming or other methods for burial or other disposition;

c. Entering into a funeral service contract; and

d. Engaging in the functions of funeral directing and/or embalming, as presently known, including those stipulated in the Act, and as defined in the Federal Trade Commission's "funeral rule" incorporated by reference above at § 25.2(A) of this Part.

28. “Niche” means a compartment or cubicle for the memorialization or permanent placement of a temporary container or urn containing cremated remains.

29. “OSHA” means the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

30. “Processing” means the reduction of identifiable bone fragments after the completion of the cremation process to unidentifiable bone fragments by manual means.

31. “Pulverization” means the reduction of identifiable bone fragments after the completion of the cremation and processing to granulated particles by manual or mechanical means.

32. “Rental casket” means a casket that may be re-used in accordance with this Part.

33. “Temporary container” means a temporary container that is a receptacle for cremated remains usually made of cardboard, plastic, or similar material designed to hold the cremated remains until an urn or other permanent container is acquired.

34. “Urn” means a receptacle designed to permanently encase the cremated remains.

25.4 Licensing Procedures

25.4.1 Qualifications of Funeral Directors/Embalmers

A. Requirements for Licensure

1. A funeral director/embalmer’s license shall be issued only to an individual. No corporation, partnership, association, limited liability company or organization shall be entitled to obtain such a license.

B. Qualifications for Licensure

1. In order to qualify for a funeral director/embalmer's license, the applicant must meet the requirements set forth in R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-33.2-6.

C. Licensure By Endorsement

1. Any funeral director/embalmer who is currently licensed in good standing in another state may be licensed by endorsement in Rhode Island.

2. Every funeral director/embalmer seeking such licensure by endorsement shall meet all of the requirements in § 25.4.1(B) of this Part with the exception of completion of a registered funeral director/embalmer internship.

3. Anyone licensed in another state prior to 1985 is hereby exempt from the National Board Examination requirements set forth in § 25.4.1(B) of this Part.

D. Armed Forces Embalming Experience

1. Any person who has served in the armed forces of the United States may provide proof of embalming experience to the Department in accordance with the provisions set forth in R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-33.2-7.

E. Unlicensed Practice: Unlicensed practice is prohibited in accordance with the provisions set forth in R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-33.2-4.

25.4.2 Burial Certificate Plan

Participation in burial certificate plans is in accordance with the provisions set forth in R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-33.2-8.

25.4.3 Cemetery Operations

Ineligibility of cemetery operators to conduct the business of funeral directing is pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-33.2-9.

25.4.4 Application and Renewal of License

A. Any person who desires to engage in embalming or funeral directing, or both, shall submit in writing to the Department, an application for a license together with the license fee set forth in the Fee Structure for Licensing, Laboratories and Administrative Services Provided by the Department of Health (Part 10-05-2 of this Title).

B. Expiration & Renewal of Licenses

1. All licenses issued under the provisions of the Act and this Part shall be renewed annually. All licenses shall expire on the thirty-first (31st) day of December each year, unless previously suspended or revoked.

C. Each licensee shall pay to the Department a yearly renewal fee as set forth in in the Fee Structure for Licensing, Laboratories and Administrative Services Provided by the Department of Health (Part 10-05-2 of this Title) for the renewal of the funeral director/ embalmer's license.

1. Applications, accompanied by the renewal fee, shall be filed with the Department on or before the thirty-first (31st) day of December in each year.

a. Renewal applications filed after the thirty-first (31st) day of December, must be accompanied by a late fee as set forth in the Fee Structure for Licensing, Laboratories and Administrative Services Provided by the Department of Health (Part 10-05-2 of this Title) in addition to the renewal fee.

2. Any funeral director/embalmer who acts or holds himself/herself out as such after his/her license has lapsed shall be subject to penalties as provided in this Part.

D. Continuing Education Requirements

1. Every funeral director/embalmer shall be required to participate in a total of five (5) hours annually of continuing education training of which three (3) hours are mandated by annual OSHA training.

a. Funeral directors/embalmers who were sixty-five (65) years of age or older and had forty (40) years of experience as of January 1, 2008 are exempt from these continuing education requirements.

