Practicum & Work Experience

Practicum & Work Experience Requirements

You must complete additional requirements in order to participate in Embalming Practicum and Work Experience courses. Some requirements may take time to obtain (i.e., Non-Graduated Class 5 Driver's License, completion of immunization series) so you are advised to plan accordingly.  Embalming Practicum Requirements

Students in the Funeral Service Diploma are required to complete an Embalming Practicum course which involves participation in instructor-led embalming labs within Calgary funeral homes.

You are encouraged to take the Embalming Practicum course early in your program.

Students must complete Embalming Practicum Requirements prior to beginning embalming labs. Review the Embalming Practicum Requirements Checklist for details on how to complete and submit requirements. Students who do not meet the following requirements will be withdrawn from the course:

  • Immunization clearance (Hepatitis B Services and Primary Series for Tetanus/Diphtheria)
    • Note: Immunizations may take up to 6 months to complete
    • All associated costs are the responsibility of the student
  • Canadian Red Cross Standard First Aid with Basic Rescuer CPR Level C
  • WHMIS Certification
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Embalming labs for the Embalming Practicum are held in Calgary. Out-of-town students complete their Embalming Practicum along with Restorative Art II during a Calgary-based Intensive Institute (condensed delivery format in Fall or Spring);  students from the Calgary area typically complete Embalming Practicum during the Fall-Winter semesters. 

Please refer to the Program Planning Guide and Sample Schedule on the Funeral Service Diploma Plan Your Studies page for further details.

Work Experience Requirements

You will complete two work experience courses as part of the Funeral Service Diploma program. Work experience can be started in any semester and may be completed at the same time as other courses or after finishing your academic courses.

  • Students are responsible to secure their own work experience placement through employment or volunteering in a licensed funeral home. 
  • Relocation may be required.
  • Students currently employed in a funeral home are encouraged to register for Work Experience I in their first semester (refer to the Program Planning Guide for prerequisites).
  • Contact the Funeral Program team if you secure a placement during the semester. 

In order to participate in Work Experience I and Work Experience II, you will require the following:

  • Non-Graduated Class 5 Driver's License  - students preparing for work experience courses may be required to provide a non-graduated Class 5 driver's license to their Funeral Home employer, at their own expense.  Failure to do so may impact the student's ability to complete the program requirements or participate in the course.
  • Driver's Abstract may be required by the Funeral Home employer.  Failure to do so may impact the student's ability to complete the program requirements or participate in the course. 
  • Police Information Check may be required by the Funeral Home employer. A criminal record may affect your ability to obtain a Funeral Director or Embalmer License.
Work Experience courses complement and supplement theoretical course work. Activities and tasks that students perform during Work Experience courses are at the discretion of the funeral home and may include:
  • Taking First Calls
  • Assisting with compilation of vital statistics and completion of forms
  • Assisting with coordination of funeral service / celebration details
  • Assisting with visitations, prayer services, funeral services, cremation and cemetery/graveside services
  • Observing or participating in at-need and pre-need funeral arrangement conferences
  • Setting up cemetery and graveside services
  • Driving funeral vehicles
  • Assisting with transfers and removals
  • Performing parking lot duties and assisting with vehicle maintenance
  • Assisting in funeral home maintenance
  • Understanding and complying with the various laws and regulations which govern funeral service
  • Assisting with cremation-related tasks
  • Assisting with cosmetic applications and casketing details
  • Assisting with embalming cases (only after student has begun their Embalming Practicum course)
  • Documenting their participation in 25 funeral arrangement conference (Work Experience II course requirement)
Out of Province Students

Students residing outside of Alberta will need to consult with their provincial or national Regulatory Body for information on completing work experience courses in their location.