Training & Education

The New Zealand Diploma in Embalming

The programme places an emphasis on the theory and practice of embalming and the art of restoring the human body to its usual appearance.  Along with the study of embalming, students will complete modules in specialist subjects including anatomy, physiology, pathology, microbiology and chemistry.

Nature of the Programme

Students attend the modules at WelTec in Wellington and between modules are required to undertake specific supervised learning experiences at their place of employment. A final clinical module provides opportunity for reflective practice. Each student must have a qualified supervisor during the clinical experience modules. The supervisor must be an experienced, suitably qualified Embalmer who is able to evaluate and assist the student during practical experiences. Programme StructureThe programme is delivered over a 34 week period including block courses and clinical placement modules. Each student is required to nominate an approved, qualified supervisor, who will be appointed to guide and assist his or her learning throughout the clinical placement periods. 

Subjects covered include:

  • History Of Embalming - the historical development of mortuary practices throughout the ages, and the development of embalming in New Zealand
  • Philosophy of Embalming - the need for embalming; the mortician as part of the health system/mental health system. The mortician in community wellbeing
  • Ethical and Legal Considerations - conduct in the mortuary, privacy, dignity responsibilities and obligations of the embalmer
  • Mortuary design - mortuary set up; mortuary legal issues; ventilation, safe practice; safe handling, safe storage of mortuary supplies and equipment
  • Health and Safety-principles in the embalming process
  • Death - ascertaining death; Tests for death; stages of death; modes of death, causes of death
  • Embalming the "Normal case" - standard processes and procedures, guidelines for embalming bodies without known complications
  • Embalming the "Complicated case" - procedures for embalming traumatised bodies, reconstruction of damaged skeletal parts, restoration and remoulding of body features where parts are missing or damaged.
  • The effect of trauma and chemical substances on cells and tissues. Special cases - tissue gas, ulcerations, desquamation, purge, refrigeration, advanced decomposition, renal failure, distensions, and communicable diseases
  • Long term preservation - preserving bodies for prolonged periods of time, requirements for national and international repatriation
  • Facial Anatomy - restorative skills and techniques
  • Final Presentation - hairdressing, colour theory, cosmetology, lighting, casket preparation
  • Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathology - the study of the structure (anatomy), function (physiology), and diseases (pathology) of the human body. The body from a position of wellbeing; cell structure; defence mechanisms; circulation; muscle and skeletal underpinnings. Pathological aspects.
  • Microbiology - micro-organisms (Bacteria, Viruses, Fungi, Spores, Protozoa, Prions) their structure and involvement in pathology
  • Chemistry - carbon chemistry; the chemistry of embalming preservative fluids and accessory fluids  

  • 2018 New Zealand Diploma in Embalming

    Block 1:           26 February 2018 -23 March 2018

    Block 2:           11 June 2018 — 6 July 2018

    Block 3:           17 September 2018 — 9 October 2018 Practical exams:10 October 2018 — 14 October 2018




     New Zealand Diploma In Embalming (Level 5)