Q I have a design degree and over 15 years experience as a Senior Graphic Designer. Do I still have to go through the Certification process if I want to become an RGD?
A No one may become an RGD without successfully completing the portfolio presentation and the Rules of Professional Conduct and Accessibility sections of the Online Test. If you have 15 years of relevant experience, you are exempt from the other three sections of the Online Test.
Q How long do I have to finish the process?
A 6 months from the time of application.
Q How long will the process take?
A That's entirely up to you and how quickly you would like to move through the steps. Typically, about 4-6 weeks.
Q I have worked for 10 years as a graphic designer but completed a diploma or degree in something other than graphic design. Can I become an RGD?
A With 10 years of relevant work experience and a degree or diploma in any field, you can apply. The Eligibility Review Committee reviews all applications and rationales to determine eligibility to move to the next stages of completing the process, which are the Online Test and Portfolio Presentation.
Q If I apply now, when will I find out if I am eligible to apply for Certification?
A If you apply today and submit all required documentation (such as official educational transcripts), it will take about 2 weeks to receive notice of eligibility. If eligible, RGD staff work to schedule the best week-long window for completion of the Online Test and the date and time for your Virtual Portfolio Presentation.
Q Do I need to read all the texts listed on the site?
A You may choose to study all or some of the books suggested for each section. For the Online Test, you may have texts (and hand-written/printed notes) in front of you when you take it but the section is timed so you will likely not have enough time to look up every answer. You may not have electronic devices so make sure to have printed copies for materials that you wish to consult. If your Test has been scheduled, you may borrow texts from RGD.
Q I don't have time to go through the Certification process. Is there a way for me to get involved in RGD otherwise?
If you have more than 8 years of education and work experience combined, you may become an RGD Affiliate Member
and take advantage of a range of benefits. If you have less than this, you may be eligible for Provisional Membership
Q May I use handwritten notes for the Online Test?
A Yes, you may, but no electronic devices are permitted.
Q Can I fail the Online Test?
A There are 5 sections to the test, 2 of which are mandatory to everyone: Rules of Professional Conduct and Accessibility. Each section has a passing mark associated with it, based on marks from past successful candidates.
If you do not achieve the passing mark for either Rules or Accessibility, you will be required to take those sections again until you pass.
If you fail 1 or more of the other 3 sections, this information will be compared to the score of your Portfolio Presentation to determine how many of the sections of the Online Test you must pass. Based on that score, you may have to write certain sections the Online Test again until you receive the passing mark.
Q What happens if I fail the Virtual Portfolio Presentation?
If you fail the Presentation, you will receive suggestions for how you can improve your work and be invited to join as an Affiliate Member
. In 2 years, you will have the opportunity to re-apply. If you prefer, you can appeal the decision and redo your Portfolio Presentation with 3 new Reviewers who have no knowledge of past results. You would be required to present the same 6 pieces as were submitted as part of your Application.
Q I work in-house so most of my portfolio is under the same brand. Would it be a problem if I present 4 to 5 pieces from the 2 brands I worked on for the past 2 years?
We have had many in-house designers who submit work within the same brand platform. The key is ensuring that our Examiners are able to evaluate you on the information covered in the evaluation criteria
. Within your 6 projects, you must be able to identify information for each of these. If, by some chance, when you submit your rationales, the Eligibility Review Committee does not feel the Examiners will be able to accurately assess these criteria from what you will be presenting, they may ask for clarification or suggest replacing some pieces with work that is more varied.
Q I am based in Vancouver. Can I still complete Certification
A Yes, the Test is completed online and the Portfolio Presentation is conducted virtually so anyone may go through the process. It is up to you if you will feel you will find the designation and benefits of RGD membership to be of value to you. The Association has RGDs practising in the US and across Canada.
Q Once I have passed the Certification test presentation, am I an RGD?
A Not just yet! You must submit an RGD Membership Application form and pay your yearly dues to be registered as an RGD.
Q Ok, now I've passed the Certification process, have applied for membership, paid my dues and have my RGD designation, so how can I use it?
A RGDs are encouraged to use the RGD designation after their name wherever it appears in a professional context, including on your personal or firm website, in your LinkedIn profile and your C.V. In addition to receiving a certificate to post in your offices, you also receive a digital logo to included in printed and digital promotion.
Q Can I lose my RGD professional designation?
RGDs are required to remain in good standing with the Association by paying their annual dues. If you fail to pay your dues in a year, your standing will lapse and your standing as an RGD will be revoked. It is also possible that the RGD designation be revoked as part of a disciplinary procedure if a grievance is filed against an RGD Member with the Association and it is determined by RGD's Grievance and Disciplinary Committees that the RGD Member was in violation of RGD's Rules of Professional Conduct
. If you have any further questions about this process, please email RGD's Executive Director at
I am a Design Educator. Can I still become an RGD?
A Yes, Design Educators are welcome to become RGD Members, as are Design Managers. The designation is the same. The Examination process is somewhat different in that Educators are asked to submit Rationales that may include examples of Curriculum Design, Course Design, Lesson Plans, Professional Work, Academic & Research Papers, Publishing/Conference documentation and Professional Design work.