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®.

Please click on one of the sub-categories listed below for additional information.

Steps to Becoming an Accredited Member of AIFD® (click for more)

STEP 1: Enroll as a PFDE® Candidate
Apply online as a Candidate. Candidates should purchase the AIFD® Guide to Floral Design: Terms, Techniques, and Traditions (3rd edition) to study for Part 1 of the PFDE® and online test.  Login to the AIFD® store to purchase a copy of the book.

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):

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

STEP 3: Participate in PFDE® (Approx. $1,900 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 (3rd 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 opportunities 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.

PFDE® Hands-on Design Evaluation: A More In-depth Look (click for more)

PFDE® Schedule of Activities (approximate)

 Day 1 10:00 am Candidate Registration (MUST REGISTER WITH VALID GOVERNMENT ISSUED I.D.)
1:00-1:15 pm Meet and Greet with the Board of Directors and Membership Committee
1:15 pm Professional Floral Design Evaluation Orientation (Invitation Only)
PFDE® Candidates only (PFDE® wristbands required for entry) Candidates meet to be briefed on the specific design categories to be evaluated this year.
3:00-7:00 pm Candidate Design session
7:00-8:00 pm Post-Design Session Clean Up
 Day 2 8:00 am – 6:00 pm PFDE® Evaluations by AIFD Certified Judge Evaluators
2:00 pm Complimentary Education Program for Candidates that are registered for Symposium.
7:00-9:00 pm Reception and Viewing of Candidates Work
9:00-10:00 pm 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
 Wedding Projects may be any design directly related to a wedding. This can include bridal and bridesmaids bouquets of various styles, or wedding party designs of various styles.
Flowers to Wear Projects can include any floral designs that may be worn (for wrist, hair, shoulder, shoe or body jewelry).
Arrangement Projects may include centerpieces, hospital designs, party/event designs, presentation designs or specific design of various function.
Sympathy Projects may include a design that is deemed appropriate for a funeral or celebration of life such as a casket spray, standing spray, memorial design or cremation.
Designer’s Choice Projects show a creative use of materials and techniques in a design style of your own choice.

Failure to complete all five designs will result in disqualification/fail.


All participants will be given an identical set of flowers, foliage, containers and supplies needed to complete the required designs. Participants may choose, from their allotment, which flowers/supplies to use in each design, however no other materials (fresh material or supplies) may be used. Use of non-supplied materials will result in disqualification of the design in which it was used.


  • A Floral Knife
  • A Hand Pruner
  • A Ribbon Shear
  • A Wire Cutter
  • A Needle-Nose Plier or Jewelry Tool
  • Small Hand Towel (approx. 11” x 18”)
  • Small Snack in clear plastic baggie


There shall be no sharing or bartering of design products, fresh, or hard goods.

Upon completion of the design portion of the PFDE® (but with the allotted four (4) hour total design time), participants must clean their design table and place the provided table cloth on top, place their finished designs on the table and have the correct category card that is provided in front of each design. All designs must be displayed on the table top for evaluation – designs not on the table top within the allotted four (4) hour design time will not be evaluated and will be disqualified.

Design area must be cleaned and all unused product (fresh and/or hard goods) must either be taken by the Candidate or returned as instructed by the membership committee.

Design Evaluation & Scoring (click for more)

Click here to download a sample of the score sheet used during the PFDE®. Seven AIFD® Certified Evaluator/Judges will evaluate each PFDE® session participant’s work. The high and low scores of the evaluators will be dropped and remaining scores will be averaged for design score.

Designs shall be evaluated according to the following criteria:

Category Interpretation Creativity
Scale (Proportion) 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

PFDE® Design Assessment will be based on a system of 1-5 points (see Evaluation Form for point explanations). In order to successfully complete the design segment, participants must score the following:

  1. To receive the designation of Certified Floral Designer, the participant must have a cumulative score of 16.0 (3.2 average) with no individual design scoring below 2.95. When a PFDE® participant receives a score of 15.0-15.99 (or has a score of more than 16.0 but with one or more individual designs receiving a score of less than 2.95), that participant’s scores and work will be subject to a final review by the Membership Review Committee, providing that no individual design received a score of less than 2.75. Upon review of the participants work, the Membership Review Committee may, at its sole discretion, request a review by the AIFD® National Executive Board for approval.
  2. To receive the designation of Accredited in Floral Design (AIFD®) and be invited into AIFD® membership, PFDE® participants must have a cumulative score of 20.0 (4.0 average) with no individual design scoring below 3.75. When a PFDE® participant receives a score of 19.00 – 19.99 (or has a score of more than 20 but with one or more individual designs receiving a score of less than 3.75), that participant’s scores and work will be subject to a final review by the Membership Review Committee. Upon the review of the participants work, the Membership Review Committee may, at its sole discretion, recommend a final review by the AIFD® National Executive Board for approval.

Notification of PFDE Results

Notification as to whether a participant has successfully passed the PFDE® Design Assessment for the CFD designation and/or will receive an invitation to join AIFD®, will be given after the results are confirmed by the AIFD Executive Board. Generally within two to three weeks.

    1. If a participant receives the required scores to be designated “CFD” the participant may immediately use this designation upon receipt of the notification.
    2. If a participant receives the required scores to be invited to become a member of AIFD®, they can immediately begin using the CFD designation, but must submit the required information as an application to AIFD®.
      • Submit AIFD application and biographic information.
      • Remit membership fees
    3. If a participant does not pass the design evaluation assessment for the CFD® designation on the first attempt, the participant may retake the PFDE® Design Assessment (reduced rate) after waiting a period of three (3) months and remain in “Candidate” status for one year without additional fees.

Maintaining Your Accreditation (click for more)

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.

*Please Note: As a part of the AIFD® COVID-19 Relief Package to support our AIFD® and CFD® members in maintaining their credentials, we have reduced the amount of CEUs due by 10 points for those who are to report in 2020 and 2021. (A total of 15 CEUs due for CFD® and 20 CEUs due for AIFD® Accredited members who are submitting in 2020 and 2021.)

Tools For Success (click for more)

√     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 calendar of events 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.

Deadlines (click for more)

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


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