Welcome to our website, Florist Certification, established to advise what becoming certified means to you - as a florist and/or a business.
Anyone can call themselves a florist and arrange and charge for flowers or open a floral business. There are usually no formal educational, or legal, requirements and the florist or floral business will fail or succeed on the basis of the quality and cost of the service provided.
Such success is obviously based on a number of business and marketing practices but will ultimately be determined by the end user - the customer ordering flowers.
The system of "customer determines" works perfectly well. However the consuming public often feel more secure when selecting a provider who has proved, through education and experience, to be reliable, dependable, knowledgeable and able to deliver a service. This is particularly true and comforting to Federal and Local Government Institutions who use the services of florists extenively.
Institutions such as the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) were established to set industry standards.
Each state in the USA has a governing body. For example in California the Certified Florist Authority is California State Floral Association.
No matter where you are in the world there is a body that you could get certified through.
But for now let's use the AIFD as our model.
The AIFD Mission Statement reads:
"To advance the art of professional floral design through education, service and leadership, and to recognize the achievement of excellence in this art form."
With over 1300 members in various parts of the world the AIFD has certainly expanded but relative to the number of florists in the USA alone is far from an absolute requirement to run a successful business.
At this time we are unaware of any city that requires an AIFD (or similar) certification to open a floral business.
How to Become Certified
Continuing to use the AIFD as a standard there are different levels of membership:
- CFD - Certified Floral Designer
- AIFD - Accredited member of the AIFD
The former requires the succesful completion of Professional Florald Design Evaluation (PFDE) by the AIFD. There are 4 steps to get certification:
- Step one - complete one of 5 PFDE Pathways. These range from 3 years floral design experience through to a variety of college, university or AIFD approved workshops.
- Enrol as a candidate. There is a cost associated with this. For 2013 that cost is $150.00
- Review for the PFDE by utilising the tools supplied by the AIFD; self evaluation, an online written PFDE test and a PFDE hands-on evaluation objective. These are free of charge and designed to prepare you for the annual evaluation.
- Participate in the PFDE. This costs approximately $1700.00 and excludes the cost of airfares and hotel accommodation.
You can get full details of the requirements at: http://aifd.org/membership/become-cfd-and-aifd/
In addition to the intitial costs there are annual fees (subscriptions) for local, regional, state and national membership.
The Benefits of Certification
As a certified member you get a number of benefits which include, but are not limited to:
- Recognition from peers and those in the know (not neccesarily the public)
- A tremendoud network of like minded people
- Regular contact and support through the website, e-mails and newsletters
- Kept up to date with the latest trends and designs.
- Monthly and annual meetings and conferences for both regional and national chapters
- Ongoing education
- Discounts from a variety of suppliers
- Potential high end business - such as government or local authority bodies
- Notification of career opportunities
Is Florist Certification For You?
There is no absolute need to become 'certified' if your passion is simply to provide a service and run a business doing something you love. Not everyone is interested in joining a formal organization or concerned with formal recognition.
For many aspiring florists a good online floral design course that teaches them all they need to know to follow their passion is adequate.
Many a succesful floral career or business is run by people who simply love what they are doing and are happy with their lifestyle.
The choice is entirely up to you.