Changes to the death certification process

How the death certification process in England and Wales will change from 9 September 2024, including the introduction of medical examiners.

Applies to England and Wales



This is an overview of the changes to the process of death certification in England and Wales planned from 9 September 2024.

The purpose of this guidance is to help those involved in the death management system to understand and prepare for the reforms. This includes:

  • NHS and social care organisations
  • local government
  • bereavement services
  • the funeral industry
  • professional and regulatory bodies
  • religious or faith groups
  • coroner services
  • registration services
  • healthcare professionals
Published 26 May 2016
Last updated 22 May 2024 + show all updates
  1. This page has been updated to reflect that regulations were laid before Parliament on 15 April 2024, which will introduce the statutory medical examiner system from 9 September 2024. The timetable has been updated to set out the actions DHSC will take between April and September, including distribution of the new paper medical certificate of cause of death. In the annex under 'secondary legislation', a link to the Cremation, Coroners and Notification of Deaths (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2024 has also been added.

  2. The overview has been updated throughout to reflect the publication of draft regulations on the introduction of medical examiners and changes to the medical certificate of cause of death.

  3. First published.