Pathway to Chartered Designer

 Three years after being granted the power to set up The Register of Chartered Designers and thirteen years after first approaching the Privy Council Office to explore the use of the title, the Society is pleased to announce details of how The Register will operate and to invite those interested in achieving the title of Chartered Designer to register their interest before the pathway commences fully on 1st October 2014.


The award of Chartered Designer will be based on a framework of four core competencies (CPSK):

Creativity, Professionalism, Skills, Knowledge

Originally developed as the CSD Genetic Matrix which has underpinned membership assessment since its introduction six years ago. The register of Chartered Designers has adopted this framework and all applications will be required to demonstrate competence against all criteria of CPSK, both in their Pathway Portfolio and during the Professional Review, together with a commitment to the ongoing requirements of Chartered status.

Applications for the Pathway to Chartered Designer status are open to all who are currently practising full-time in any design discipline. The process for achieving the award is split into four stages:


All applicants will need to complete the application form which will also require confirmation that they fully understand the guidelines, framework and pathway. Once reviewed the applicant will receive a Personal Pathway Portfolio listing the specific submissions required for their particular discipline and context in which they work.

Members of the Society having gained full membership within three years of an application will be exempt from certain CPSK criteria.


This will require applicants to submit various documents and reports, including:

CPD record, examples of work, professional documentation, IP report, PI and relevant insurance cover, Terms & Conditions, references, schedule of services and an academic qualification report.

Those having completed a CSD Accredited Course as part of the CSD Course Endorsement Programme will be exempt from producing an academic qualification report.

It is expected that the Pathway will take a maximum of three months for those having been in practice for more than five years. For those being in practice for less than five years the duration of the Pathway will be determined at the application stage.

A review of the Pathway Portfolio will determine if the applicant is read for the Professional Review.


Once the Pathway has been completed the applicant will undergo a Professional Review conducted by at least two senior design practitioners, at least one of whom will have practiced in the same design discipline as the applicant.

The outcome of the Professional Review will be either:

  • Pass and award of Chartered Designer
  • Referral and request for additional submissions within the Pathway Portfolio
  • Deferment for a specified period not less than one year before being able to re-apply


Should Chartered Designer status be awarded the recipient will be required to maintain that status by annually submitting specified items including:

CPD record to the required value (100 CSD CPD points being equivalent to 35 hours of development), proof of ongoing PI cover, adherence to the Code of Conduct, evidence of investment in the profession and any relevant declarations.

Becoming a Chartered Designer and maintaining the status involves three costs:

1. The Application, Pathway Portfolio and Professional Review fee is initially set at £240. Full Members and Fellows of CSD benefit from a CPSK cost exemption of £160 reducing the application cost to £80.

2. All successful applicants will be required to pay a one-off registration fee of £100.

3. The annual fee to maintain Chartered Designer status will be £250 and includes

  • a personal annual audit of The Register requirements
  • listing on The Register of Chartered Designers
  • annual certificate
  • full membership of the Chartered Society of Designers (currently £180)
  • all benefits and services afforded to CSD members
  • use of the authorised abbreviation MCSD

Initially, all awards will be overseen by the Chartered Society of Designers. Eventually however, The Register will ‘Licence’ professional bodies it considers to be appropriate and which are similar to the Society, in order to deliver the award of Chartered Designer. Over the coming year it will be developing the criteria for awarding those licences and identifying bodies with which to collaborate.

The Register will at the same time be exploring the possibility of ‘Recognising’ various bodies and organisations with a view to exempting their members from certain aspects of the application process. Members of a ‘Licenced’ or ‘Recognised’ entity will benefit from partial exemption of the Pathway and reduced application costs.


Further details will be available on the Society’s website soon.