You can of course set up in business as a florist without any qualifications or training, but...
Do you know how to appropriately condition each of your flowers, so that they last?
Can you make a hand-tied, gift-wrap it, and aquapack it?
Do your buttonholes stay fresh throughout the whole wedding day?
Can you create a complex wired shower bouquet from a photo that a bride gives you?
Qualifications are not essential to work in floriculture and horticulture, but they do help. It’s not like being a dentist or surgeon, where customers expect you to have undergone extensive training before you set up in business.
However, training in your chosen field can help you know more about your products, understand how to do your job better, find faster or more efficient ways to work, and give you access to information and business contacts that may prove invaluable in the future.
Choosing the right route
Your training can take place at college, on the job, or a combination of the two.
You can study full time or part time, or in one-off weekend workshops.
You can learn at general education colleges, specialised agricultural or design colleges, or at private floristry schools.
On the job training is the best way to get a feel for the everyday business of working in a florist shop, and developing the practical and commercial skills that go along with it. You face issues such as cost of materials and value for money, speed and customer service, much more so than on a college course.
However many employers find it hard to spare the time to organise a structured training schedule for their employees, and focus instead on teaching what is most useful at the time.
However some employers can offer you a broad training programme as part of an apprenticeship scheme, which can be almost entirely based in the workplace, with as little as one day a month in college. For more information on apprenticeships, click here.
College-based training offers a broader, more structured programme and there are hundreds of different courses you can choose, taking many different forms and different lengths of time, from a basic introduction to flowers and their use, right up to the equivalent of a Master’s Degree.
Qualifications available include:
City & Guilds National Certificate in Floristry
For beginners who would like experience and knowledge to enter the floristry industry.
City & Guilds Diploma in Floristry
Offers a comprehensive introduction into the world of commercial floristry.
BTEC National Certificate in Floristry
A practical, work related course designed to give students a broad understanding and appreciation of the floristry industry.
City & Guilds Certificate in Creative Craft Techniques in Floristry
Gives students the opportunity to learn the basic techniques to become an amateur florist.
And much, much more...
You’ve just left school and are looking to start in a trade
You are interested in flowers and want to learn new techniques for arranging them
You’re already working in the industry and want to add to your skills
You want to start your own business
... there’s a course for you! To find out more, visit the LANTRA website.