Field Identification Skills Certificate

Take a FISC in 2024

FISC dates for 2024 are slowly being released by FISC Providers. Those currently listed below are almost fully booked, but we have been informed by FISC Providers that a number of new dates will be released in due course. We hope to have a FISC running in each region in England and one in Wales this year.

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Please use the button below to register your interest in hearing updates when available.


FISC dates 2024

FSC Preston Montford FISC dates (most FULLY BOOKED): 13 and 14 June, 18 and 19 June, 27 and 28 June 

British Botany FISC dates (Now FULLY BOOKED):  18 July 2024, Wigan.

Building capacity for delivery of FISC- can you help?

Capacity is limited by the number of BSBI approved FISC Assessors and Providers. If you have a FISC level 5 and are interested in becoming an Assessor or Gold Standard Surveyor, please get in touch via

In addition to FISC Assessors, we would love to also hear from anyone willing to help with delivery of FISCs, whether that be as someone who grows a selection of native plants, parts of which you may be willing to share for FISC lab tests; as someone able to provide a venue from which a FISC can be run, or as an owner or manager of a suitable species rich field site which could be surveyed as part of a FISC. Please get in touch via


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Past FISC candidates

If you undertook a FISC in previous years, your data may have been transferred to BSBI by Providers and is now held in a secure database according to our Privacy Policy. If you would like to update your details you can do so using this form, or if you would like your details removed from our database, please get in contact by emailing

What is a FISC?

The FISC is a test that assesses your botanical proficiency on a scale from 1 (beginner) to 5 (professional), with a level 6 awarded in exceptional cases. Originally developed by Sarah Whild and Sue Dancey, the BSBI's FISC Development Working Group (including a number of experienced FISC Assessors) now supports and oversees the running of FISCs.

The FISC assesses your real-life botanical skills and is not designed to be part of a training course. It's gaining popularity, with some consultancies sending their staff annually to encourage skill development.

Conducted over a day, the FISC is an enjoyable experience. It consists of two lab sessions where candidates identify 30 fresh specimens from across Britain and Ireland. Following this is a field survey where you spend a couple of hours building a species list on an interesting local site. Your identifications are then compared to a list generated by the Gold Standard Surveyor to determine your skill level.

Results are confidential, but you can choose to share them with potential employers and colleagues. With no pass or fail, the FISC is open to everyone, regardless of skill level. Upon completion, you receive an electronic certificate from the BSBI indicating your skill level, along with advice on activities you are competent to undertake and further studies for progression.

FISC data has been used to study the accuracy of recording by people of all skill levels, summarised in the poster below: