Unit of competency details

SFLDEC408A - Construct complex floristry products (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to SFLDEC009 - Construct complex floristry productsUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. 24/Sep/2015
Supersedes WRFD404B - Create custom made, advanced and large scale floristry designsN Replacement unit that covers certain elements of WRFD404B but is not equivalent. SFLDEC408A builds upon WRFD404B and has more explicit references to the construction process for a diverse range of complex products. WRFD404B combined both design and construction. In SFLDEC408A, design has been split from construction as, while they can be interdependent, they are two different skills. Design aspects are covered by the unit SFLDEC407A Design complex floristry products. The packaging and wrapping elements have been rationalised for simplicity. 28/Jun/2011

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 29/Jun/2011


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100309 Floristry 

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100309 Floristry 18/Nov/2011 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to construct a range of small to large scale complex floristry products to a pre-determined design. It requires the ability to access and interpret job specifications, adapt as required, prepare for the construction, select the correct components and assemble and present a range of complex floristry products.

The florist constructing the product may or may not have designed it, and may or may not have developed the job specifications, but is expected to make adjustments during construction in response to technical restraints or to improve the floristry product.

The following related unit covers design skills for complex products:

  • SFLDEC407A Design complex floristry products

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.

Application of the Unit

Application of the competency 

This unit describes a high order construction function for a diverse range of complex floristry products and applies to the full range of industry sectors and environments. The floristry business could be a retail, studio or business that specialises in corporate or special events.

The complex product could be custom-made in response to a customer brief or an original display or stock item made for general sale. It could be a large or small scale floristry product, one of a complex nature, one using complex techniques or part of a range of products for a special and or themed event.

This unit applies to senior floristry industry personnel with considerable experience across product categories and who operate autonomously. This can include senior retail florists, studio florists, floral designers, florists involved in corporate or special events and owner-operators of small floristry businesses. They may even chose to participate in floral competitions to enhance the professional development of their construction skills.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Prerequisite units 


Employability Skills Information

Employability skills 

This unit contains Employability Skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Interpret the design and job specifications.

1.1. Access and interpret job specifications  and discuss the design and its construction requirements with relevant personnel  to meet all product requirements including cost requirements and production deadlines.

1.2. Read, view or discuss the job specifications to allow for correct selection of all components .

2. Plan the production stages.

2.1. Prepare a production plan  for the construction and display  of the complex floristry products  according to the size and complexity of the final product or display.

2.2. Source and roster staff for the construction of the complex floristry product.

2.3. Source and purchase or hire fabrication and structural support requirements  according to the job specifications and itemised job costing.

3. Select flower and plant materials and or ancillary items.

3.1. Select flower and plant materials  according to the job specifications and itemised job costing  and sort in preparation for construction.

3.2. Select any required ancillary and presentation items  according to the job specifications and itemised job costing.

3.3. Identify any potential problems  in meeting the design requirements and make any required adjustments.

4. Prepare to construct the floristry product.

4.1. Clean the product preparation area to avoid spoilage of flower and plant materials  during preparation and construction.

4.2. Check that flower and plant materials have been correctly prepared and conditioned .

4.3. Recognise and report on any unsuitable materials  and rectify.

4.4. Identify and select equipment and other construction components  to be used during the construction.

4.5. Use energy, water and other resources efficiently during the preparation and subsequent construction process to reduce negative environmental impacts.

5. Construct complex floral designs.

5.1. Select appropriate floristry techniques  according to the job specifications.

5.2. Coordinate any staff involved in team construction of complex floristry products.

5.3. Produce a range of complex floristry products  considering and applying the elements  and principles of design .

5.4. Assess, determine and use the appropriate support methods in keeping with the job specifications.

5.5. Secure all components of the single or suite of complex floristry products or displays according to the job specifications.

5.6. Modify, according to need, the design of the complex products and or displays during the construction phase considering and applying the elements and principles of design.

6. Finalise and evaluate the complex floristry product or display

6.1. Attach and secure any required ancillary and presentation items to the floral product.

6.2. Select wrapping and or packaging materials  and complete any required wrapping and any packaging according to the job specifications - adjusting, as required, to enhance or protect the floral product.

6.3. Safely dispose of all waste, especially hazardous substances, to minimise negative environmental impacts.

6.4. Review and evaluate the complex floristry product and any related displays for compliance with the job specifications and for their technical and aesthetic quality, making any necessary alterations.

6.5. Consider and apply the principles and elements of design when wrapping or altering the complex floristry product and any related displays, checking against the job specifications.

