We have completed our NCJFD Open National Judges’ Certification Assessment, at the Weihenstephan School for Floral Art, in Germany. After a very turbulent first half of the year, successfully concluding this assessment seminar for judges of floristry design is an important achievement for us.
The NCJFD assessments are part of the Judges’ Certification project of Florint, the International Florist Organisation. During the evaluation, talented florists are trained by a team of experts in the fine art of judging and assessing floristry design. Participants that pass the assessment are granted the NCJFD certification from Florint: a mark of professionalism and quality.
Our collaborator in the ‘JudgCert’ project is trans-national European education network FLORNET, our long-term partner in floristry education. We started to plan this event, so crucial to the development of European Floristry, last year already. Due to the pandemic, however, for months we weren’t sure if we would have to postpone it (like our Europa Cup 2020, unfortunately, had to be).
Who was involved?
An assessment committee of education experts oversees every Judges’ Certification seminar. With support from Florint’s board of directors, the team has been working very hard for the last four months to make this project a success.
At Weihenstephan, the assessment team consisted of:
- Mrs Marianne Wieler (Chairman of the Assessment Committee and Vice-president of FLORNET)
- Mr Thomas Ratschker (Assessment Committee member and Jury President of Florint)
- Mr Simon Ogrizek (Assessment Committee member and President of Florint)
Eleven candidates from eight European countries (Austria, Czechia, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Estonia, Slovenia and Switzerland) started their assessment on Monday, 27th of July. The candidates are put forward by the member associations of Florint.
Usually, the assessment seminars are organised for florists from a single country only. This is the first assessment that was open to interested florists from all of Florint’s member countries.
How did the assessment take place?
Due to the need for distancing because of COVID-19, special restrictions were in place. We sent instructions to all the candidates a week before the certification seminar, so that they were able to prepare themselves adequately.
After the welcome, we started with an introduction meeting to explain Florint’s Judges’ Certification procedure. The four main elements are:
- The 100-points scoring system developed by Florint
- Analysing flower arrangements
The assessments are challenging, even for experienced florists. But assessment team president Mrs Wieler indicated many times that our aim is a relaxed certification process. We want to discover a candidate’s strengths, more than his or her weaknesses. That spirit guided us during the entire seminar.
On Tuesday, the 28th of July, the candidates started their analysis of the arrangement piece that had been prepared for the course. First, however, the importance of properly analysing before judging was made clear.
After their analysis, the candidates started on a team assignment: establishing weighting factors, and technical points for the (hypothetical) competition.
Wednesday, 29th of July, was the day for the candidates to start the actual judging. The importance of objective judgment was explained, as well as the step-by-step nature of the judging process. This process follows the well-known design principles of Idea, Colour, Composition and Technique, and their various sub-criteria.
Three teams of candidates judged three competition pieces, using scoring sheets based upon the Florint’ 100-points system’ for floristry design. Afterwards, we organised a guided discussion with the Assessment Committee team members.
The outcome of the assessment
On Thursday the 30th of July, the Assessment Committee started on hour-long interviews with all the candidates. This marks the final phase of the Judges’ Certification course. The interviews allow the assessment team to challenge the candidates; ask follow-up questions, and finalise their assessment reports.
Of the eleven involved florists, eight candidates successfully passed their assessment. Five did so directly, while the other three were instructed to arrange additional data or work experience first. Florint will officially confirm their NCJFD status once this final condition is fulfilled.
We congratulate our new judges! The goal of our ‘JudgCert’ project is to produce highly professional and highly skilled floristry assessors. These florists proved they could perform at a top-level.
And this successful 2020 NCJFD Open National Judges’ Certification Assessment is also proof that the floristry world can take crucial steps for the development of our industry, even in incredibly tough times!