2. On application for renewal of license, a funeral director/embalmer shall attest to completion of five (5) hours annually in scope of practice-specific offerings that may include, but not be limited to: formal presentations, conferences, and/or self-study courses, such on-line courses. Such programs or offerings shall be approved or sponsored by a Board-approved organization.

3. Two (2) of the five (5) hours of continuing education may be selected from programs or offerings sponsored or approved by the following organizations that are deemed to be approved by the Board:

a. Rhode Island Funeral Directors Association (RIFDA);

b. National Conference for Funeral Board Examiners;

c. Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice (APFSP); or

d. Others as may be approved by the Board.

4. It shall be the sole responsibility of the funeral director/embalmer to obtain documentation (e.g., course descriptions, proof of attendance) from the sponsoring organization, agency, or institution of his/her participation in a continuing education program and/or activity. These documents shall be retained by each licensee for no less than two (2) years and are subject to random audit by the Department.

5. A licensee who fails to complete the continuing education requirements described in this Part may be subject to disciplinary action pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-33.2-17.

6. A license may be denied to any applicant who fails to provide satisfactory evidence of completion of continuing education relevant to the practice of a funeral director/embalmer as required by this Part.

7. A funeral director/embalmer initially licensed by examination after the December 31st renewal date shall be exempt from the continuing education requirements stated in this Part until the date of the next renewal cycle (i.e., January 1st of the next year).

8. An extension of time to complete the continuing education requirements may be granted to a funeral director/embalmer solely at the discretion of the Board for reasons of hardship or other extenuating circumstances.

E. Display of Licenses

1. Every license issued as a funeral director/embalmer shall specify the name of the person to whom it was issued. It shall be displayed conspicuously in his/her place of business or employment and it shall not be transferable.

25.4.5 Funeral Director/Embalmer Internship

A. Interns must register with the Department before an internship shall begin. The provisions of internship are in accordance with R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-33.2-16.

B. In addition to the internship provisions of R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-33.2-16, the following is required:

1. Prior to a practical state licensing embalming examination being administered by members of the Board in consultation with the funeral director/embalmer preceptor, a written consent to perform the state licensing embalming examination shall be obtained by the funeral director/embalmer preceptor from the decedent's next-of-kin or other person legally charged with the disposition of the human remains.

2. A quarterly report shall be submitted to the Department summarizing the number of human remains embalmed by the intern during the most recent three (3) month period.

C. The term of internship may be served before, after, or during attendance at mortuary school, at the option of the intern and the preceptor.

D. The number of interns that a licensed funeral establishment is allowed to register and stipulations for embalming during the internship is set forth in R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-33.2-16(b).

E. If more than one (1) intern is completing an internship with a funeral director/embalmer preceptor in accordance with R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-33.2-16(b), each intern shall be responsible for embalming no less than fifty (50) human remains; further, each set of human remains shall only be counted once towards the required total for each intern.

F. Supervision of Interns

1. While an embalmer intern is working in the preparation room at a funeral service establishment, the funeral director/embalmer preceptor shall remain on-site in the preparation room at all times.

25.5 Licensing Procedures for Funeral Establishments

25.5.1 License Requirements

License requirements for funeral establishments and branch office(s) license requirements are in accordance with the provisions set forth in R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-33.2-12.

25.5.2 License Application and Fees

Applications for the funeral establishment license and branch office shall be made on forms furnished by the Department and shall be accompanied by the license fee as set forth in the Fee Structure for Licensing, Laboratories and Administrative Services Provided by the Department of Health (Part 10-05-2 of this Title).

25.5.3 License Renewals

A. All licenses issued under the provisions of the Act and this Part must be renewed annually. The license holder shall pay a yearly renewal fee to the Department for the funeral establishment license and for each funeral establishment branch office license as set forth in the Fee Structure for Licensing, Laboratories and Administrative Services Provided by the Department of Health (Part 10-05-2 of this Title).

B. All funeral establishment and branch office licenses shall expire on the thirty-first (31st) of December of each year, unless sooner suspended or revoked.

C. Applications, accompanied by the renewal fee, shall be filed with the Department on or before the thirty-first (31st) day of December in each year.

