Changes to RGD Certification Seniority Provision
Join RGD – Illustration by Sam Island

Designers, Design Managers and Design Educators with 15 or more years of professional work experience are now exempt from 4 of 5 sections of the Online Test component of the RGD Certification Exam. 

Seniority applicants are only required to complete the Rules of Professional Conduct section, consisting of 15 multiple choice questions.


Senior design professionals who become RGDs have opportunities to directly contribute to the Association's efforts to augment the profile of graphic design with business and the public and raise standards and best practices within our industry. These include:
- Speaking at events like DesignThinkers and Creative Directions
- Contributing to design projects like DesignThinkers and SoGood Partner
- Judging RGD’s Student Awards Program
- Reviewing portfolios at portfolio review events
- Being profiled, posting case studies and articles to RGD’s site and e-newsletter
- Being a mentor to an emerging designer in RGD’s Mentorship Program
- Sitting on Committees and/or the Board


Become a Registered Graphic Designer before the end of July to receive free registration to DesignThinkers 2015.
Steps for RGD Certification for Seniority Candidates

1. Complete the online application form here.

2. Select 6 projects that demonstrate your highest quality of achievement as a (1) Practitioner (2) Educator OR (3) Manager.
- Practitioner projects should demonstrate an ability to develop and implement solutions to complex problems encountered in all phases of the design process. Manager projects should demonstrate an ability to develop and implement effective strategies for design management.
- At least 1 project must have been produced in the last year, at least 2 more must have been produced in the last 5 years.
- You may include no more than ONE pro bono project AND no more than ONE project of personal work.
3. Complete the rationales form as a Practitioner, Manager or Educator.
- Describe your role and contribution to the project; project objectives; target audience; concept; overview of design issues; overview of design process; the  outcome/results of the process; date when produced.
- Provide visual references to the pieces which may be uploaded images or links to the project or visual representations of it online.
- This information becomes a part of an historical archive of over 500 Exam candidates over the last 15 years.

4. Candidates with 15 years experience are exempt from all of the Online Test except a section of 15 multiple choice questions on RGD's Rules of Professional Conduct. This section is open book so candidates can consult the Rules while taking the Test. We want to ascertain that candidates understand the Rules not that they have memorized them. The Test has been moved online so it can be completed from anywhere and at any  convenient time (scheduled over a week).

5. A 1/2 hour portfolio interview is also conducted remotely (between Monday to Friday 9 AM and 7 PM Eastern Time). The 3 participating Examiners are each asked to assess your ability to articulate your role in the projects; your ability to articulate the design process and project goals and your ability to demonstrate professional standards.
Find out more about the RGD certification process here, or attend one of RGD's upcoming online information sessions.

If you have any questions, email Membership Coordinator, Christina Dahl, at .