RGD's Ethics Committee creates practices document for design contests
Ethical Best Practices for Design Competitions/Contests

As part of its efforts to advocate against spec work, RGD's Ethics Committee has created a document for organizations and companies that want to organize a contest for design work.


RGD's Ethics Committee focuses much of their advocacy efforts on companies and organizations that request free/spec work as part of their selection process, often as part of a formal RFP, but the Committee also responds when small organizations, often non-profits, solicit spec work in the hopes of engaging the community and/or because they can't afford to hire a professional designer.


"Our goal was to create a document that would not only allow designers to inform organizations about why spec contests are often harmful, but also to provide organizations with ethical contest alternatives that are still engaging and fun," says Jennifer Taback RGD, VP of RGD's Ethics Committee.


RGD actively advocates against spec work in the design industry. Certified RGDs are not permitted to participate in spec work of any kind as per RGD's Rules of Professional Conduct*.


RGD also provides a resource for designers to help them understand and spot spec work. Called Free, Fee or Flee, the online resource is free to use for Members and Non-Members.


Click here to download RGD's Ethical Best Practices for Design Competitions/Contests.


Please contact RGD's Executive Director, Hilary Ashworth, at if you wish to report an ask for spec work.


* RGD's Rules of Professional Conduct will be changing to a joint Code of Conduct with GDC. RGD Members in all categories are able to attend RGD's AGM on April 29th to ratify the new Code of Conduct.

Document design and copy: Jennifer Taback RGD, VP of Ethics, Founding Partner of Design de Plume