Rettig Sr. Delivers Speech on Regulation and Standards

In a recent address at The Conference’s 120th Annual Meeting, outgoing President Jon Rettig Sr. emphasized a crucial message: “Regulation is not a dirty word.”

He rallied attendees to recognize the vital role of regulatory boards within the funeral service industry despite the scrutiny they’ve faced from legislators and other groups seeking to lower professional standards. He assured the audience that The Conference Board of Directors and Staff has made a central effort to emphasize the value of regulation as a safeguard for consumers and maintaining the integrity of the profession over the past year.

“Government is involved in the regulation of professions to protect the public,” Rettig Sr. said in his speech. “Government involvement allows for enforcement and promotes outreach and education through regulatory boards/agencies at the state level. We continue to support our member state regulators with assistance and materials to support the work that they do. Regulation is not a dirty word.”

The past president highlighted the ongoing struggle within the industry to attain “professional” status—a distinction that requires adherence to rigorous standards and underscored the importance of the “3 E’s” – education, examination, and experience, in defining a true profession. Through measures like the National Board Exam (NBE), The Conference ensures that aspiring funeral service professionals meet minimum competency levels, thereby safeguarding public trust.

“You can’t say you want to be a professional but have no education or minimum competency measure to support it,” Rettig Sr. said. “Typically, funeral service licensees don’t like being referred to as a trade but that’s what we are if you only require an apprenticeship.”

Lastly, Rettig Sr. commended the dedication of volunteers on numerous committees who play a pivotal role in shaping industry standards. He concluded the address by urging attendees to embrace the learning opportunities presented at the meeting and reaffirmed the mantra:

“Regulation is not a dirty word”

The International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards is headquartered in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Founded in 1904, the membership of The Conference is composed of funeral service licensing and regulatory agencies throughout the United States and Canada. For more information on The Conference, visit


Andrew Joseph

Communications Coordinator

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