Accreditation is the way to regulate the industry Maxine Horn was right in her response to Michael Peters (Letters, DW 8 November) to point out that elitism has no role to play in a modern profession. However, the Chartered Society of Designers believes that accreditation is important to enhance the perception of designers in the marketplace.
‘Accreditation’ does not and should not mean ‘elitism’. Clearly anyone who is pronounced proficient enough to practice in a profession will find their services are more sought after than those of the amateur or the charlatan. I suspect most designers would prefer to be treated by an ‘accredited’ doctor or dentist, have their financial affairs looked after by an ‘accredited’ accountant or purchase their house using an ‘accredited’ solicitor. The argument I most often hear from designers is, ‘I wish I could get the same fees as my solicitor.’ Well, wise up – there is a reason solicitors get paid a professional rate. They are accredited as professionals.
Designers cry ‘no’ to anything they think smacks of regulation. They believe that what they do is ‘creative’ and therefore fundamentally divorced from any form of
business process. This assertion must be challenged. The Design Council’s Keep British Design Alive – an illnamed and ill-fated initiative – concluded that designers did not want ‘accreditation’.
Conversely, most designers we speak to say that they want to be differentiated from those who are practising in design without adequate competence. The remit of the CSD is to ‘establish a recognised profession of design’. We do that by ‘accrediting professional designers’, including many iconic names from the past century.
Professional accreditation is not to be feared unless you believe you are not capable of achieving it. Frank Peters FCSD FRSA MIoD, Chief executive, Chartered Society of Designers and The Design Association, London SE1