CSD response to APGDI debate
The APGDI debate was interesting although some areas were not fully discussed given constraints of time and sheer volume of individuals wishing to add to the discussion.
The key areas of interest and we believe consensus amongst the attendees were:
- That the vocational element of design education is fundamental to becoming a practicing designer and the growth of the design sector. Currently this does take place in education in the form of work placements, apprenticeships, internships, simulated work based learning, working on live briefs etc. However, not all design programmes offer these options as part of their programme.
- That industry should be more aware of progression pathways into business - ie where specific FE programmes such as apprenticeships, HNC's, HNDs, FdA’s, Level 4 and 5 BTEC’s will lead, where undergraduate programmes (BA, BSc, BDes) lead and equally where postgraduate programmes lead. In other words managing the expectations of industry as to what students are prepared for by education and the job roles most suited to the level of learning. This is equally true for students too however.
- Information Advice and Guidance (IAG), understanding of career opportunities and the pathways to these opportunities amongst students studying art and design or design and technology in school, should be more transparent at an earlier age to students - which is also why these should retain a strong presence within the national school curriculum.
- Mentoring has a strong role to play in the growth of a designer through his or her career - whether through peers or established designers.
CSD has long been concerned about the lack of effective collaboration between industry and education, the clear lack of diversity across the workforce and the lack of interest in skills development to support the design sector. The CSD Course Endorsement Programme was established to address these issues.
Courses applying for a CSD Endorsement Award are enabled to differentiate themselves as being fit for purpose. It is reviewed by peers from industry - NOT educationalists, or public sector bodies, but practicing designers who have taken time out of their working lives to work with education.
Courses are assessed against the key criteria and core competencies that lie at the heart of being a professional designer. These are contextual for each design discipline and therefore transferable across the design sector as a whole, through different levels of learning and borders.
The aims of the CSD Course Endorsement Programme are to encourage greater harmonisation between what courses are offering at specific levels of learning and industry needs - the professional body is not seeking to determine the values and requirements, but to enable the development of skills through the organisations both delivering and requiring them.
The programme and indeed the Society aims to deliver a strong network of new designers in the UK with fit for purpose skills. We would seek for graduates and students successfully gaining endorsed qualifications to share experiences and information with the professional body as well as the wider sector - promoting professionalism and the profession of design.
The recently launched CSD Course Endorsement Programme is rapidly gaining momentum and recognition with some of the key design universities and a handful of FE colleges interested in becoming endorsed. Education institutions are required to pay for the application and if successful to pay an annual licence fee (max of 5 years) to maintain the award, we do not therefore expect that every course will apply, given the squeeze on budgets, but the current level of interest would indicate a strong commitment to continuing relevant and fit for purpose design education in the UK.
The Society is running a series of forthcoming consultation sessions on Learning to Earning™ to look into career progression, CPD and notably Chartered Designer status, which are likely to cross over on some of the issues raised at this meeting too for more information visit www.csd.org.uk