General Certificate in Distilling

Gain a solid grounding in the science and technology of distillation. 

This qualification is for anyone working in technical areas of the spirits industry. You will gain a solid grounding in the science and technology of distillation and develop your knowledge of distilling best practice - vital to becoming a qualified professional distiller.

Who is this Qualification for?

The General Certificate in Distilling (GCD) is designed for those who already have experience working in distilling operations such as team leaders, team members or distillers in smaller companies.

If you already have an awareness of the steps in the distilling process, the GCD can enable you to perform better in your role to produce products of a high-quality standard.

If you would like to know more about the science, technology and best practice of distilling and other areas vital to successful distilling operations then this is the right qualification for you.

For a breakdown of what candidates will learn and be examined, please find the syllabus.


Exam Dates

20 Mar 2024 

Registration closing: 11 Jan 2024


17 Oct 2024

Registration closing: 11 August 2024



Learning Material

Online and self-directed


Candidates will receive access to the learning material within 1 working day after registration.

Study Requirements

60 - 80 Hours Min

Recommended Support

Set For Success - Intensive exam preparation.


Membership Offer

Take advantage of our bundled membership offer

From £48

Financial Support

The IBD has a number of bursaries and scholarships to support those candidates from less advantaged backgrounds who wish to progress in their careers by taking our qualifications. What Financial Support Can I Get?


All General Certificate examinations are now online with Remote Invigilation with fixed dates for each examination session.

What will I Achieve?

IBD qualifications are the most widely recognised distilling qualifications in the world. The General Certificate in Distilling demonstrates to your employer that you understand the basic underpinning scientific principles of the distillation process that go into producing a quality product.

My Examination & How will I Be Supported?

This qualification is supported by self-directed, online learning material which includes content on all topics within the syllabus of the examination. The scope of the IBD examinations is always the syllabus and is not limited to the learning material.

You will have the opportunity to answer multiple-choice questions at the end of every unit which will test your understanding and help prepare you for the exam. The course material also features videos and detailed technical illustrations to help reinforce your learning.

In advance of your examination, a series of instructions and support mechanisms will be sent to you by email which will include the requirement to download an application for the IBD examination platform supplier. Once you have followed all of these instructions you will be able to take the test from the computer you downloaded the application onto with our remote invigilation.


Set For Success

We support the GCD through a programme of three intensive online exam preparation sessions: Set for Success.

During these sessions, you will practice exam-style questions with your tutor and have the opportunity to ask any questions you have on the learning material and exam. 

Recommended for all GCD candidates, you can book your place when registering for your exam, or add it to a previously registered exam in your My IBD account under My Qualifications.

What Financial Support Can I Get?

The IBD has reinforced its bursaries and scholarships with the aim to support those candidates from less advantaged backgrounds willing to progress in their careers by taking our qualifications. 

The application deadline is 30th of September for examination in the following year.

Find out more about them and discover if you are eligible for any of them.  

What's Next?

The General Certificate in Distilling provides you with the perfect platform from which to continue your studies towards Diploma level qualifications. The IBD’s Diploma in Distilling teaches advanced distilling science through a series of three in-depth modules. This programme will allow you to understand the process in greater detail, and be able to apply this knowledge to control the process more effectively.

Why Choose the IBD?

The IBD provides the most widely recognised professional beverage qualifications in the world. The IBD has existed since 1886 and has built up a reputation for trust in the industry due to the high quality and standards of its examinations that are governed and upheld by the independent IBD Examination Board. This is also supported by the quality of its learning material and its support for learners

Since we began professional qualifications in the 1950s, we have qualified over 100,000 brewers and distillers across the globe.