6.6. Prepare any necessary documentation to justify variations to the original design and to inform future improvements.

Required Skills and Knowledge


This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • correct use of personal protective equipment
  • safe and correct use of tools such as knives and pruners
  • recognition of spoilt and unsuitable flower and plant materials
  • safe handling techniques for toxic flower and plant materials and those treated with toxic substances such as fungicides and pesticides
  • correct handling techniques for a wide variety of flower, plant and presentation materials and ancillary items commonly used when constructing complex floristry products to avoid spoilage of floristry stock
  • cleaning techniques for floristry construction areas
  • self-management, time management, planning and organisational skills to complete the construction of the floristry product within deadlines
  • problem solving skills to identify any issues associated with the job specifications and to adapt the style and components of the product during the construction phase
  • communication skills to consult with and direct relevant personnel on job specifications and any problems that arise during the construction phase and to communicate production requirements to a team when supervising team construction
  • literacy skills to read and comprehend sometimes unfamiliar and complex job specifications for the construction of floristry products, to read use-by dates and stock labels and to read and interpret organisational procedures
  • writing skills to make reports on matters such as problems in meeting job specifications and unsuitable materials, and to write a detailed production plan.
  • numeracy skills to count items and calculate complex numbers of various components from the job specifications for the complex product or range of themed products to be constructed.

Required knowledge 

  • the intricate characteristics and interrelationships of the elements and principles of design and their use in various complex floristry products
  • The elements of design include:
  • texture
  • form
  • colour
  • space
  • line
  • The principles of design include:
  • harmony
  • rhythm
  • balance
  • dominance
  • scale
  • proportion
  • contrast
  • the intricaciesand use of a wide variety of design guidelines or forms and categories for complex floristry products including decorative, vegetative, formal-linear, radial and parallel
  • the intricaciesand use of an extensive range of floral construction techniques including new and emerging techniques for complex hand tied products, complex wired products (especially those using decorative wiring techniques) and complex products using a base medium
  • the intricacies, use, and visual recognition of an extensive range of flower and plant materials in order to correctly select stock when constructing floristry products
  • the complementary nature of flower and plant materials in order to make any necessary changes to the design during the construction phase
  • the intricacies and use of an extensive range of ancillary floristry products, presentation materials and wrapping techniques that enhance the presentation of complex floristry products
  • the essential features and use of packaging materials and techniques to ensure the safe transportation of complex floristry products
  • the essential features and use of fabrication and structural support components of complex floristry products
  • staffing requirements to service the construction of complex floristry products
  • a range of formats for and inclusions of production plans produced prior to constructing complex floristry products
  • the essential features of and safe practices for using common hazardous substances used by the floristry industry and in particular substances used by the organisation e.g. cleaning agents
  • the environmental and site impacts of preparing and constructing complex floristry products and minimal impact practices to reduce these, especially those that relate to resource, water and energy use and to the use of floristry raw materials
  • correct and environmentally sound disposal methods for all types of waste and in particular for hazardous substances, spoiled and diseased flower and plant materials and those that have a propensity to propagate weeds.

Evidence Guide


The Evidence Guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment 

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

Evidence of the following is essential:

  • ability to safely use floristry tools and hazardous substances
  • ability to correctly interpret the job specifications and to visually recognise and select the correct flower and plant materials
  • knowledge of the elements and principles of design, their interrelationships and their effects on the style and function of floristry products, and the ability to evaluate and modify the floral design throughout the construction phase in line with these elements and principles
  • ability to identify and resolve, throughout the construction phase, problems that may impact on the style, function and construction of the floristry product
  • ability to construct multiple and diverse complex floristry products of small to large scale which must include the complex floristry products outlined in the range statement using the nominated techniques.

To ensure consistency of performance, ability to respond to different requirements and ability to use different techniques, this must occur over a period of time and cover the construction of products of varying complexities

  • construction of complex floristry products that meet the requirements of multiple site environments to ensure that skills can be adapted to different display contexts
  • completion of construction activities within commercial time constraints and deadlines determined by the customer or the organisation.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure:

  • access to comprehensive and sufficient job specifications for a diverse range of complex floristry products to allow the candidate to interpret, modify and construct a range of floristry products -noting that the candidate may have also developed the design
  • the construction of floristry products within a floristry design, preparation and product construction environment
  • access to sites or event venues in which the candidate can assemble products for display
  • a diverse, comprehensive and commercial range of tools used during the construction of floristry products e.g. knives, scissors, secateurs, staple guns
  • a diverse, comprehensive and commercial product range of flowers, plant materials, cleaning agents, preservatives, conditioning agents, construction, ancillary, presentation, wrapping and packaging items that can be used during the construction process.

