(Image: Private Media)

This is part one of Preying on Grief, Crikey's four part investigation of the funeral industry.

Across Australia, the funeral industry is largely unregulated. In most states, the only requirement is to dispose of the body properly under relevant health acts, and funeral operators don’t need a licence or registration to operate.

Funeral directors are torn -- some are calling for regulation to ensure agreed standards are met, others think there should be training requirements to make sure those performing invasive procedures on bodies know what they're doing, while others still believe some aspects of funerals are already more complicated than they need to be.