History of Funeral Services Training Trust of New Zealand
Before looking at the current situation of the Trust, it is an opportune time to examine and relfect on the formation of formal training in funeral services in New Zealand
Training Council (VTC)
The objectives of the V.T.C. were to:
In 1974 key members of the embalming industry established the New Zealand Embalmers Training Committee which was able to access VTC funding under the Group Scheme Incentive plan to support a formal training course in embalming.
The Group Scheme concentrated on:
In brief they were set up to ensure that training needs were identified and satisfied. The structure was, like the V.T.C., tripartite - representatives of employer, employee and appropriate government groups.
Funding in these early days was a mixture of Government and Industry. In the case of FSTC, New Zealand Embalmers Association (NZEA) and Funeral Directing Association of New Zealand (FDANZ) contributed equally with a larger percentage from government.
In addition the Committee may apply for Training Development Assistance on the same basis as an Industry Training Board.
Area of activity -
on and off-job training of all personnel involved in Funeral Directing
Membership - the Funeral Service Training Committee consisted of:
All appointed members
held office for a term of three calendar years, and were able to remain
in office until their successor is appointed, and was eligible for reappointment
Like most other things in life change takes place and training has been no exception. Towards the latter part of 1984 the Vocational Training Council was disbanded and government involvement on a formal basis was severed from the Funeral Service Training Committee. Government funding after a gradual reduction in the level of contributions received had been removed some time prior to this.
With this disbandment came new challenges and like new challenges ways of overcoming these had to be formulated.
In 1989 FSTC approached the member of FDANZ with a proposal for a training levy calculated on the number of Funerals directed in a year. This proposal was discussed at length and passed. This gave the Committee the support and strength to go forward and meet the ever-increasing challenges with a vigour that demonstrated to other agencies the commitment of the profession to formal and professional training.
It is worth remembering that the formation of this Committee was due entirely to the vision, input and dedication of a few very far-thinking persons who for the benefit of the whole profession progressed Funeral Service education to the formal professional level that exists today.
Service Training Trust of New Zealand
With the retirement of Howard Vosper and Murray Hird, Eion McKinnon and Stuart Wheeler replaced them as industry representatives. Ian Parker and Andrew Malcolm replaced Eion McKinnon and Stuart Wheeler respectively. Mark Pattinson and Stephen Dil replaced Brian Hope and Andrew Malcolm respectively. During this time, Dr Peter Osborne was appointed as an Educational Representative. Upon his retirement, Anne McGuire was appointed in the capacity of both Educational and Maori Representative.
The Trust continued to act as the Advisory Committee to the Central Institute of Technology (CIT) and then the Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec) and has developed a respect and understanding from members of those institutes for their diligence and hard work.
The Industry Training Act and the Education Amendment Act brought with them new challenges and a huge workload to understand the new training initiatives of Government. The formation of Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) was where the real challenge lay. By becoming the ITO for funeral services in New Zealand the Trust assumed responsibility for all funeral training in New Zealand. However the Trust was now in a position to access funding for training programmes and for completing a total re-write of the courses to meet the requirements of registering "Unit Standards" on the Qualifications Framework.
The implications were enormous. Our qualifications became National Certificates and Diplomas, recognised throughout New Zealand and overseas.
The Trust surveyed industry, carried out a training needs analysis and developed a strategic plan outlining a five-year programme. Advisory groups were set up to develop the unit standards, debate and develop assessment, moderation, accreditation and marketing plans and to package the new units into qualifications suitable to the Qualifications Authority. This was no easy task, and the work carried out in this area by members of the Trust and advisory group members should be acknowledged.
The projects were completed within the budget schedules determined prior to commencement, and were part-funded by the Education Training & Support Agency (ETSA). All Audit requirements were fulfilled. ETSA became Skill NZ, which is now part of the Tertiary Education Commission. With each change came new rules, new changes, new funding schedules and new people. All of which has created many hours of extra work for the Trust. Since the initial work of developing unit standards and qualifications was completed the Trust has not received any Government funding. This is due principally to changes in Government policy.
The Trust established a Secretariat in Wellington in 1995. This was handled by Mrs Joan Sawkins in a very professional manner. Upon Joan’s retirement, Mrs Fiona Gillespie was appointed Secretary of the Trust during the middle of 2003.
The ongoing work of the Trust in developing and presenting high quality seminars and workshops to the funeral and allied professions continues to be a major focus.
While work of the Trust carried out over the last few years has been challenging, frustrating, interesting and rewarding, it is by no means over. The on-going responsibility of the Trust as a Industry Training Organisation brings with it a commitment to implement and review current and future training modules and programmes to reflect and meet the demands of industry and society.
What Is A
The FSTT Trust Deed had previusly stated that “The wish" (but not binding obligation) was for the following composition:
March 2017 FSTT agreed to a variation of its Trust Deed with representation then becoming not less than four or more than seven Trustees:
At this time the
positions of Deputy Chair and Executive Officer were also removed.
Aims of the the Funeral Service Training Trust are:
What Is An
Representation On FSTT
Once approved and
appointed by the Trust, each representative serves a three-year term,
when they would be due to retire but would be eligible for re-appointment
as long as they had served no more than four continuous terms.
Dr Michael Marfell-Jones, originally is his role as Head of Health Sciences and then as Head of School CIT represented CIT. Since he moved from CIT, Prof Marfell-Jones has been reappointed to the FSTT as an education representative.
From June 1998 the CIT was represented by Dr Peter Osborne who was Assistant Deputy Principal Academic until CIT closed in Dr Osborn was reappointed to FSTT as an education representative until June 2002.
Ms Anne McGuire was appointed to the Trust in June 2003 to fill the vacancy left by Dr Osborne, Anne retired from the position in 2017.
Dr Julia Hennessy was appointed to the Trust in August 2017 to fill the vacancy left by Anne McGuire. Dr Hennessy was previously WelTec Executive Dean Faculty of Health Business and Service Industries and is currently President of Auckland Institute of Studies New Zealand.