Implementation Date for Death Certification Reform and the Statutory Medical Examiner Scheme

17 April 2024

On 15 April 2024 the Ministry of Justice issued an announcement regarding the implementation date for death certification reform and the statutory Medical Examiner scheme:

“We have been working with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), the General Register Office (GRO), the Judicial Office, the Office for National Statistics, the Welsh Government and the National Medical Examiner to establish an implementation date for the statutory Medical Examiner scheme. We are now able to announce that the new system will come into effect on 9 September 2024. This date will be established in legislation because it will be the implementation date for the regulatory framework set out below.

“This is because, today, the DHSC has laid regulations under section 19 (Medical Examiners), section 20 (Medical Certificate of Cause of Death) and section 21 (National Medical Examiner) of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009. These regulations can be found at Death certification reform and the introduction of medical examiners – GOV.UK (, a summary of impacts can be found at Death certification reform and the introduction of medical examiners: updated summary of impact – GOV.UK ( and a written ministerial statement can be found at Written statements – Written questions, answers and statements – UK Parliament.

“It is important to emphasise that these regulations, and all relevant reforms to the death certification process, will come into force in England and Wales on 9 September 2024 – until then, existing legislation continues to apply.

“The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) will make regulations covering cremation processes in due course, but ahead of the 9 September implementation date. The GRO will also be making relevant regulatory changes ahead of 9 September.

“The MoJ shared their draft regulations, amended cremation forms and guidance with stakeholders for comment in December 2023. We will circulate final versions as far in advance of the 9 September implementation date as possible to ensure that stakeholders are able to familiarise themselves with the new arrangements in good time. The cremation forms and guidance will also be published on ahead of the implementation date, and will be available at: Cremation forms and guidance – GOV.UK (

Government Announcements/Legislation