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Finnish Association of Funeral Services

The purpose of the Finnish Association of Funeral Services (SHL) is to foster Finnish funeral culture, develop the professional skills and ethics of its members and to monitor and promote its members’ general and shared interests. You can find the rules of the Association here.

The Association maintains contact with its member companies, represents the funeral trade and collaborates with the authorities as well as both domestic and foreign trade partners.

SHL distributes information about the funeral trade, monitors legislative work related to the funeral trade and comments on it, if necessary. The Association helps develop the operations of its members by training member entrepreneurs and company staff, distributing information about current events and publishing the Tiimalasi magazine, among other things.

The Association participates in the activities of international funeral trade organizations. The Association is a member of the European funeral trade association EFFS (European Federation of Funeral Services).

Members of the Association

The full members of the Finnish Association of Funeral Services are funeral home companies who agree to follow the rules of the Association and European ethical guidelines. Members of the Association include about 200 companies who run a total of almost 300 funeral homes. A list of funeral homes that are members of the Association can be found here.

A brief history

The Finnish Association of Funeral Services was founded in 1942 as the Finnish Association of Funeral Home Owners. The Association’s first years of operation during the late stages of the war and the postwar depression were difficult and concentrated on the acquisition of materials. Purchase permits were needed for buying goods of any sort, and the distribution of these permits was handled by an association for funeral homes in the entire country. When material shortages finally began to ease and purchasing restrictions were gradually lifted, the Association was able to focus its activities on promoting the interests of the trade and developing the professional skills and ethics of its members.

The Association has been constantly training its member entrepreneurs. In the early years, training focused on the upholstery of coffins. As society changed and urbanization increased, funeral homes began to gradually evolve into broader service companies. The training the Association offered to its members also changed. A professional degree for funeral home entrepreneurs (HTLH) was created, and many Association members completed it.

The first issue of the Association’s magazine for members, Tiimalasi, came out in 1950. The magazine continues to foster funeral culture and act as a link for funeral home entrepreneurs.

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