Code of Conduct

The Chartered Society of Designers is the professional body for design. Its remit is to promote high standards of design, foster professionalism and the study of design, and to regulate and monitor the practice of its members for the benefit of society.

Designers admitted to the Society undertake to adhere to the Code of Conduct.

The Code of Conduct


1.1 This Code of Professional Conduct (“the Code”) is issued by the Chartered Society of Designers (“the Society”) for the compliance of all its members in whatever capacity they work or practise as designers.

All members undertake as a condition of membership of the Society, to abide by the Code, and they are further bound by the Charter, Bye-laws and Regulations of the Society.

1.2 The objects of the Code are to promote the highest standards of design and design management, for the benefit and in the best interests of members, their clients and society at large.


2.1 Members shall comply with the laws, other professional codes for designers and self-regulatory codes governing associated areas of activity, (for example the Code of the Advertising Standards Authority). Members shall also comply with the laws and relevant professional codes of all countries in which they work. Where such laws or codes appear to be at variance with the Code then members shall draw such variance to the attention of the Director of the Society (“the Director”) for clarification and guidance.

2.2 Any member who in the opinion of the Council of the Society (“the Council”) has been in contravention of the spirit or letter of the Code may be reprimanded, suspended or expelled from membership by the Council and this action may be accompanied by a public announcement.

Such action shall only occur after the member has been given the opportunity to answer any charges brought by the Conduct Sub-Committee of the Council (“the Conduct Sub-Committee”), following which the Conduct Sub-Committee has determined to report and recommend to the Council that the action takes place and the Council so decides.

2.3 No members may knowingly work with, as a partner or fellow director, nor employ an expelled member of the Society or of any other recognised professional institution without the knowledge and consent of the Conduct Sub-Committee.

2.4 Any member wishing to complain about any matter relating to the conduct of the Society’s affairs shall do so by writing to the Director, and in the event of the member not being satisfied by the response, by writing direct to the Council who shall discuss the complaint and decide upon it. The member shall be bound to accept the decision of the Council as final and binding.

2.5 Members shall be responsible for the compliance with this Code of all persons or organisations employed or engaged on their behalf.


3.1 Members shall conduct their business competently and act at all times with integrity and honesty.

3.2 Whilst members may publicise their services in a factual and dignified manner they shall not knowingly seek to supplant another designer already engaged on a project and if comparing their services with those of other members shall only do so in a manner which is legal, decent, honest and truthful.

3.3 Members shall treat all knowledge and information relating to their clients’ or employer’s business as confidential and shall not divulge such information to any third parties without the consent of the relevant client or employer.

3.4 Members shall not knowingly work simultaneously, for clients or employers who are in direct competition with each other without their full knowledge.

3.5 Members shall not knowingly copy the work of another designer.

3.6 Members shall act fairly and impartially between contracting parties or when selecting others.

3.7 Members shall only enter or be a judge of competitions which comply with the design competition guidelines of the Society, or which obey rules approved by its International Relations Committee and when in any doubt shall consult the Director.

3.8 Members shall not sub-contract the principal design work commissioned by a client or employer without their full knowledge and agreement.

3.9 Where there is any intention by a member to combine acting as a consulting designer (“consulting”) with acting as a contractor including such activities as shop-fitting, construction, manufacturing and printing (“contracting”), this shall be disclosed to the client and shall not be represented as one or the other alone.

3.10 Members shall have due regard to the effect of their work and endeavour that it may cause as little harm as possible either directly or indirectly to the ecology or environment, including:
• living creatures
• endangered species of plant or fauna
• the atmosphere
• rivers and seas
• the land.

Members should wherever possible encourage the conservation of energy and the recycling of used products, packaging and materials.


4.1 To assist a prospective client to choose a designer, a member may present orally or in writing the following information relating to a proposed project:
(a) an understanding of the brief;
(b) examples of the member’s previous, work;
(c) details of how the member would undertake the project;
(d) an estimate of fees and time scale;
(e) outline details of the qualifications and experience of persons to work on the project.

4.2 Before undertaking any work on a project members shall:
(a) inform the client in writing of the work to be carried out and the fees and/or charges to be paid or the basis on which they will be calculated;
(b) disclose to the client any interest of the member which may have a bearing on the commission; and
(c) obtain the agreement of the client to pay such fees and/or charges as shall be agreed or on such basis as shall be agreed.

4.3 Fees and/or charges made by a member shall reflect the time and effort involved in the commission to which they relate.

4.4 Members may act at their own cost on behalf of a registered charity only.

4.5 Members shall not accept payments or benefits which may impair or be construed as impairing their ability to remain impartial and fair in all their dealings.


5.1 Members may themselves or by means of persons or organisations engaged on their behalf promote and publicise their work and their service and providing always that announcements are factual, not misleading in their presentation and uphold the dignity of the profession.

5.2 Where material publicised by a member includes the work of a joint author such as another designer or an architect, the member’s best endeavours shall be used to ensure that credit shall also be given to the joint author.

5.3 Members may allow their clients or employers to use the member’s name in the promotion or publicising of work for which the member was responsible providing:
(a) the member first approves the material which includes the member’s name;
(b) the manner in which it is carried out is in keeping with the dignity of the profession; and
(c) the member refers to the client or employer any joint authors.

5.4 Members shall not issue public statements on behalf of their clients or employers, or the Society without the express authority of the said parties.

5.5. Members may seek joint credit for work produced in their capacity as employees or as joint authors of the work when part of a team but shall not take any credit without the consent of the employer or team concerned.