Method of assessment 

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

  • direct observation of the candidate preparing for and constructing a range of floristry products
  • project activities to construct floristry products for a local community organisation or an event delivered by the training college
  • review of floristry competition judgements
  • evaluation of a range of floristry products constructed by the candidate
  • review of a comprehensive portfolio prepared by the candidate that documents the entire construction process inclusive of notes on the interpretation of the job specifications, records of any problems encountered, justifications for varying the design and an evaluation of the final constructed product
  • case studies to assess the ability to react to different problems that arise during the construction phase
  • exercises to allow the candidate to correctly identify a diverse range of flower and plant materials through visual recognition
  • written and oral questioning or interview to test knowledge of matters such as the elements and principles of design, minimal impact practices and the suitability of different techniques for different styles of product
  • review of portfolios of evidence and third-party workplace reports of on-the-job performance by the candidate.

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, for example:

  • SFLDEC407A Design complex floristry products
  • SFLDEC409A Coordinate floristry products for a special occasion.

Range Statement


The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Job specifications  may include:

  • customer brief and how it has been met
  • location where floristry product will be used or displayed
  • purpose of the floristry product (e.g. for an event or special occasion)
  • photographs of the final design
  • photographs of various stages of construction
  • sketches
  • general overview of how to construct
  • complete instructions for construction including techniques to be used
  • packaging and transportation requirements
  • itemised lists of all components and suppliers
  • itemised maximum cost of all components
  • itemised list of individual products to be produced as part of a suite and numbers required
  • size of each item to be constructed
  • fabrication and structural support requirements for large displays.
  • estimated timeframe for the construction of all components.

Relevant personnel  may include:

  • manager
  • other senior florists
  • floral designer
  • studio designer
  • owner-operator of a small floristry business
  • other florists involved in a large scale production team
  • production manager.

All components  may include:

  • flowers and plant materials
  • construction materials
  • ancillary items and merchandise
  • presentation materials
  • packaging materials for use when transporting complex floristry products
  • fabrication and structural support requirements.

Production plan  may include:

  • details of a site inspection and consultation with venue operators to establish site assembly and display requirements
  • off and on-site labour requirements
  • rosters for off and on-site staff members
  • details of components that will be fully or partially constructed off-site and those that must be assembled on-site at any event location
  • actual timeframe and deadlines for the construction of all components
  • on-site construction or assembly plan for event sites.

Construction and display  may involve:

  • partial construction at the floristry business site
  • full construction at the floristry business site
  • display at the floristry business site e.g. complex window or stock display
  • further assembly, display and or construction at the display site e.g. an event venue.

Complex floristry products  may include:

  • complex display or stock items
  • complex window displays
  • large, small or themed corporate displays including components constructed off-site and assembled on-site for:
  • exhibition centres
  • ball rooms
  • restaurants and reception centres
  • theatres
  • galleries
  • hotels
  • government buildings
  • hospitals
  • corporate offices
  • marquees
  • gardens
  • cruise boats
  • churches or chapels.
  • large, small or themed displays including components constructed off-site and assembled on-site for events:
  • corporate events
  • balls and banquets
  • themed events
  • industry and other awards presentations
  • theatrical performances
  • trade shows
  • exhibitions
  • floral competitions
  • floral festivals
  • weddings
  • parties e.g. birthdays and engagements
  • celebrations e.g. Christmas and St Valentine's Day
  • religious celebrations e.g. communions, bar mitzvahs
  • funerals.
  • floral displays produced to competition criteria
  • floristry arrangements of a highly creative nature and of advanced design
  • products of any size for any purpose using:
  • complex hand tied floristry techniques
  • complex wired floristry techniques, especially decorative wiring techniques
  • complex base medium construction techniques
  • new and emerging techniques

Fabrication and structural support requirements  may include:

  • structural components and frameworks including:
  • wires
  • ropes
  • cages
  • fences
  • platforms
  • lighting
  • welded and angled grinded materials
  • props.

Flower and plant materials  must include:

  • flowers including:
  • fresh (common, exotic and Australian wildflowers)
  • dry and preserved
  • artificial.
  • plant materials including:
  • fresh (common, exotic and Australian foliage)
  • dry and preserved
  • artificial.

