Design Accreditation for the UK

An opportunity to shape the future of the design industry…

Steven Johnson is chairing a working group for the DBA (Design Business Association) to investigate how an independent accreditation scheme for design businesses could benefit both providers and buyers.

As client organisations focus more and more on an evidence base for their buying decisions, an independent accreditation platform would provide a useful procurement short-cut. Furthermore, given the persistent confusion of design with aesthetics and the amount of design that is still produced without enough/any user co-creation, research or testing it would clearly differentiate the designers from the decorators, giving the former clear.

At this point, it is hoped that a Natural Selection dynamic would kick and ,over time, businesses that merely present themselves as designers would either evolve or become extinct, positively impacting the industry at every level.

We’re currently at the formative stages of a collaboration with Lancaster University to scope out the demand, the purpose and the model and I’d we’ re keen to encourage thoughts, comments and signposts from as many directions as possible. Some of the questions we’re asking of the scoping exercise are:

  • Would design businesses support/join an accreditation scheme?
  • Would clients value it?
  • What criteria should accreditation be based on?
  • How much resource would businesses be willing to commit to the accreditation process?
  • How could we ensure that the scheme is as attractive/beneficial to design businesses of all sizes and specialisms?

Please use this blog or Steven’s twitter feed to contribute. There is also a Linked-In discussion within the DBA group that you can find here.


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