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Towards the end of 1993 a group of embalming organisations in Europe held a series of discussions regarding a uniform standard of embalming education and practical competence. Four organisations were involved, College des Embaumeurs de France, Union Professionelle des Embaumeurs Diplomes (Belgium), Verbander Deutscher Thanatologen (Germany), and The British Institute of Embalmers. The four organisations met in Gatwick, England on the 22nd January 1994 to form the European Association of Embalmers.

The British Institute of Embalmers was the acknowledged leader of practical embalming in Europe, with members from around the world including Divisions in Belgium, Australasia, and the USA. Applicants for membership are required to pass a Theory and Practical Examination that is arranged and controlled by an independent examinations body, the National Examinations Board of Embalmers (NEBE): there was also degree of reciprocity with examinations set by other authorities outside of the UK. Because of the proposed European nature of the organisation, it was necessary to form another examinations body that catered for the differing legal systems and social practices in each member state or country; this was the European & International Examinations Board in Mortuary Sciences (E&IEBMS). The E&IEBMS is an independent organisation in its own right.