Itemised job costing  may include:

  • itemised lists of all components and associated individual costs of supply and sale
  • itemised maximum numbers of flowers and other items to be used in the construction of the floristry product
  • details of the composite product or products to be produced with cost of supply and sale.

Ancillary items  may include:

  • chocolates, fruit, nuts, alcohol
  • hampers
  • gift items of any type
  • novelties such as balloons and toys
  • flower preservatives and conditioning agents.

Presentation items  may include:

  • wrapping
  • gift cards and message items
  • corporate advertising of the business
  • corporate materials provided by the customer.

Problems  may include:

  • lack of experience with flowers and plant materials
  • lack of experience with the variety and size of the various products e.g. those for an event
  • inability to source or roster staff to meet production requirements
  • constraints of a short production and delivery deadline
  • expense of transporting floral displays and products to the display location
  • non-availability of the flower and plant materials
  • non-availability of ancillary, presentation and wrapping items
  • non-availability of fabrication and support materials for large displays
  • spoilt flower and plant materials
  • short life cycle and problems with maintaining quality during storage, production and display by the organisation or the customer
  • working with a design that does not work in the construction phase
  • constraints of OHS requirements
  • negative environmental impacts of materials chosen
  • inability to meet the customer preference or brief
  • constraints of any site where the floristry product will be displayed including:
  • type (internal or external)
  • dimensions of display area
  • dimensions of delivery access and storage areas
  • venue access times and impacts on assembling the floristry products to meet deadlines
  • restrictions of various venue operators such as churches, cemeteries and crematoria
  • size and availability of on-site assembly storage and maintenance areas
  • conflicting activities in on-site assembly, storage and display areas.
  • structural constraints of the location where floristry product will be used or displayed including:
  • pipes and drainage
  • earthwork
  • brickwork
  • stone masonry.

Spoilage of flower and plant materials  may relate to:

  • cross-contamination of diseased or pest affected flowers and plant materials with healthy plants
  • incorrect application of humidity and temperature controls
  • incorrect exposure to environmental heating or air conditioning
  • incorrect application of conditioning or preservative agents or contamination with cleaning agents
  • incorrect storage causing crushing or wilting
  • incorrect handling and storage of fruit and vegetables.

Prepared and conditioned  flower and plant materials may have been subject to:

  • trimming of foliage
  • trimming of stems
  • trimming away buds
  • provision of nutrients
  • use of preservative solutions
  • use of conditioning solutions
  • scalding
  • cooling
  • bathing
  • chemical spraying for pests and diseases
  • use of cleaning agents
  • dusting or wiping.

Unsuitable materials  may include:

  • diseased or pest affected flowers and plant materials
  • damaged or crushed flowers and plant materials
  • wilted flowers and plant materials
  • flowers and plant materials with expired or near to expired use-by dates that will not survive the display period.

Equipment and other construction components  may include:

  • cutting tools including:
  • knives
  • scissors
  • rose de-thorner
  • secateurs
  • containers to mix cleaning and conditioning agents
  • baskets
  • decorative pots
  • buckets or decorative pails
  • containers (bowls, vases)
  • staple gun and staples
  • glue gun and glue
  • binding tape
  • heavy to fine gauge wire
  • floral foam (for fresh flowers and plant materials)
  • floral foam (for artificial flowers and plant materials)
  • wreath frame (floral foam)
  • polystyrene
  • chicken wire
  • straw
  • willow vine
  • clay
  • plaster
  • moss
  • fabrication and structural support requirements.

Floristry techniques  must include:

  • complex and other hand tied floristry techniques
  • complex, decorative and other wired floristry techniques
  • complex and other base medium construction techniques
  • integration of a range of hand tied, wired and base medium construction techniques
  • new and emerging techniques.

The range of complex floristry products to be produced  must include:

  • custom-made floristry products in response to customer briefs
  • large scale corporate displays including components constructed off-site and assembled or displayed on-site
  • large, small and themed displays including components constructed off-site and assembled on-site for events.

Elements of design  must include:

  • texture
  • form
  • colour
  • space
  • line.

Principles of design  must include:

  • harmony
  • rhythm
  • balance
  • dominance
  • scale
  • proportion
  • contrast.

Wrapping and packaging materials  may include:

  • boxes
  • cylinders
  • polypropylene
  • paper
  • cellophane
  • bows
  • ribbons
  • raffia
  • protective wrapping and packing materials for large or multiple displays - fully or partially constructed - for transportation to the display site.

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 


Competency field

Competency field 

Floristry Design and Construction

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units