1. Applications filed after the thirty-first (31st) day of December must be accompanied by a late fee as set forth in the Fee Structure for Licensing, Laboratories and Administrative Services Provided by the Department of Health (Part 10-05-2 of this Title) in addition to the renewal fee.

D. Any funeral establishment or funeral establishment branch office that acts or holds itself out as such after its license has lapsed shall be subject to penalties as provided by the Act and this Part.

25.5.4 Display of Licenses

A. Every license issued as a funeral establishment or branch office shall specify the name of the establishment as listed on the application. Licenses issued under the provisions of this Part shall not be assignable.

B. Every funeral service establishment shall display the name of the establishment and of the funeral director of record on a sign readily visible to the public and located prominently on the premises.

25.5.5 Change of Ownership, Operation or Location

A. A license shall be issued to a specific licensee for a specific location and shall not be transferable.

B. The funeral establishment licensee shall notify the Department in writing, delivered in person or by certified mail, within ten (10) days from the date of termination of employment, for any cause, of the funeral director/embalmer of record for the funeral establishment.

1. The license of the funeral establishment shall expire forty-five (45) days from the date the Department was notified by the licensee, if no new funeral director/ embalmer is registered with the Department.

2. No funeral services shall be conducted at the funeral establishment without a funeral director/embalmer being registered with the Department as the funeral director of record for that funeral establishment.

C. Two (2) licensed funeral directors may operate jointly at one (1) location if one of their existing funeral establishments closes its place of business and joins an existing licensed funeral establishment. Each firm will hold its own separate establishment license. The funeral service establishment that closes its place of business and joins an existing licensed funeral service establishment cannot open a branch office by invoking this section.

D. Operation of an inherited funeral establishment is pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-33.2-12(b).

25.5.6 General Operational Requirements

A. The practice of conducting funeral services shall be conducted in the presence of a licensed funeral director/embalmer.

B. Human dead remains shall not be held more than forty-eight (48) hours without embalming or without refrigeration for the purpose of maintaining public health.

C. A funeral establishment must, at a minimum, contain a preparation room equipped with tile, cement, or composition floor, necessary drainage and ventilation, and containing necessary instruments and supplies for the preparation and embalming of dead human remains for burial, transportation, or other disposition.

D. Medical Waste

1. Funeral establishments and branch offices shall be in compliance with applicable sections of R.I. Gen. Laws Chapter 23-19.12 and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management’s Medical Waste Regulations (250-RICR-140-15-1).

E. Casket Rentals

1. When caskets are made available for rental on a temporary basis, the casket may later be re-used as long as the following provisions are met:

a. Said caskets shall be manufactured specifically for multi-use purposes and shall be equipped with a removable liner or insert. No casket manufactured for a single use shall be used more than once;

b. The removable liner or insert shall be completely removed and replaced with a new liner or insert after each use;

c. No such casket shall be used or re-used after any non-removable portion of that casket has been soiled, stained, or otherwise contaminated by or from any human remains placed therein, or has been placed within a rental casket insert;

d. The customer who rents or re-uses that casket shall be informed in writing, that the casket may have been used previously and that it will be reclaimed by the funeral establishment from which he or she has rented or obtained it immediately prior to the final disposition of the deceased; and

e. Funeral directors/embalmers shall obtain written authorization from the next-of-kin, or other responsible party, attesting to the fact that the funeral merchandise provided has been previously used in whole or in part. The customer who rents or re-uses that casket shall also sign a written disclosure that he or she has received all of the above information in writing and that he or she authorizes the funeral establishment to use the removable liner or insert selected by him or her for the disposition of the deceased.

F. Infection Control

1. Funeral directors/embalmers shall comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Blood borne Pathogen Standards incorporated by reference above at § 25.2(C) of this Part in order to protect themselves and their employees against occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens.

a. Compliance shall include, but not be limited to:

(1) A written exposure control plan;

(2) Staff training;

(3) Engineering and work practice controls;

(4) Adoption of universal precautions;

(5) Personal protective equipment;

(6) Hepatitis B vaccinations; and

(7) A protocol for evaluation in the event that an exposure occurs.

