Post-Nominals (Initials) For Florists

Ever wondered about those initials after a florists name? A complete guide to the post-nominals, designations, certifications and accreditations available to florists.

The floral industry offers several designations for florists to demonstrate their professionalism and expertise to their customers. A recognized floral designation is also a great way for anyone who wants to break into the floral industry to learn or upgrade their floral design and shop management skills.

Post-nominal letters, also called post-nominal initials, post-nominal titles or designatory letters, are letters placed after a person's name to indicate that the individual holds a position, academic degree, accreditation, office, military decoration, or honour, or is a member of a religious institute or fraternity.

Designations can be obtained through national organizations such as SAF or AIFD, but many state/regional floral associations also offer programs.

 

Alphabetical Guide To Floral Industry Designations

Have you encountered a designation you're not familiar with? Check the alphabetical list below for more information. 

  AAF American Academy of Floriculture
Society of American Florists
  AIFD Accredited in Floral Design
American Institute of Floral Designers
  AIFSE American Institute of Floral Sales Experts
FloralStrategies
  AMF Arkansas Master Florist Program
Arkansas Florists Association
  AZMF Arizona Master Florist
Arizona State Florists Association
  CCF California Certified Florist
California State Floral Association
  CF Certified Florist
Michigan Floral Association
  CF Certified Florist
Wisconsin and Upper Michigan Floral Association
  CFD Certified Floral Designer
American Institute of Floral Designers
  CPF Certified Professional Florist
Floral Association of the Rockies
  FPCF Florida Professional Certified Florists
Florida State Florists Association
  FSMD Florida State Master Designer
Florida State Florists Association
  GMF Georgia Master Florist
Georgia State Florists Association
  ICPF Illinois Certified Professional Florist
Illinois State Florists’ Association
  MMFD Maine Master Floral Designer
Maine Florists’ Association
  MPCF Maine Professional Certified Florist
Maine Florists’ Association
  NCCPF North Carolina Certified Professional Florist
North Carolina Florists Association
  PFCI Professional Floral Communicators - International
Society of American Florists
  SDCF South Dakota Certified Florist
South Dakota Florists Association
  TCF Texas Certified Florist
Texas State Florists’ Association
  TMF Texas Master Florist
Texas State Florists’ Association
  TMFA Texas Master Florist Advanced Certification
Texas State Florists’ Association
     

National Programs and Designations

Florists can expand their skills and credibility within the industry by exploring one or more of the national designations in this list.

American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD)

AIFD aims to advance the art of professional floral design through education, service and leadership, and to recognize the achievement of excellence in this art form. They offer two designations to candidates that have effectively demonstrated advanced professional ability of floral artistry:

CFD (Certified Floral Designer)

CFD designation can be obtain by successfully completing the appropriate design education program at one of the AIFD’s Education Partners/approved State Floral Association/SAIFD Chapter and then passing the Professional Floral Design Evaluation (PFDE) test.

Participating in the PFDE course required for those seeking their AIFD (see below).

Becoming a CFD requires completion of course-work, an online exam and an on-site evaluation of your designing abilities. Topics covered by coursework include terminology, technique, cut flower care, and shop management. During the on-site evaluation, the candidate is asked to design and create floral arrangements for five different categories, i.e. sympathy, wedding, etc.

It’s recommended (but not mandatory) that the candidate also have additional training in the form of one or more of the following: at least three years experience in the floral industry, attend courses at an AIFD approved Education Partner, obtain a certificate or degree from an AIFD approved College/University

  • State Certification Credentials
  • AIFD Online Courses

Maintaining a CFD designation requires 25 continuing education units every 3 years.
 

AIFD (Accredited in Floral Design)

To be an accredited member of AIFD and to use the AIFD designation after your name, you must first be a CFD. If you have an exceptional score during the Personal Floral Design Evaluation (PFDE) you will be invited to join AIFD in its mission to “advance the art of professional floral design through education, service and leadership”.

