CGD™ Certification

Real questions and answers about CGD™ Certification for graphic and communication designers.

CertifiNATION: The facts about Canada's National certification program for graphic and communication designers in Canada.
It takes a nation working together to develop a truly national standard. CGD™ Certification is the mark of professionalism and commitment to Canadian standards. The GDC is Canada's organization for graphic and communication designers — designers like you, who are looking to create a vibrant professional creative community, celebrate this country's best creative talent, and work together to set a higher bar for our profession.

How is CGD certification Canada's only certification mark for graphic and communication designers?
A “certification mark” is defined as a mark used for the purpose of distinguishing or so as to distinguish wares or services that are of a defined standard. With input from nearly every province and territory, the CGD Certification Mark is Canada's only national certification mark for graphic and communication designers.

Why do I need to be CGD Certified?
You don't need to be CGD certified to practice design in Canada. CGD certification is a promise. A professional commitment that thousands of Canadian designers like you have made over more than 50 years. A statement, both professionally and personally to do good for the community and the environment. A commitment to set the bar higher, to strive for a quality of craftsmanship in your work. A way to take aim at becoming a leader in your profession and set an example for a future generation of designers. Something that tells your clients, colleagues, friends and family that your work as a designer is not just a job, it's a passion, and a promise. You don't need to be CGD certified, but then again, why would you not take up that challenge?

What is the difference between CGD Certification and other offerings in Canada?
The GDC has been certifying designers for over 50 years. Over that time we (designers like you) have developed our certification system into a truly national system. The GDC created Canada's first and only Certification Mark for graphic and communication designers so that there could be a common standard no matter where you live in Canada. Now with the creation of the GDC National Certification Board, we're able to standardize the way graphic and communication designers are certified across the country. Our process is also flexible enough to grow and evolve as our profession naturally grows and evolves, so that over time, CGD certification will continue to represent the best of Canada's design skills, and designers.

CGD certified designers can be confident that their skills meet a certain level of professionalism, whether they live in Moncton or Montreal, Windsor or Whitehorse, Vancouver or Vernon. While at the same time businesses and employers can be confident in doing business with, or hiring CGD certified creative communication professionals.

But your certification process does/doesn't have XYZ
CGD Certification is a standard measure for Canadian graphic and communication designers across the country. As our profession evolves, so too will the skills and requirements of CGD certification. Today you need to show experience, skill and knowledge, and be able to back that up with real world work and rationales. In other words, CGD certification is fair and thorough and measurable. If you have ideas that you feel can help further fortify the CGD certification process, contact the GDC National Certification Board, or better yet join the GDC and help us build it together!

Certification is for elitists. I'm already a good designer, I don't need certification to prove that!
CGD certification was built by and for Canadian graphic and communication designers. We want all Canadian designers to have a fair and professional market in which to build a strong and successful career. CGD Certification is designed to help connect designers with the tools they need to be successful, as well as cultivate a highly networked community of all opinions and backgrounds. By becoming CGD certified you become a part of that community, and help contribute to the growth of our profession. Ultimately CGD certification is a professional choice, a choice you should feel ready to make.

I am an R.G.D. (Registered Graphic Designer), can I become CGD Certified?
Yes! As an R.G.D. you already possess the skills needed to apply for CGD Certification. Click here to start on the CGD Certification path.

I am an R.G.D. (Registered Graphic Designer) isn't that just the same thing?
No. RGD Ontario’s legislation, Bill Pr56 1996, grants “registered” status, or R.G.D. (Registered Graphic Designer), to those Ontario residents who qualify. The Ontario legislation permits RGD Ontario to "register" designers within the province, whereas the GDC certifies graphic and communication designers nationally through the CGD Certification Mark.

I'm already a member of XYZ!
Canada's graphic and communication design profession is served by three professional associations that include the Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario (RGD Ontario) serving Ontario, the Société des designers graphiques du Québec (SDGQ) serving Quebec, and the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC) serving all of Canada and Canadians working abroad. Each association is an independent membership organization.

The GDC has been a member of Icograda, the International Council of Communication Design since 1974, and is one of the ten largest professional association members in Icograda. The GDC is also formally allied with the Société des designers graphiques du Québec (SDGQ), representing graphic designers in Quebec, and the University and College Designers Association (UCDA).
Only the GDC offers CGD certification to its professional members.

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