2. Funeral directors/embalmers shall comply with the most recent version of the World Health Organization’s Infection Control Guidelines for Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies incorporated by reference above at § 25.2(A) of this Part in order to protect themselves and their employees from occupational exposure to blood borne pathogens.

G. Permits

1. Requirements for permits are pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-3-18.

2. Fetal death registration requirements are pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-3-17.

H. Transport of Human Remains

1. Human remains to be transported by common carrier shall be embalmed. If embalming is not possible, or if the body is in a state of decomposition, it shall be transported only after enclosure in a strong, sealed outer case, to prevent seepage of body fluids to the outside.

I. Proper Authority for Funeral Arrangements and Disposition of Human Remains

1. Every licensed funeral director/embalmer, licensed funeral establishment, licensed crematory, and cemetery shall comply with the rules with respect to proper authority for funeral arrangements and disposition of human remains in accordance with the provisions set forth in R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-33.2-24. In addition to these provisions:

a. Duly and lawful designations shall include, but not be limited to, a legally binding will and, for those serving in the armed forces of the United States, a Department of Defense Record of Emergency Data (DD Form 93), or its successor.

J. Latex

1. Any licensed funeral directors/embalmers, funeral establishments, or cemeteries that utilize latex gloves shall do so in accordance with the provisions of the rules and regulations pertaining to Use of Latex Gloves by Health Care Workers in Licensed Health Care Facilities, and by Other Persons, Firms, or Corporations Licensed or Registered by the Department (Part 20-15-3 of this Title).

K. Inspections

1. Any licensed funeral director/embalmer employed by the Department duly authorized and empowered may enter any funeral establishment, funeral establishment or branch office licensed under the provisions of this Part, during the hours the funeral establishment or funeral establishment branch office shall be open for business, for the purpose of inspecting the sanitary conditions, complaint investigations, and ascertaining if the provisions of this Part are being observed in the operation of the funeral establishment or funeral establishment branch office.

2. Funeral establishments and branch offices licensed under the provisions of this Part shall be inspected at least once per year. Pre-need contracts shall be audited at least once per year.

3. Inspections shall include all areas of sanitation and public health, complaint investigations, as well as conformity with applicable sections of the Act, and this Part.

4. The inspector may request permission from the Department to be accompanied by another employee of the Department prior to an inspection. Failure or refusal of the person in charge of that funeral establishment or funeral establishment branch office to permit such inspection at all reasonable times shall be deemed sufficient cause for the revocation of any license issued to the funeral establishment or funeral establishment branch office and any certificate of approval issued by the Department.

25.5.7 Prohibition on Payments for Securing Business

Every funeral establishment, funeral director/embalmer, or the agent or representatives thereof, who violates the provisions of R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-33.2-14 shall be subject to the penalties as provided in the Act.

25.6 Licensing for Crematories

25.6.1 Licensure Application and Fees

A. No person or business shall erect, maintain, or operate a crematory in Rhode Island without first providing the necessary appliances and facilities for the cremation of human remains and without obtaining all the necessary licenses as required by this Part.

B. A crematory authority shall be subject to all local, state and federal health and environmental protection requirements and shall obtain all necessary licenses and permits from the Department, the federal Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, or such other appropriate local, state and federal agencies.

C. A crematory may be constructed on or adjacent to any cemetery, in, or adjacent to any funeral home or at any other location consistent with local zoning regulations and state laws.

D. Applications for the crematory license shall be made on forms furnished by the Department accompanied by a non-refundable application fee as set forth in the Fee Structure for Licensing, Laboratories and Administrative Services Provided by the Department of Health (Part 10-05-2 of this Title) and copies of all necessary local, state and federal permits and licenses.

E. A license shall be issued to a specific licensee for a specific location and shall not be transferable.

F. The facility and licensee shall meet all requirements as set forth by this Part, consistent with the Act.

25.6.2 Renewal of Licenses

A. All licenses issued under the provisions of this Part must be renewed annually by the holders who shall pay to the Department a yearly renewal fee as set forth in the Fee Structure for Licensing, Laboratories and Administrative Services Provided by the Department of Health (Part 10-05-2 of this Title) for the crematory license.

B. Applications, accompanied by the renewal fee, shall be filed with the Department on or before the 31st day of December in each year.