Accredited members must earn 30 continuing education credits every five years.


For full details about the CFD and AIFD designations, please visit the AIFD website.

 

Society of American Florists (SAF)

The Society of American Florists, the only national trade association that represents all segments of the U.S. floral industry, offers two certifications to their members:
 

AAF (American Academy of Floriculture)

Florists who are members of SAF may apply for admission to the American Academy of Floriculture and the AAF designation. The AAF designation recognizes members who have committed both time and energy to the floral industry and to their communities.

To apply for an AAF designation, florists must meet stringent criteria, including:

  • Candidate must have served or worked in the floral industry on a full-time basis for at least 5 years. 
  • Candidate must be involved in the community, meeting at least 3 out of 10 conditions (community service award, active member of a community service organization, etc)
  • Candidate must be a member of their local, state or regional allied floral societies or association, and have served as a member of a committee or board member for that association or another recognized floral association (SAF, AIFD, etc).

These are just a few of the criteria that must be met, and meeting all the criteria does not automatically guarantee membership in AAF.
 

PFCI (Professional Floral Communicators - International)

SAF also recognizes floral industry professionals who have proven their ability to speak about relevant topics such as floral design, care and handling of flowers and plants, and business management techniques with the PFCI designation. According the SAF, “dedicated to the improvement of professional communication for the floral industry, PFCI is the industry’s No. 1 source of professional floral speakers”.


For full details on both SAF designations, please visit the SAF website.

 

FloralStrategies

FloralStrategies offers the retail floral industry's only accreditation program to focus solely on standards of excellence in sales and customer service:
 

AIFSE (American Institute of Floral Sales Experts)

AIFSE certification is for shops and individuals that understand outstanding sales and customer service are as important as outstanding design.

Now more than ever customers' shopping habits are evolving and changing. As such, AIFSE accreditation involves continuing education focused on best practices to keep members on the cutting edge.
 

For more information on the AIFSE designation please visit the FloralStrategies website.


Regional Programs and Designations

Many regional floral associations have their own designation to identify florists in their state as possessing the professional expertise of a Certified Florist. These give florists an opportunity to expand their knowledge and increase their expertise. Please note that all organizations that include an asterisk are AIFD education partners.


AMF – Arkansas Master Florist Program
Arkansas Florists Association (AMF)

The Arkansas Florists Association is proud to offer a Certified Florist program which designates a florist as an Arkansas Master Florist. The AMF designation is is now an approved AIFD State Floral Association Education provider, so this is the first step towards completing your CFD as well.

For full details please see the AFA website.

 

AZMF – Arizona Master Florist Program
Arizona State Florists Association (ASFA)*

Arizona State Florist’s Association has three certification programs: Professional Florist, Master Designer, and Master Florist. Each one requires the successful completion of specific courses, from business specific such as customer relations, merchandising and employee relations, to design classes such as Cut Flowers & Foliages and Principles of Design. Classes are limited in size and available in the spring and fall.

For full details please see the ASFA website.

 

CCF – California Certified Florist
California State Floral Association (CSFA)*

The California State Floral Association certifies through a full day of testing, at the annual convention in the fall. Applicants are provides with study materials and exam prep classes are also offered in select locations. The written portion of the exam covers flower identification, care and handling, and elements of floral design. The hands-on exam requires up to five different designs be prepared on site.

Full details about the CCF program are available on the association’s website.

 

FAR Certified Professional Florist
Floral Association of the Rockies (FAR)*

The CPF program from the Floral Association of the Rockies is dedicated to bringing a standardized level of professional knowledge and expertise to the floral industry in Colorado and Wyoming. The CPF program is also an AIFD education partner and is recognized by AIFD as one of the steps to a CFD.

Full details are available on the FAR website.

 

FPCF – Florida Professional Certified Florists
FSMD – Florida State Master Designer

Florida State Florists Association (FSFA)*

Members of the FSFA can now complete a new Professional Certified Florist program consisting of 12 courses. The courses cover both management and design production and are a mix of online and hands-on. All courses must be completed within three years. Courses include subjects such as employee and customer relations, visual merchandising, care and handling of cut flowers, foliage and flowering plants, daily business procedures and much more.

