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On this page
Introduction to CINDEA Recognition Process
General Requirements for a Recognized Practitioner of Death Midwifery
Questionnaire to become a Recognized Pan-death Guide
Recognition Processing Fees

Recognition from CINDEA
for Alternative Pan-death Services

Clarification of new terms: After winning the right to continue to use the term 'death midwife' in the lower Supreme Court (CMBC vs MaryMoon), it was lost in the appeal (CMBC/AGBC vs MaryMoon).

Although we are continuing to explore ways to reclaim the term 'death midwife', we are legally bound (in BC) to use new terms for the time being.  The terms we are currently using are:

Practitioner of death midwifery: someone who is practicing the philosophy of midwifery applied to deathcare, through the pan-death continuum.

Pan-death guide: someone who offers death midwifery support in a continuum of pre-death (EOL/death doula role), immediately after death (home funeral guide role), and funeral/memorial ceremonies (celebrant role).

For the most part on this site, 'practitioner of death midwifery' and 'pan-death guide' will be used interchangeably.  We realize that this may be a little confusing.  However, we felt it was important to retain the connection to 'death midwifery' (philosophy), as well as have a term that describes 'what they do' (approach in practice) — as 'death midwife' did both.

Disclaimer: Practitioners of death midwifery/pan-death guides are not conventional midwives (who deal with birthing) or health professionals, nor are they members of any of the Colleges of Midwives in Canada   


Introduction to the CINDEA Recognition Process

Alternative pan-death care roles have only developed recently in our modern Western world, and are in the pioneering stage.Therefore, there is very little training available and no certification process.There has also not been any standardization of the requirements for various roles/facets of pan-death, or even what they are called.CINDEA's use of its two new terms (see above) are restricted to those who provide direct/'hands on' service to death journeyers and their families throughout the whole of the pan-death process.In part, this is to honour the philosophy of midwifery inherent in pan-deathcare; in part, we wish to help the public be clear as to the distinctions between what different service providers are offering.

Some of the other major alternative facets/roles within the pan-death process include death doula, thanadoula, home funeral guide, and funeral celebrant (see the Emerging Practitioners section of the Pan-death Movement page for a description of these and other roles).A CINDEA-recognized practitioner of death midwifery/pan-death guide offers all of these services providing a continuum of care for the support of the death journeyer and their families.CINDEA has chosen to only recommend (here and on the Resources in Canada pre- or post- death pages) those who have gone through the CINDEA recognition process and confirmed that they offer direct support and guidance throughout the whole of the pan-death process.

We recognize that, because these alternative facets/roles are so new within our modern world, those offering them will have a wide diversity of background training and/or experience, coming from both formal and informal situations.This might include palliative care nursing or homecare, hospice volunteering, grief counselling, pastoral/spiritual care, funeral director experience, etc.It is quite possible that many of these people have been already providing pan-death care informally without any designation acknowledging the continuum of their services.

We encourage anyone who is committed to supporting death journeyers and their families throughout the pan-death process to consider if they might qualify to be a pan-death guide.Please review the recognition process below for this role, and contact us if you wish to consider CINDEA recognition.   

has a 'training options' PDF that
includes programs (or single courses) in Canada (usually 'in person'), and online (but not necessarily Canadian) that are accessible for Canadians interested in the alternative death-care field. Because such trainings have grown exponentially, this PDF is now out-of-date.  Please contact us for further options.

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General Requirements for a CINDEA-Recognized
Practitioner of Death Midwifery/Pan-death Guide

1. be prepared to serve the death journeyer and family throughout the pan-death process
2. have training and/or experience with various facets of the 'end of life' process
3. be a regular supporter of CINDEA
apply directly to CINDEA for recognition as a pan-death guide
5. complete the questionnaire below in full
6. provide 3 letters of recommendation (re related services in the past)
7. have a criminal record check (CRC) done through CINDEA (a letter to get a free CRC will be provided)
8. have their own website (offering death midwifery, and/or other death-related, services) or be clearly named as such on another website (or other public listing, such as the Yellow Pages)
9. go through an update of the recognition process as needed

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Questionnaire to become a CINDEA-Recognized
Practitioner of Death Midwifery/Pan-death Guide
contact us for a Word copy, plus a letter to obtain a free Criminal Record Check)

Gender identity:
Phone/email/Skype/etc. contact info:
Website URL. or other public listing, of your death-related services:
Present vocation or job:

Training/workshops in EOL/death care and issues.Please also clarify
  i) the numbers of hours, days, weeks, etc. of these workshops or training sessions, and
ii) if they included some form of final assessment by the instructors:


Related experience in EOL and/or death care (as specific as possible, including amount months/years or cases of experience in various forms of related counseling, hospice volunteering, pastoral care/chaplaincy, nursing, leading funeral or memorial services, etc.; apprenticeship to an existing practitioner of death midwifery, as well as any actual experience in helping a family facilitate an EOL/death process):

Please respond to all questions in as much detail as possible.Feel free to take your time and consider these questions in depth re your answers to CINDEA, and for your own self-awareness process.



Describe in detail what you understand a practitioner of death midwifery to be.How does that relate to your understanding of a (birth) midwife?
  d. What events or experiences led you to consider becoming a pan-death guide, and why do you want to serve as one?
  e. What are the challenges of each stage of pan-death?What stages of pan-death are you most comfortable or uncomfortable with, and why?
  f. An important part of being a pan-death guide is knowing the limits of your own skills.Describe at least 3 situations where you, as a practitioner of death midwifery, would refer your clients to a provider of specialized skills.
  g. What are the elements and procedures of post-death care, if the body does not go to a funeral home?What documents and supplies will you need available?
  h. It is normal for anyone to have biases of some sort, based on their own backgrounds.   What are your biases regarding any of the personal choices or beliefs of the death journeyer and their family?Which of these biases would you be willing to put aside, if they make a choice that does not fit with your personal values? and why would you be willing to do so?
  i. Describe your own understanding or beliefs about the after-life and/or soul's journey, and how you would approach this subject in caring for the death journeyer.
  j. What experience do you have in
  i) making conventional funeral arrangements, and
ii) developing and/or leading funeral or memorial ceremonies?
  k. How do you care for yourself?What emotional, spiritual and/or community support systems do you have?What emotional or spiritual self-care avenues or meditative practices do you follow?
  l. Do you perceive any connections between death midwifery and ecology?If so, what are they?


Upon completion and acceptance of the recognition process, a CINDEA-recognized death midwifery symbol will be available for use for listings on this and the CINDEA Resources in Canada pre- and post- death pages, as well as the applicant's own website or business card.

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Recognition Processing Fees

CINDEA-recognized practitioner of death midwifery/pan-death guide   $50 for original recognition process

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Last updated July 2015   © CINDEA  (To use more than a brief extract, please contact us for permission.)