1. Applications filed after the 31st day of December must be accompanied by a late fee as set forth in the Fee Structure for Licensing, Laboratories and Administrative Services Provided by the Department of Health (Part 10-05-2 of this Title) in addition to the renewal fee cited in § 25.5.3(A) of this Part.

C. Any crematory that acts or holds itself out as such after its license has lapsed shall be punished as provided by this Part.

25.6.3 Inspections

A. Any licensed funeral director/embalmer employed by the Department duly authorized and empowered may enter any crematory licensed under the provisions of this Part, during the hours the crematory shall be open for business, for the purpose of inspecting the sanitary conditions, complaint investigations, and ascertaining if the provisions of this Part are being observed in the operation of the crematory.

B. The inspector may request permission from the Department to be accompanied by another Departmental employee prior to an inspection. Failure or refusal of the person in charge of that crematory to permit such inspection at all reasonable times shall be deemed sufficient cause for the revocation of any license issued to the crematory.

C. Crematories licensed under the provisions of this Part shall be inspected at least once (1) each year.

D. Inspections shall include all areas of sanitation and public health, complaint investigations, as well as conformity with applicable sections of this Part.

25.6.4 General Operational Requirements

A. Practice of Cremation

1. The practice of cremation shall include no less than the following provisions:

a. The body of a deceased person shall not be cremated within twenty-four (24) hours after his/her death unless he/she dies of a contagious or infectious disease.

b. The body shall not be received or cremated by any corporation authorized to cremate the bodies of the dead until its officers have received:

(1) A cremation authorization form signed by the authorizing agent, whose right to authorize the cremation was established in accordance with the Act. The cremation authorization form shall contain, at a minimum, the following information:

(AA) The identity of the human remains to be cremated and the time and date of death;

(BB) The name of the funeral establishment that obtained the cremation authorization;

(CC) Notification as to whether the death occurred from a disease declared by the Department to be infectious, contagious, communicable or dangerous to the public health;

(DD) The name and address of the authorizing agent and the relationship between the authorizing agent and the decedent;

(EE) A representation that the authorizing agent does in fact have the right to authorize the cremation, and that the authorizing agent in not aware of any living person who has a superior priority right to that of the authorizing agent. In the event that there is another living person who has an equal priority right to the authorizing agent the form shall contain a representation that the authorizing agent has made reasonable efforts to contact that person, has been unable to do so and has no reason to believe that the person would object to the cremation of the decedent.

(FF) Authorization for the crematory to cremate the human remains;

(GG) A representation that the human remains do not contain a pacemaker or any other material or implant that may be potentially hazardous or cause damage to the cremation chamber or the person performing the cremation;

(HH) The name of the person, or the name of the funeral establishment, authorized to receive the cremated remains from the crematory;

(II) The manner in which final disposition of the cremated remains is to take place, if known;

(JJ) The signature of the authorizing agent attesting to the accuracy of all representations contained on the cremation authorization form;

(KK) If authorization was given as part of a previously executed pre-need funeral contract, then the crematory must receive a copy of that form in accordance with the Act.

(2) A completed and executed burial transit permit required by law before disposition is made indicating that the human remains named on the permit are to be cremated, and

(3) A cremation certificate issued by the Rhode Island Office of the State Medical Examiner. A cremation certificate shall be issued only if the Office of the State Medical Examiner determines that the cause and manner of death is such that no further examination or judicial inquiry concerning the same is necessary.

(4) The cremation certificate issued to the funeral director by the Medical Examiner, in duplicate, shall accompany the body to the crematory. The crematory shall retain the duplicate copy and mail the original copy to the state Division of Vital Records.

c. A crematory shall not take custody of unidentified human remains. The identity of the decedent contained within each cremation container or casket must clearly be indicated on, or labeled attached to, the outside of the container or casket.

2. Every crematory shall establish an internal system of identification of human remains received for cremation. This system shall be designed to track the identity of the remains from the time of receipt until completion of the cremation and delivery of the cremated remains to the authorized person(s) or until otherwise disposed of in accordance with the instructions from the authorized agent(s) or in accordance with this Part once the cremated remains have been abandoned.

