BALTIMORE (July 16, 2009) − After three years of development, the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) has launched a dynamic new Certified Floral Designer (CFD) professional recognition program. The program was unveiled during the AIFD National Symposium that took place in Kansas City, Mo. July 11-16.
The program is modeled on the proven system already used by AIFD to accredit its members. To achieve the CFD designation, a floral designer will first have to show that he or she has attained a fundamental level of understanding of the art of floral design through one of five education pathways.
CFD education pathways include online courses and workshops offered by AIFD, completion of qualified courses offered by approved floral design schools, graduation from a student chapter of AIFD, completion of a qualified state floral association’s education programs, or a self-evaluation survey.
Once a floral designer has successfully completed an education pathway, he or she can apply to become a CFD candidate. Candidates will then be able to participate in an AIFD Professional Floral Designers Evaluation (PFDE) session, which is a replica of AIFD′s rigorous Accreditation Evaluation Session. In addition, a written design-knowledge assessment is required.
During a PFDE, candidates are required to produce five designs in four hours. The design work will be evaluated by a panel of international AIFD evaluators who will follow the same level of rating as has been used by AIFD to qualify its members. The only major difference will be that a florist can achieve the CFD designation by achieving a solid “average” rating as compared to “well above average” evaluation that is needed to become AIFD.
“The evaluation system we will use will be exactly the same as that which weÃ¢??ve used to accredit our own members,” said Tina Stoecker, president of AIFD and a retail design artist in the Orlando area. The big difference in the five point evaluation system used by AIFD is that presently an evaluation of 4.0 or higher is required to become AIFD where as a 3.2 or better will be required to achieve the CFD.
“Candidates who achieve a 4.0 or better will be invited by AIFD to become a member,” said Stoecker. “If they wish to accept the invitation to join AIFD in its mission to advance the art of professional floral design, they will need to provide us three letters of recommendation and demonstrate that they have been a leader in the floral industry.”
The broad design categories upon which the candidates will be evaluated include sympathy, wedding, general arrangement, flowers-to-wear and a duplication design. During an orientation immediately prior to their PFDE, the candidates will be advised of such specifics as the flowers, foliage and materials to be used and the exact type of design for each of the broad categories, i.e., bridal bouquet in the wedding category or standing easel in the sympathy category.
“Much of our CFD program is focused at providing incentives to floral designers to become more involved and participate in industry organizations and events,” stressed Stoecker. CFD recipients will be required to continue to advance themselves through continuing education and leadership in the industry. “While many CE opportunities, including the AIFD National Symposium, will be available through AIFD, the CE concept will help drive floral designers to educational programs offered by state floral associations.”
CFD recipients will be listed on AIFD′s Web site and AIFD will work with shelter magazines and other consumer avenues to motivate consumers to seek out CFD designers.