TRAINEE FOR PENNSYLVANIA MORTUARY STUDENTS

Why this checklist is important: It is advisable that each student understands their specific state requirements for licensure. The Pennsylvania State Board of Funeral Directors website, found here, is your electronic resource for all laws and regulations. Pennsylvania preliminary requirements are mandatory upon enrollment. Please use this page to navigate these requirements. This process is not required unless you are planning to work and/or do your internship in Pennsylvania.

Certification of Preliminary Education

Students accepted into the Diploma or the Associate of Specialized Technology programs must register with the Pennsylvania Department of Education and complete the process to earn the Certification of Preliminary Education (COPE) which is proof you earned 60 college credits. If accepted into the on-campus Associate of Specialized Business skip this step, you are earning a portion of those credits at PIMS.

  • Register and complete the application located on the Department of Education website at http://www.education.pa.gov under the Teacher Information Management System (TIMS).
  • Upon completion, a cover sheet will be generated and available to print once the application has been fully submitted in TIMS
  • A $50 fee is required
  • Official transcripts are required for all college/university course work
    • It is your responsibility to contact each college/university you attended to obtain official transcript. Do NOT open the envelope(s), they must be official when sent to the Department of Ed
  • You must submit the cover sheet from TIMS and all transcripts to address on the cover sheet
  • The Department of Education will respond within a few week, you will need your COPE for your trainee application – in the meantime complete the Criminal History Check

Criminal History Check

Request a recent Criminal History Records Check from the PA Access To Criminal History (PATCH – https://epatch.state.pa.us/Home.jsp) or other state agency that is the official repository for criminal history record information for every state in which you have lived, worked, or completed professional training/studies for the past five (5) years. The report(s) must be dated within 90 days of the date the application is submitted.

  • The PATCH fee will be included at checkout.
  • Save this background check to your computer so you may upload the document for your trainee application – next apply for the trainee.

Trainee Application

Apply for Funeral Director Trainee on the Pennsylvania Licensing System (PALS), here are some tips to help you complete the application:

  • If accepted into the Associate of Specialized Business, you ARE in a coordinated course of study.
  • If accepted into the Diploma or the Associate of Specialized Technology, you are NOT in a coordinated course of study.
  • An application fee is required.
  • Certificate of Mortuary Education Trainee will need to be emailed to Mr. Drobish (kdrobish@pims.edu), your application photo will be attached to this document and Mr. Drobish mails it to the state.
  • Upon successful completion of all steps, the state will submit to PIMS your funeral trainee license.

INTERNSHIP FOR A PENNSYLVANIA FUNERAL DIRECTOR & EMBALMER

Why this checklist is important: It is advisable that each student understands their specific state requirements for licensure. The Pennsylvania State Board of Funeral Directors website, is your electronic resource for all laws and regulations.  Pennsylvania internship requirements can be confusing. Please use the information below to assist in this endeavor.

Fast facts for the PENNSYLVANIA RESIDENT INTERN

To qualify an applicant must have completed every aspect of their mortuary science education program and be a PA student trainee* and have a qualified funeral director be their preceptor.

The Applicant shall obtain: 

  • Certification of Mortuary Education: This form will be available for download after payment submission. This form must be completed by the program director of your mortuary school. If you are not in a coordinated course of study or if you were not a trainee in Pennsylvania, you must obtain Certificate of Preliminary Education from the Department of Education.
  • Certificate of Preliminary Education: The Certificate of Preliminary Education is obtained from the Department of Education. You must register and complete the application located on the Department of Education website at http://www.education.pa.gov under the Teacher Information Management System (TIMS). Upon completion, a cover sheet will be generated and available to print once the application has been fully submitted in the TIMS. A $50 fee is required. (See COPE and Trainee License information page)
  • Application for Preceptor: This application will be available for download after payment submission. The application must be completed by the preceptor, not the Resident Intern. After completion, the Resident Intern must upload the document to the Board through the PA Licensing System (PALS) account.
  • A Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting course: The Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs and the Department of Human Services states that all funeral directors that are considered “mandatory reporters.” All persons applying for issuance of an initial license shall be required to complete 3 (three) hours of an approved training in child abuse recognition and reporting.   Please review the Board website for further information on approved CE providers.  Once you have completed a course, the approved provider will electronically submit your name, date of attendance, etc., to the Board.
  • Criminal History Check: Provide a recent Criminal History Records Check from the PA Access To Criminal History (PATCH – https://epatch.state.pa.us/Home.jsp) or other state agency that is the official repository for criminal history record information for every state in which you have lived, worked, or completed professional training/studies for the past five (5) years. The report(s) must be dated within 90 days of the date the application is submitted.

Your Timeline:

  • If this application is not completed within six months of its submission date, updates of certain sections and supporting documents will be required.
  • If all criminal background check documents are not dated within 90 days of the date the application, they are invalid.
  • If this application is not completed within one year of its submission date, you will need to start it all over again including any fees paid.

A Registered Intern:

  • May have no other employment or be attending any other school. Unless they get approval from the state board.
  • Must complete a detailed series of tasks in funeral service theory and practice, including the completion of the embalming of 35 deceased individuals and be present at a minimum of 35 complete funeral transactions from initial call details to the interment and follow-up services. All these tasks must be carefully documented and be presented to the board upon request.
  • Must be an intern for 12 full continuous months and work a minimum of 40 hours per week.
  • Must report to the board if they are resigning their internship for any reason.

An Approved Preceptor:

  • Must oversee and assist the intern in completing a detailed series of tasks in funeral service theory and practice. Failure to so can lead to the suspension or revocation of their license.
  • Must report to the board if the internship is temporarily or permanently terminated. Any interruption of 30 days or more shall require the internship to start over.

The State Examination:

  • The Intern shall obtain an examination application from the board. Once completed, a photograph is to be affixed, the required fees are paid, and then it is filed with the testing agency at least 30 days before the exam.
  • There are very strict rules for identification that must be followed perfectly, or the examination application will be returned.
  • The preceptor must also complete an affidavit stating the resident intern properly completed the tasks of the internship. If the preceptor files a false affidavit or refuses to file one, there can be penalties imposed by the board.
  • The PA test may not be taken until the intern has passed the National Board Examination.
  • An intern may take the examination prior to the completion of the internship. However, they will not receive a license until the exam is passed and the entire 12-month internship is completed.
  • Upon notice of failure of a section of the examination, the intern may apply for re-examination.

* see above