Develop your footwear manufacturing knowledge with the BLC & BFA  Foundation Certificate in Footwear Manufacturing

The British Footwear Association (BFA) and BLC Leather Technology Centre (BLC) are pleased to present the Foundation Certificate in Footwear Manufacturing; a non-technical training programme aimed at retail employees and all other footwear employees in non-technical roles.
Attending all four modules for the BLC & BFA Foundation Certificate in Footwear Manufacturing will provide you with industry level knowledge of footwear manufacturing and the understanding needed to confidently work in the footwear industry.

Qualification Level

Level 2

Course Structure

The BLC & BFA Foundation Certificate in Footwear Manufacturing is comprised of four one-day modules:

  • Module One: Last Making & the Principles of Shoe Making

  • Module Two: Shoe Making Materials

  • Module Three: Methods of Shoe Making

  • Module Four: Safety Related Performance

To gain the BFA Foundation Certification in Footwear Manufacturing, you need to attend and pass all modules. It is also possible to attend individual modules.


Who Should Attend?

Any individuals who want to embark on a career in footwear, including junior technicians and newcomers to the industry, as well as those already in working in the sector who wish to increase their knowledge and understanding of what is an exciting but complex industry. 

This course is also ideal for professionals in other footwear functions to attend, including sales, marketing, logistics, customer care, buyers, range builders, and designers.


Course Agenda

Module 1:  Last Making & the Principles of Shoe Fitting
Location: BLC Leather Technology Centre, Northampton
Date: 24th October 2018

  • Visit to Springline - precision last manufacturers
  • Foot anatomy and study of the internal and external structure of the foot, biomechanics, functions and movement of the foot.
  • Principles of last design, relationship between foot and last, principles of last grading, last standards and guidelines, last assessment techniques, last constructions, different last types and materials.
  • Sizing systems, principles of different sizing systems and comparisons (UK, Paris Points, USA)
  • Foot Comfort – requirement for upper and underfoot comfort, pressure points, general principles of foot comfort, bespoke and orthopaedic.
  • Foot measurement and assessment, knowledge of foot measurements, different foot types, different foot measuring devices, e.g., tapes, boards etc.

Module 2:  Shoe Making Materials
Location: BLC Leather Technology Centre, Northampton
Date: 25th October 2018

  • Visit to leather tannery to see theory in action
  • Understanding leather from animal to shoe, covering everything from tannage to the various leather type’s performances and aesthetics; from labelling to the testing which must take place before reaching market place
  • A look at synthetic uppers and linings including their structures, applications and properties, and testing. Also, a look at faux leathers and leather substitutes and how the perform in comparison
  • Soling materials and performance properties; features and end uses; moulding processes and testing
  • Other materials and footwear components, a look at their construction and end uses from insoles to zips; stiffeners to buckles and everything in between

Module 3:  Methods of Shoe Making
Location: BLC Leather Technology Centre, Northampton
Date: 31st October 2018

  • Visit to a local footwear factory
  • Explanation of construction types, their manufacturing processes and typical end uses and properties, adhesive types, preparation, bonding and failures.
  • The manufacturing process from goods-in to finishing, providing a basic understanding of the whole shoe making process and a familiarity with the terminology and machinery

Module 4:  Safety Related Performance
Location: BLC Leather Technology Centre, Northampton
Date: 1st November 2018

  • Basic understanding of the legal requirements of footwear including The General Products Safety Directive, Sale of Goods Act, Toy Directive, REACH and banned and restricted substances.
  • Labelling Directive, US CPSC, other relevant national legislation.
  • Risk - what is it and define critical, major and minor issues, importance of risk management, product liability and recalls, safety critical issue v quality issues.
  • Understanding of main safety related properties including physical tests, fastening integrity, foot discomfort and fit, stability, allergies, chemicals, flammability, toxicity, sharp points – their causes and remedies.

Download the course agenda

Course Costs

Discounted rate for BLC and/or BFA Members
Per module: £295.00 +VAT

Standard rate for non-members
Per module: £395.00 +VAT

Special discounts for booking all 4 modules – price available on request.

Register Your Place Today

For more information or to book your place please complete the 
course registration form or contact Natasha Eaton at BFA via email

Download Registration Form
BLC & BFA Foundation Certificate in Footwear Manufacturing

Course Partner

British Footwear Association (BFA)

Providing support, resources, training, and guidance to our members who range from the biggest established brand names to small start-up labels, the BFA’s mission is to promote and celebrate British footwear, and the British footwear industry globally.


Postcode: NN3 6JD

By Car


  • From the North: exit at junction 16
  • From the South: exit at junction 15


  • Merges into the M1 at the Catthorpe Interchange, exit M1 at junction 16


  • Exit at junction 11, arriving in Northampton via B4525 and A43


By Train

  • Northampton Station is serviced by London Midlands and is on the Northampton loop of the West Coast Main Line.
  • Northampton is accessible by train from London Euston in the south, and Birmingham New Street and Crewe in the north.
  • A taxi rank is located outside the main entrance of the station.


"BLC Membership allowed us to use the expertise of BLC to improve our suppliers' environmental performance."

Clarks International

United Kingdom

"We were very impressed by the speaker on BLC's leather training course who had excellent knowledge of the subject."


United Kingdom

"I enjoyed all of the leather course as a chemist I wanted to understand the whole process of making leather."

Smit & zoon


"I enjoyed the combination of theoretical and practical training on the 4-day leather course."


United Kingdom

"All parts of the leather training course were relevant and very informative. I now have a new appreciation for leather!"

Ralph Lauren

United States of America

"BLC smart chemical testing of wet blue saves our business time and money."

Casino Hide Tanners


"We thought every part of the BLC leather course was very informative and interesting."

John Lewis Partnership

United Kingdom

"I just wanted to say a big thanks for 2 great days of leather education last week."



“10 years of BLC Membership has enabled us to provide continuous assurance of product quality and safety, giving our customers greater confidence in our products.”


United Kingdom

"I became a BLC Member to take advantage their specification building services and 1-2-1 regulatory advice."

Gheli International


"BLC Membership allows us to develop innovative high quality raw materials in order to continue our product improvement programme."


United Kingdom

"Through BLC Membership, we have access to technical support for leather product testing, helping us to provide more efficient services to our customers."

William Lamb

United Kingdom

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