3. Human remains designated for cremation shall be cremated without unreasonable delay.

4. When the crematory is unable to cremate the human remains immediately upon taking custody, the crematory shall provide a secured holding facility that shall comply with any applicable public health laws that shall preserve the dignity of the human remains.

5. Holding facilities shall be secure from access by all unauthorized persons.

6. A metal, indestructible identifying disk shall be placed in, or near the control panel of, the cremation chamber with the human remains for the purpose of identifying said remains. The name of the crematory or its license number shall be imprinted on said disk.

7. The crematory shall not simultaneously cremate more than one (1) human remains within the same cremation chamber.

a. Upon completion of each cremation, the human remains shall be removed and the retort shall be cleaned and all recoverable residue of the cremation process shall be removed from the retort before each successive set of human remains are inserted.

8. In cases where the human remains are to be cremated, the funeral director/embalmer shall remove a pacemaker or other medical device(s) from the remains and transmit said device(s) to the next-of-kin or other responsible party.

9. In all cases where the human remains are to be cremated, the next-of-kin or other responsible party shall sign a written consent personally identifying the body prior to cremation. If this is not possible, the funeral director/embalmer shall obtain a written consent from the next-of-kin, or other responsible party, assuming all responsibility for the identification of the human remains.

10. A crematory authority shall not accept a casket or alternative container from which there is any evidence of the leakage of body fluids.

11. Except as provided for in § 25.6.4(A)(13) of this Part, no crematory shall make or enforce any rules requiring that human remains be placed in a casket before cremation or that human remains be cremated in a casket, nor shall the crematory refuse to accept human remains for cremation for the reason that they are not in a casket.

12. Human remains shall be transferred to a crematory in a casket or cremation container.

13. Human remains shall not be removed from the casket or cremation container and the casket or cremation container shall be cremated with the human remains, unless the crematory authority has been provided with written instructions to the contrary by the authorizing agent or unless the crematory does not accept metal caskets for cremation.

14. Upon completion of the cremation, and in so far as possible, all of the recoverable residue of the cremation process shall be removed from the cremation chamber. In so far as possible, all residue from the cremation process shall then be separate from anything other than bone fragments. The bone fragments shall be processed so as to reduce them to unidentifiable particles. Anything other than the particles shall be removed from the cremated residuals as far as possible and shall be disposed of by the crematory.

15. Cremated remains, including the proper identification tag, shall be placed within a temporary container or urn as instructed by the authorizing agent(s). When a temporary container is used the outside of the container shall be clearly identified with the name of the deceased person whose cremated remains are contained therein, the name of the crematory and the crematory’s identification number for those cremated remains. When an urn is used, the urn shall be placed in a suitable box, or cloth bag, and the outside of the box or bag shall be clearly identified with the name of the deceased person whose cremated remains are contained therein, the name of the crematory and the crematory’s identification number for those cremated remains.

16. If the cremated remains are to be shipped, or mailed, the designated receptacle ordered by the authorizing agent shall be packed securely in a suitable, sturdy and pressure resistant container which is not fragile and is sealed properly. Cremated remains shall be shipped, or mailed, only by a method which has an internal tracing system available and which provides a receipt signed by the person accepting delivery.

17. Each crematory shall maintain on its premises, or other business location within the state, an accurate record of all cremation performed. This record, or log, shall include all of the following information:

a. The name of the deceased;

b. The date the body was received by the crematory;

c. The crematory’s identification number assigned to the cremation;

d. The name of the referring funeral home;

e. The time, date and temperature at which the body was inserted into the cremation chamber;

f. The time, date and temperature the body was removed from the cremation chamber; and

g. The name of the individual who supervised the cremation.

18. When the crematory releases the cremated remains, a receipt shall be signed by the individual who is receiving the cremated remains from the crematory.

19. Crematory authorities shall abide by all applicable state and federal laws and regulations.

B. Disposition of Human Remains

1. A crematory or funeral home shall be authorized to arrange for disposition of cremated remains, in a dignified manner, that have been abandoned at the crematory or funeral home for more than six (6) months.

a. All reasonable attempts must be made and due diligence exercised to contact the person in charge who authorized the cremation. Written notice shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the last known address of the person who authorized the cremation at least sixty (60) days prior to disposition.

b. Records shall be maintained to indicate the disposition of the human remains after cremation.

