First Pilot of the Judges Certification Project
It is a year ago now, that the Judges Certification Project was granted by the European Leonardo da Vinci fund. For many months now, the group of people from the 8 partners in the JudgCert Project has been working on the development of an approach for assessing candidates who want to obtain the certificate of “assessor at practical exams” and / or “certified professional judge in floral design”.
Starting with the design of the competence profile of a professional judge, and then working on a portfolio format and an assessment procedure that would enable the responsible organisation to screen and evaluate candidates for such a diploma in a feasible manner. After many meetings this all looked quite good on paper, but whether it would work in practice remained an interesting question. That’s why in 5 successive pilot settings, each a little bit different from the previous one, the format was to be tested in practice with “real” candidates.
After three days of hard work during the first pilot, held near Birmingham in the UK, the conclusion could be drawn that it had for sure been worthwhile. An immense amount of things had been learned: about how things did not work, about how things could be done better, and about how valuable this attempt to promote professionalism in the judging of floral design is and how much perspective the approach provides. Much of the credit must undoubtedly be given to the candidates in this pilot, who became the proverbial “guinea pigs” as they submitted themselves to the trial and error process, inherent to such a pilot. The test persons- all respected florists and some experienced judges - played their role as if it was for real, as for them it genuinely felt this way. The assessment committee had a tough job in getting a clear impression of their skills, knowledge and attributes. They did this by studying the portfolios handed over by the candidates, examining their judging abilities as well as by asking them countless questions during interviews.
Lots of thoughts about improvements to make and changes to implement in the coming pilots were noted down during the evaluation meetings; one with the candidates and one with the entire group of delegates from the 8 partners involved in this project. Meaning there will be lots of work to be done in the coming period as well, as the next pilot is to be in October at Vea in Norway.