I think accreditation is broadly speaking a good idea (well it's not a bad idea at any rate). The problem is there are so many bodies for designers and none of them are very good. Lynda Relph-Knight highlights the confusion in Design Week. And if it's confusing for designers it's ten times worse for clients.
There's the CSD which has a kinda old fashioned crafty image,
there's the D&AD which is the most credible (by miles) but perhaps a little advertising biased,
there's the DBA which I don't have much experience of but I've only ever heard good things about,
there's the BDI which i don't really understand,
and I guess there is the Design Council which is Governmenty but has a great name.
Why can't they all join together and play nicley?
This week I got emailed a survey (by the BDI) asking me what I thought of it all. I thought I'd post my answers here. I don't know if it makes interesting reading, but I'd love to know what your answers would be.
1. There are several national membership organisations representing the UK commercial design industry, including BDI, CSD, DBA - which of these organisations are you a member of if any?
AGD - None really. RSA and considering joining DBA.
2. Is the UK design sector in danger of being pulled in too many different directions due to the proliferation of these organisations and their membership offers?
AGD - Yes!
3. Are you clear about the differences between these organisations?
AGD - No. What unites them is that none of them are very good. You guys, DBA, CSA, D&AD et al should all merge into one.
4. Several local and regional Design Associations and/or Design Forums have been launched – do you think that the design sector is better represented by regional membership organisations?
AGD - No not really. Maybe outside of London.
5. Should the regional membership organisations seek to have a relationship with one or more of the national organisations or act as local branch of a national organisation?
AGD - This doesn't trouble me very much...
6. Do you believe that membership fees are too expensive?
AGD - Yep.
7. Do you believe that it is necessary to belong to a national or regional membership organisation at all?
AGD - I think it’s important, yes.
8. What key membership services do you feel are/would be of most benefit to your business?
AGD - Legal advice is good. All business advice relevant to creative industries is good, HR, tax etc etc
9. What impact would there be on the design industry if there were more than one accreditation scheme?
AGD - Mass confusion, obviously.
10. Does the design industry need an accreditation scheme at all?
AGD - I think ‘need’ is too strong a word, but I’d like to see one.