Over the past couple of years, the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors implemented a number of policy changes that affected the funeral industry.  New requirements were imposed on licensing and reporting, and complaints were filed against licensees that failed to comply with those new requirements.  It is not uncommon for a state agency to define an action as a policy (as opposed to a rule) so that it does not have to comply with Missouri’s Administrative Procedures Act (Chapter 536).   However, many of the State Board’s policy changes are reflected in rule proposals that have been approved by the State Board, but never finalized pursuant to Chapter 536.  Other policy changes were based on a “new” interpretation of an existing regulation.  In either situation, the State Board was required to comply with Chapter 536 before implementing the policy change.  In failing to do so, each policy change subject to Chapter 536 will be voided when challenged in court, and the prevailing licensee could be awarded attorneys’ fees.