CSD Genetic Matrix™

The CSD Genetic Matrix™ CPSK underpins all of the Society’s initiatives including:
CSD membership categories, Pathway to Chartered Designer, training & CPD and the CSD Course Endorsement Programme.

The matrix is formed of 4 core criteria ‘CPSK’ each of which comprises of 4 key competences. There are competences generic to design practice and contextual competences applicable to a particular design discipline in each criteria.

CPSK is now the recognised framework for professional design practice offering metrics benchmarking in both practice and design study.

C1 Create svg

Imagination, intuition, insight and inspiration

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The ability to imagine, conceive and conjure alternative scenarios and to be intuitive and inspired, to generate insights and to question and be curious, calling on both cognitive and non-cognitive skills in order to allow for the development of unique and novel ideas.

C2 Generate svg

Able to generate ideas and negotiate the inhibitors of creative thinking

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The ability to generate creative ideas through various methods, techniques and approaches whether individually or collaboratively and being able to negotiate the inhibitors of creative thought such as risk and complacency. Displaying an ability to be inquisitive and recognising the need for convergent or divergent whilst at the same time remaining open to serendipitous interventions.

C3 Manage svg

Development and management of ideas from scoping and analysis to evaluation and selection

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The ability to scope, analyse, evaluate and select generated ideas for further development whilst proving those ideas are relevant for use in a specific context. To be able to manage ideas in both a creative and business environment throughout the design process in order to bring them to fruition.

C4 Innovate svg

Able to exploit the potential of ideas and creative thinking

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The ability to adopt and harness generated ideas and creativity to address specific problems or needs and to deliver original solutions in existing or new markets or environments. At the same time to be able to identify new opportunities where new thinking and ideas can add value to either a commercial, social or environmental endeavour and achieve this by the application of design.

P1 Values svg

Able to practice whilst adhering to the values expected of professional designers

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Possessing and exercising values that are common to the environment in which designers practice. Maintaining integrity when undertaking work and showing due regard for the practice of design whilst practicing in such a manner that respects others including, clients, the environment, nature and society.

P2 Process svg

Adopting best practice and appropriate methodologies

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Operating in keeping with best practice and applying appropriate and adopted methodologies. Having a commitment to maintain an awareness and knowledge of the processes used by others in a particular field of practice, whether clients, colleagues or suppliers.

P3 Communication svg

Competence to communicate appropriately with relevant audiences

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The ability to communicate with stakeholders at all stages of the design process whether by written, verbal and/or other means. An understanding of the interpersonal and psychological communications employed as well as the relationships involved and the appropriate use of communication techniques.

P4 Contextual svg

Awareness, understanding and knowledge of practice requirements, regulations and standards

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An understanding and knowledge of the appropriate regulations and requirements within a specific field and ensuring both adoptive and statutory standards are maintained whilst practicing. Being conversant with relevant Intellectual Property Rights in the field of practice and understanding the means of protection and issues of infringement.

S1 Generic svg

Ability to deliver creative ideas and innovative solutions using a range of tools

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Possessing those skills of which some or all are essential to a designer across all design disciplines. The ability to communicate ideas and concepts by the use of storytelling techniques that may include, colour, expression of form, spatial manipulation, and any form of visual, audial or any sensory communication.

S2 Operating svg

Competence in the skills required within particular operating environments

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Possessing the specific skills required to operate in a particular commercial or social environment and at the appropriate level whether a sole-trader, an employee or in a managerial position. To ensure as appropriate, an awareness, knowledge and understanding of the operating skills required to complement those of design in achieving success, i.e. management, financial, business and commercial skills.

S3 Personal svg

Developing and maintaining interpersonal, complementary and transferable skills

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Possessing a range of interpersonal and people skills that are required in order to engage with others in whatever capacity and that enables the successful implementation and delivery of design projects. Developing skills that complement those gained as a designer whilst identifying transferable skills.

S4 Contextual svg

Ability to practice at the appropriate level within a chosen field of design

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The ability to apply generic design skills within the remit of a particular design discipline and to ensure they are employed to the mutual benefit of design practice. To ensure competency in those skills that are necessary to practice professionally in a particular design discipline.

K1 Explicit svg

Theoretical and general knowledge supporting other competencies

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Knowledge that is acquired from others being derived from research, experimentation and theory and is generally accepted and or adopted and which forms the basis for an understanding of the environment of field in which the designer practices.

K2 Tacit svg

Ability to apply to knowledge gained from prior experiences

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Knowledge gained from prior experience and relationships and which is may be called upon during the creative process, influences professional practice and informs skills development for the benefit of both the designer and client.

K3 Management svg

Ability to research, acquire and employ knowledge for specific purposes

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The ability to acquire knowledge, by research or other means, as and when needed as part of the design process. Managing such knowledge and imparting it to relevant stakeholders in order to achieve a successful design outcome. In doing so to be able to record the knowledge gained for future benefit.

K4 Contextual svg

Knowledge of the sector to include operating environment, markets, history, culture, etc.

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Possessing an awareness, understanding and knowledge of the context in which design is practiced, both historical and contemporary, and the sector in which the designer operates, such as the market, technical and legislative conditions and in addition cultural awareness and knowledge.