Becoming an Accredited Member of AIFD®

There is only one way to become an Accredited Member of AIFD:

Participate in the Professional Floral Design Evaluation (PFDE) and achieve scores at the level required to receive an invitation to AIFD.

Steps to Becoming an Accredited Member of AIFD

STEP 1: Enroll as a PFDE Candidate ($150)

Apply online as a Candidate. Candidates will receive a copy of The AIFD Guide to Floral Design: Terms, Techniques, and Traditions (1st edition). This text should be studied to review for Part 1 of the PFDE: The online test.

STEP 2: Review for the PFDE (no cost)

AIFD highly suggests that regardless of your level of experience, you take the time to review the following
documents to help prepare yourself for both the online test and hands-on evaluation portions of the PFDE:

Self-Evaluation Analysis
PFDE Online Test Objectives
PFDE Hands-on Evaluation Objectives

AIFD also strongly recommends you consider obtaining additional training and education prior to the PFDE such as one or more of the following (not required):

– Having at least three years in the floral industry.
– Attend courses at an AIFD approved Education Partner
– Certificate of Degree from an AIFD approved College/University
State Certification Credentials
AIFD Online Courses

** Candidates who have acquired advance floral design education have generally received higher evaluation marks during the PFDE. **

STEP 3: Participate in PFDE (Approx. $1,700 plus cost of flight and hotel)

All Candidates will be sent an Application to Participate in February prior to an upcoming PFDE (typically on or around July 1). This Application to Participate needs to be returned with a deposit toward the PFDE by the given deadlines (April 15).

Part One of the PFDE: an online test based on the AIFD Guide to Floral Design: Terms, Techniques, and Traditions (1st edition). The test is approximately 55 questions and you are given 45 minutes to complete it. Candidates must receive a mark of 80% or better in order to be eligible to participate in the PFDE hands-on design session. The Candidate will have two attempts to reach this required score without additional fees being required.

Part Two of the PFDE: During the design evaluation phase of the PFDE sessions, participants are required to demonstrate their design artistry by creating five (5) designs in specific categories, which will be announced to them during an initial briefing and process orientation that will take place immediately prior to the actual designing. You can find more details regarding the PFDE hands-on design evaluation here.

PFDE Hands-on Design Evaluation: A More In-depth Look

PFDE Schedule of Activities (approximate)

 2 p.m. Candidates’ Reception with the AIFD Board & Membership Committee
 2:30 p.m. Professional Floral Design Evaluation Orientation (Invitation Only)
Candidates meet to be briefed on the specific design categories to be evaluated this year.
 4-8 p.m. Candidate Design session
 Day 2  8 a.m. – 6 p.m. PFDE Evaluations by AIFD Certified Judge Evaluators
 2 p.m. Complimentary Education Program for Candidates that are registered for Symposium.
 7-9 p.m. Reception and Viewing of Candidates Work
 9-10 p.m. Candidates to take or move flowers

Design Categories

PFDE participants will design in five categories. Specific categories will vary from year-to-year, but general categories will remain the same. AIFD’s Membership Chairperson will announce the selected categories during the initial briefing session. There will be one design in each of the following:

General Category  Specific Category Examples
 Sympathy Design Casket Spray, Standing Spray, Memorial Design or Cremation
 Arrangement Centerpieces, Hospital Designs, Party/Event Designs, Presentation Designs or Specific Design of Various Styles
 Wedding Bridal/Bridesmaid’s Bouquets of Various Styles, Centerpieces, Ceremony or Reception décor, Wedding Party Designs of Various Styles
 Flowers to Wear Any floral designs that may be worn – Wrist, Hair, Shoulder, Shoe or Body Jewelry
 Duplicate Recreate an image of a floral design with supplied materials

Flowers & Tools

All flowers, foliage, containers and supplies needed to complete the required designs will be provided by AIFD. Each participant will receive an identical supply of flowers, foliage, containers and supplies.

Candidates must furnish their own tools and will be allowed to bring only the following tools into the design room:

  • A Floral Knife
  • A Pruner
  • A Ribbon Shear
  • A Wire Cutter
  • A Needle Nose Plier


There shall be no sharing or bartering of product/materials allowed.

