RGD issues 'no spec' letter to Canadian Tourism Commission
The Canadian Tourism Commission revokes a technical ability test from its Request for Supplier Qualification in response to a letter issued by the Executive Director of RGD.


RGD was pleased with the Canadian Tourism Commission's response, in which they stated that, "For all of our purchasing, the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) aims to be open, fair and trasparent...after further examination of CTC requirements and the evaluation criteria, the technical ability test component will no longer be a requirement of the RFSQ."


RGD's letter read as follows:


Alishah Kassam
Procurement Officer 
Canadian Tourism Commission

Re: Reference #: CTC-2012-ALI-01

Dear Ms. Kassam:

I am writing to you from the Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD). RGD was created by the Ontario Legislature to govern its members and award the professional designation RGD to designers who meet our qualification criteria. 

We have been made aware of your Request for Supplier Qualification for Graphic Design Services. It was brought to our attention that Section 6 requires creative work to be performed as part of a technical ability test.

The Association’s Rules of Professional Conduct prohibit our 3,000 members from doing free creative (whether in visual or verbal form) as part of an RFP. 

Today, even the most junior designer must be proficient in InDesign, given that these are industry standard tools, so 30% weighting seems unusual and would not provide an accurate assessment of a designer’s ability to meet your communication needs.

In order to assess whether or not this is an example of speculative creative and also to understand the nature of the work, we request clarification as to precisely what the breakdown is for marking the technical test. 

Design is a process involving research, creativity, strategy and client participation. A designer should be selected based on their ability and experience with this process. A designer must then be well acquainted with your organization so they will be able to develop a concept that will embody your organization, foster recognition from among your community, and generate excitement about your activities.

We look forward to your response. If you have questions, contact me at 1.888.274.3668 x23 or .

Hilary Ashworth
Executive Director