Is any CSD certification scheme worth the trouble?

The Chartered Society of Designers member who contacted you, preferring not to be named, about the delays and lack of detail in the CSD’s application to the Privy Council to set up a designer certification scheme (News, DW 1 April), refers to CSD affixes as ’light assessments’ and to chartership as ’hardcore’.

Okay, in the graphics and fashion sectors, to which he somewhat slightingly refers, it is possible to spot a spark of brilliant creative originality at a glance. In that sense, an assessment is, indeed, ’light’.

Supposedly the term ’hardcore’ alludes to the hard-won authority associated with membership of a learned profession, which ’chartered status’, it has been said by CSD chief executive Frank Peters (pictured), would ’put us on a par with’ (Voxpop, DW 7 January).

Somehow, this whole idea seems rather fanciful – you can’t just train for creative talent. The CSD, in awarding an affix, is not bestowing professional design status – it is simply recognising it.

Whatever chartership can confer, in addition to peer recognition, your unnamed source is welcome to – and he’s also welcome to the career-long trouble and expense that retaining it will incur.

As an aside, perhaps the concept of continuing professional development is mainly to do with compliance with environmental correctness, which is, I imagine, obligatory in the public sector.

Bob Geary, Illustrator and cartoonist, by e-mail

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