Explaining the many options available
Whether you’re thinking of kick starting your floristry career, or wish to develop your skills further, there are many routes you can take to build knowledge, experience and expertise.
Apprenticeships / Work Based Training
Learning on the job is a practical way to develop your skills. However, if you’re hoping to for a career in floristry it’s crucial you underpin practical knowledge with official accreditations. These not only help with the more technical elements of the job, but also with the business side – which is crucial if you want to succeed.
A great way to earn whilst you learn an apprenticeship. Training typically takes 2-3 years and is based on completion of the NVQ2 / NVQ3 floristry awards, plus key skills and a technical certificate.
Apprenticeship training combines work-based training together with formal assessments and building a portfolio of work. Your training is moderated by a college or approved training provider who will visit the workplace on a regular basis. Some colleges / training providers also provide apprentices with ‘off the job’ training to supplement the skills developed in the workplace.
Apprenticeships are Government funded and are normally available free to the candidate and the employer.
Trailblazer Apprenticeship Scheme
There’s no better time to start your floristry training now that the new Floristry Trailblazer Apprenticeship set to launch.
This new apprenticeship is created by florists for florists, to ensure your training and knowledge is up-to-speed and up-to-date with industry standards and expectations. It’s the best way to make sure your finger is on the modern floristry pulse.
Where can I find out more about apprenticeships?
Apprenticeship Training is intended for those candidates who are already employed in a floristry business. Training typically takes 2-3 years and is based on completion of the NVQ2 / NVQ3 floristry awards, plus key skills and a technical certificate.
Apprenticeship training can be tailored to suit the needs of the individual trainee and combines work-based training together with formal assessments and building a portfolio of evidence. In all cases the candidate’s training is overseen by a college or approved training provider who visits the candidate in their workplace on a regular basis. Some colleges / training providers also provide their apprentices with ‘off the job’ training to supplement the skills developed in the workplace.
Apprenticeships are Government funded and are normally available free to the candidate and the employer. A useful resouce is KEITS.
Whether you’re a budding apprentice or potential apprenticeship employer, you can find out more about apprenticeship vacancies or how to become a florist with the training provider KEITS (https://www.keits.co.uk)
College based training is often the first route that a student will take to becoming a florist. Students under the age of xxxxx will be able to undertake courses for free, whilst mature students will need to subsidise their place.
Many UK colleges offering floristry courses, these vary from specialist ‘land-based’ horticultural colleges with purpose-built training facilities, to general further education colleges without special facilities. Some colleges also offer external courses in venue such as community centres.
The range of floristry courses and study options available is complex and it is important to seek advice when selecting an appropriate course. (See the floristry qualifications list for more information.)
The main decision you will need to make is whether you wish to study full-time or part-time.
Full time study
Ideal for school leavers who wish to improve their employment prospects and gain a wide range of floristry skills. Full-time routes are also ideal for mature students seeking a change of career as they can gain a wide range of skills in a short period and are then well placed to enter the industry at intermediate level. Full-time courses also exist for students wishing to undertake a more academic study route, e.g. Higher Education, although some prior industry experience is normally an essential entry requirement. No matter what course you do always ensure its an accredited course.
Full time attendance ranges between 3-5 days per week plus home study, depending on the course and college, a number of land-based colleges offer hostel accommodation for students studying away from home. Many full-time courses also include a period of work experience.
Full time courses offer training in a wide range of skills, but it is recommended that you gain as much work experience as possible to build commercial knowledge and put your skills into practise.
It is often possible to find the same course offered both full and part-time by different colleges. Where this is the case it’s best to consider which option best meets your needs: does the part-time course cover the training in as much depth? Does the full-time course offer enough flexibility?
Bear in mind, if you choose a part-time course it may take longer to develop the same range of floristry skills, so you should try to gain part-time employment to compliment your studies and practice within a commercial environment.
So, you’ve gained your first certificate? Congratulations! But what next? Once you have gained basic floristry skills and qualifications it’s best to consider taking follow-on courses to further advance your skills and training. Part-time courses are ideal for this as they enable you to work and study at the same time.
Some employers can be wary of taking on florists who are purely college trained. This is partly because a student may lack commercial experience and speed and often need further training to fit into a busy shop. With this in mind, it’s best to try to get some shop-based work experience and to bear in mind that, in the long term, college training offers advantages both to the employer and employee – the range of skills and underpinning knowledge you will gain from college training will assist you throughout your career.
Certificate in Land based studies – Floristry route. (CF)
National Certificate in Floristry (NCF)
First Diploma in Floristry
NVQ2 Floristry & Key Skills
Advanced National Certificate in Floristry
(ANCF) National Diploma in Floristry
(Also National Certificate / National Award at level 2/3)
NVQ3 Floristry & Key Skills & Technical Certificate
Intermediate Certificate Society of Floristry (Society of Floristry) (ICSF)*
Higher Diploma in Floristry (HDF)
Foundation DegreeHND HNC
NVQ4 Floristry Business Management
National Diploma Society of Floristry (Society of Floristry) (NDSF)*
Master Diploma in Professional Floristry (C&G/NPTC) (MDPF) Degree
*Please note that the above list focuses on the qualifications that are most widely available and recognised by the floristry industry. Other qualifications are available.
BFA FleurEx is the UK trade show for professional floristry, featuring demonstrations and masterclasses run by world-class floral designers. You’ll also find inspiration, engaging trade exhibitor stands and the opportunity to compete in floristry competitions.
BFA Vision is the annual spring trade conference. Featuring an engaging programme of inspirational speakers and business workshops on essential commercial topics to re-energise your business mind.
European Floristry School
A bi-annual event where you can unleash your hidden floristry potential - the European Floristry School delivers workshops by the finest designers in the world. Introducing new concepts and sharing a range of designs including bridal work, you will walk away with newly developed skills in creating fabulous floral art.