2. This section shall not apply to the cremation of various body parts from different human bodies.

C. Medical Waste

1. The facility shall be in compliance with applicable sections of R.I. Gen. Laws Chapter 23-19.12, and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management’s Medical Waste Regulations (250-RICR-140-15-1).

D. Latex

1. Any crematory that utilizes latex gloves shall do so in accordance with the provisions of the rules and regulations pertaining to Use of Latex Gloves by Health Care Workers in Licensed Health Care Facilities, and by Other Persons, Firms, or Corporations Licensed or Registered by the Department (Part 20-15-3 of this Title).

25.7 Denial, Suspension, Revocation and Severability

25.7.1 Revocations or Suspensions

A. The Department shall have the power to refuse to issue or may revoke or suspend any license issued by it under this Part, after written notification and hearing before the Board for gross incompetency or for unprofessional conduct as defined in R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-33.2-17.

B. Each funeral director/embalmer of record shall, on or before the tenth (10th) day of the following month, file a report with the state registrar of vital records listing funerals and/or decedents serviced following deaths or fetal deaths within the month. (This report is to be filed even if there is no activity within the month to report). Failure to file these reports or any of the certificates required under R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-3-16 within the prescribed time limits shall be grounds for disciplinary action, including revocation of license by the Board.

C. Before any license shall be so revoked or suspended, the holder thereof shall have notice in writing of the charge or charges against him/her and shall have reasonable opportunity to be heard in his/her defense.

D. Any person whose license has been so revoked or suspended may apply to have the certificate reissued, and the certificate shall be reissued to him/her upon a satisfactory showing that disqualification has ceased.

E. Appeals

1. All hearings and reviews required under the provisions of the Act shall be held in accordance with rules and regulations pertaining to Practices and Procedures Before the Rhode Island Department of Health (Part 10-05-4 of this Title).

F. Violations and Penalties are pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-33.2-21.

25.7.2 Variance Procedure

A. The Department may grant a variance upon request of the licensee from the provisions of any rules and regulations of this Part, if it finds in specific cases, that a literal enforcement of such provision will result in unnecessary hardship to the licensee and that such a variance will not be contrary to the public interest.

B. A request for a variance shall be filed by a licensee in writing, setting forth in detail the basis upon which the request is made.

1. Upon filing of each request for variance with the Department and within a reasonable time thereafter, the Department shall notify the licensee by certified mail of its approval or in the case of a denial, a hearing date, time and place may be scheduled if the licensee appeals the denial. Such hearing must be held in accordance with the provisions of § 25.7.1(E) of this Part.




Title 216 Rhode Island Department of Health
Chapter 40 Professional Licensing and Facility Regulation
Subchapter 05 Professional Licensing
Part 25 Embalmers, Funeral Directors, and Funeral Service Establishments (216-RICR-40-05-25)
Type of Filing Amendment
Regulation Status Active
Effective 08/29/2018

Regulation Authority :

R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-33.2-3

Purpose and Reason :

In accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act, R.I. Gen. Laws Section 42-35-3(a)(1), the following is a concise statement regarding this rulemaking for Embalmers, Funeral Directors, and Funeral Service Establishments (216-RICR-40-05-25). This amendment to the regulations creates Authority and Incorporated Materials sections, revises definitions to implement Secretary of State definitional requirements, removes statutory reiteration, removes superfluous language, and revises the number of inspections for funeral service establishments and crematoria to once per year. No comments were received during the public comment period; therefore no non-technical revisions were made to the regulations posted for public comment, and no justification for not implementing suggested revisions is required. In the development of this rule, consideration was given to: 1) alternative approaches; 2) overlap or duplication with other statutory and regulatory provisions; and 3) significant economic impact on small business. No alternative approach, duplication, or overlap was identified based on available information. RIDOH has determined that the benefits of this rule justify its costs.

There are no electronic rulemaking documents for rules filed prior to August 14, 2018. For rulemaking documents for rules filed prior to this date, please contact the appropriate agency's Rules Coordinator.