Design Evaluation

Click here to download a sample of the score sheet used during the PFDE. Seven members of the AIFD National Evaluation Committee will evaluate each PFDE session participant’s work. The high and low scores of the evaluators will be dropped before a final score is rendered on any design.

Designs shall be evaluated according to the following criteria:

Category Interpretation Creativity
Scale Design Unity (Harmony & Texture)
Balance (Physical and Visual) Focal Emphasis
Line (Movement and Rhythm) Depth
Color (Balance, Harmony and Rhythm) Mechanics (Professional Application)


Each of the above Design Evaluation criteria will be scored using the following point scale:

 5  Excellent Exceptional use of design principles and elements with strong creative emphasis
 4  Above
Good consistent application of design principles and elements with a creative flair
 3  Average Good design work, applying use of the principles and elements of design, but not demonstrating any special flair or creative emphasis
 2  Below
Weak in the application of design principles and elements and creativity, would not qualify as a good basic design
 1 Not
Design work lacking the application of the principles and elements of design and shows no creativity

Achieving Success

Certified Floral Designer (CFD®)

This professional skills assessment is the cumulative total of the participant’s scores. If the participant receives a cumulative evaluation mark of 16 points or better with no one design scoring less than 2.75 average then they have been successfully evaluated as a Certified Floral Designer and earned the coveted “CFD” as an addendum to his or her name.

Accredited AIFD Member

A Candidate may gain both a CFD designation and an invitation to join AIFD from the same PFDE session, if proper scores are attained.

If the cumulative score from this successful CFD participant is 20 points or better with no one design scoring below 3.75, then this participant demonstrates an advanced floral artistry talent. This successful participant will then have their name submitted to the AIFD Membership Committee suggesting they be asked to become an AIFD member. They will be asked to provide three letters of reference from the floral industry (at least two of which shall be from AIFD members) and complete a short biographic form. He or she will be formally inducted during grand ceremonies at the next AIFD National Symposium.

Notification of PFDE Results

Those participating in a PFDE in conjunction with a Symposium will receive their results approximately three weeks following the PFDE.

Maintaining Your Accreditation (No fee)

To maintain the status of a CFD and AIFD, individuals must meet certain continuing education requirements every three years for CFD and every five years for AIFD. For CFD, every three years he or she must earn 25 Continuing Education units and must submit proof of the same as there is no 21 year waiver for CFD designers. For AIFD, every five years for 20 years, he or she must earn 30 Continuing Education units and must submit proof of the same. The Continuing Education requirements can be easily accumulated by attending a Symposium or by attending a plethora of other floral industry design education programs. Continuing Education units can also be earned through demonstrated leadership and participation in floral industry organizations including AIFD. AIFD members must obtain 5 out of their 30 Continuing Education units in the area of service and leadership. Click here to learn more about how to earn your Continuing Education units.

Tools For Success

√     FREE video that give in-depth examples of the evaluation criteria used on your floral design work. The video can be found below.
√     Many of AIFD’s elite Education Partners offer courses specifically aimed at fine tuning your skills in preparation of AIFD’s evaluation process. Check out our list here.
√     We suggest finding an AIFD mentor in your area if you have not already. You can always utilize the “Find a Designer” tool located at the top of the homepage. If you are having trouble finding a mentor, AIFD would be happy to find someone in your area to connect you with.

To watch this video in Korean click here.
To watch this video in Japanese click here.
To watch this video in Chinese click here.
To watch this video in Spanish click here.


The deadline to enroll as a Candidate and submit your Application to Participate in the June 29, 2017 PFDE is April 15, 2017.

However, we suggest enrolling as a PFDE Candidate as soon as possible in order to receive your study materials prior to the online test portion of the PFDE (online test deadline: May 1). Please read the steps to membership above before completing your Candidate Enrollment Form.

Still Have Questions?

AIFD has compiled a list of the most Frequently Asked Questions regarding its Accreditation process, and you can access them here. You may also contact AIFD Headquarters at 443-966-3850 Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, or e-mail

Become an Accredited Member of AIFD

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