New EDI directory viewed with caution

Plans for an independent directory of design consultants are being viewed cautiously by some Business Link design counsellors.

The directory is being put together by John Benson and Helen Ives-Rose under a company banner of European Design Innovations. Benson and Ives-Rose have previously worked on registers at the Design Council.

Consultancies will pay to be in the directory, which will also have a presence on the Internet.

But Sheffield Business Link design counsellor Alan Warren says he would not be drawn to a directory with no accreditation process. “I would be unlikely to look at an independent directory when we have our own accredited database. And there will also be the Chartered Society of Designers’ directory which is likely to incorporate some sort of accreditation process now,” says Warren.

Benson claims any accreditation process is “dangerous – it’s up to the client to establish a consultancy’s credentials and strike a rapport”. He adds the directory is intended to “help design counsellors and clients become aware of the consultancies that exist outside a local area which may be suitable for work, and then invite them to become members of accredited schemes”.

CSD director Brian Lymbery says the EDI directory “doesn’t compete with what we’re trying to do. Designers will have to look at the directory proposals like any other business proposal. But if I were a designer, I would be cautious before I went into it”.

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