Full details are available on the FSFA website.

 

GMF – Georgia Master Florist
Georgia State Florists Association (GSFA)*

Members of the GSFA must complete two phases to earn their Master Florist designation. Phase One is completion of the GMF certification program consisting of nine online courses, one hands-on class and one exam. Once phase one has been completed, successful candidates can move on to phase two, a Design Evaluation held at the GSFA annual convention. The evaluation requires 3 or 4 designs to be successfully completed during a set three hour time limit.

Full details are available at the GFSA website.

 

ICPF – Illinois Certified Professional Florist
Illinois State Florists’ Association (ISFA)*

The ICPF program from the Illinois State Florists’ Association is dedicated to establishing and maintaining a level of proficiency and professionalism in the Illinois floral industry. Consisting of eight online courses and five hands-on classes, the course allows applicants to proceed at their own pace. An exam is available at the end of each course. You must acheive 85% or higher on each course within two years to earn your ICPF designation.

Full details are available on the ISFA website.

 

MPCF – Maine Professional Certified Florist
MMFD – Master Floral Designer

Maine Florists’ Association (MSFA)*

The Maine State Florists’ Association offers PCF educational programs for the benefit of everyone in the retail floral industry, from sales staff to floral designers to shop owners. The PCF consists of 12 classes which must be passed with a mark of 80% or higher. Classes cover both design and management theory.

Once you have the PCF you can then move on to the MMFD, which consists of an advanced floral design course available to all members of the association, providing they meet the criteria of having the PCF with 5 years of floral design experience, or a comparable advanced designation such as AIFD, a college degree in retail floriculture. Successful candidates must earn a grade of 80% or higher.

 

CF – Certified Florist
Great Lakes Floral Association (GLFA)*

A Certified Florist has completed a self-study program specifically designed for those in the retail floral industry. The CF program is the best way to freshen up on design skills and current trends, or become more employable for those looking to enter the industry.

Once completed, graduates and their employers will receive certificates proclaiming their achievements along with marketing materials (door stickers and camera-ready art-work). The Great Lakes Floral Association will also prepare and mail a news release announcing your accomplishment to your local newspaper.

Full details are available on the GLFA website.

 

NCCPF – Certified Professional Florist
North Carolina Florists Association (NCFA)*

The NCFA offers a CPF program for it’s members in good standing. The programs consists of eight modules, covering everything from basic skills and terminology to design techniques. Also included is a module on business procedures for the retail florist.

Full details are available on the NCFA website.

 

South Dakota Certified Florist
South Dakota Florists Association (SDFA)*

In order to become a SDCF, the candidate must first successfully complete both the written and practical application test administered by the education committee of the SDFA.

Full details are available on the SDFA website.

 

TCF – Texas Certified Florist
TMF – Texas Master Florist

TMFA – Texas Master Florist Advanced Certification
Texas State Florists’ Association (TSFA)*

TSFA has a few advanced programs for their members. Members of the TSFA can become Certified Florists and use the Texas Master Florist TMF designation by completing all the steps, including a TCF qualifying exam, eight online courses, four hands-on courses, and a final exam.

For those who have attained the TMF, the Advanced Certification educational program is on of the most comprehensive in our industry and is obtained through a combination of hands on workshops and seminars.

Full details are available on the TFSA website.

 

CF – WUMFA Certified Florist
Wisconsin and Upper Michigan Floral Association (WUMFA)*

Join a select group of individuals and set yourself apart from your competiition by becoming a WUMFA Certified Florist. Successful applicants will complete nine online course and three hands-on courses before passing the final exam (consisting of both written and hands-on sections). You will have up to two years to complete the certification process. 
WUMFA CF requires continuing education credits acquired by attending annual floral industry events.

Full details are available on the WUMFA website.