BSBI Training courses & opportunities

**Identiplant: applications for our online training course open on 1st December - visit the Identiplant website to apply**

On this page, we tell you about BSBI's in-house training courses and opportunities: Identiplant, webinars, videos, field meetings with a training theme and our Field Identification Skills Certificate which allows you to test your skill level. For a list of training courses run by external providers, please visit our external training courses webpage. You may also wish to visit our Grants page where you can apply for a grant to attend a training course.


Devised, developed and directed by Brenda Harold over the past decade, Identiplant, the online plant ID course, is now under the administration of BSBI. We aim to grow the course in coming years with the help of tutors, and have more individuals start their training in serious botany. For more information and to apply as a student, please visit the Identiplant website - applications open on 1st December each year and close on 31st December. We also welcome applications from any experienced botanists, with field ID skills at FISC Level 4 or above, who might be interested in becoming Identiplant tutors.

The course consists of 15 units, spread across the year, and is intended to give students a grounding in using a systematic approach, scientific names, written descriptions and keys. Take a look at the Identiplant poster exhibited at our British & Irish Botanical Conference to find out more.

Many students use Identiplant as part of their professional development, or as a springboard onto further botanical study, but it can also be undertaken, and enjoyed, as a standalone course. Students can also apply for BSBI Training grants towards the cost of the course.

BSBI training webinars

For training webinars in grass ID please visit the Irish Grasslands Project page. Find out about our other free training webinars on these pages: Aquatic Plant Project; dandelions; and charophytes.

Videos of many of our training webinars - most of which are free for everyone to view and enjoy - are uploaded afterwards to our BSBI YouTube channel, which also features playlists of short plant ID videos and longer ID webinars presented by BSBI expert botanists and partner organisations.

Online Fern ID course

Our hour-long Fern ID online course, previously only available to BSBI members, is now available to everyone and is still offered at the bargain price of only £5 per person. Taught by Josh Styles, the course aims to get you started with fern ID.

Find out more and register for the online course via our fern identification page which also has links to some free fern ID resources from BSBI and our sister society, the British Pteridological Society.

BSBI Training Meetings

Our annual programme of Field Meetings & Indoor Events always includes a selection of training meetings and workshops. These are led by tutors to help you sharpen your identification skills. Some are aimed at specialists, some at beginners. The programme for the year ahead goes live in December each year so please visit the Field Meetings & Indoor Events page and look for the orange 'Training' tag.

Field Skills

Field Identification Skills Certificates (FISCs) test your botanical skill level. From 2023, FISCs will be coordinated by BSBI. For more information, please visit the FISC page.