THE POINT SYSTEM. certifyD the design certification dialogue. Certifying Responsible Design (CRED) proposal. A Graduate thesis by Esteban Perez-Hemminger @ Pratt Institute.

the point system

A member must provide proof of and fulfill all CRED Point System (CPS) requirements based on the desired membership level. The value of non-design related education is also recognized and built into the system. Failure to comply with these obligations can result in loss of certification. The CPS flexibility cultivates a bond between practitioners, and positions Communications Design as an indispensable activity at the service of industry, government, society and planet.

01 : EDUCATION : Underscoring the importance of a formal post-secondary degree, educational programs carry different value points based on the following scale. Only degrees from accredited institutions will be accepted.

Associate degree = 6pts 
Bachelor’s degree = 6pts
Master’s degree = 8pts

Bachelor’s degree = 6pts
Master’s degree = 4pts

02 : EXPERIENCE : CRED retains the right to contact employers and clients to guarantee the veracity of claimed experience level. Years of experience carry value points based on the following scale.

 Work : 1 year = 2pts

Following the scale, the system provides for:
3 = 6pts (minimum)
4 = 8pts
5 = 10pts
6 = 12pts
7 = 14pts (maximum)

03 : ETHICS + PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT CODE (EPC) : EPC points are provided in two tiers to reflect the level of ethical behavior expected of each membership category. The code enforces ethical guidelines as related to business practices, legal practices, contracts, marketing, human resources, client relationships, environmental resources and social responsibility among others.

Fellow & Senior : 6pts
Graduate & Junior : 3pts

03 : 2-DAY CONFERENCE : The CRED conference is a bridge between school and the professional world, providing the vital knowledge and up-to-date information needed for a long-lasting and successful design practice. Conferences occur twice a year in different parts of the country. Unlike a written test, subject matter can be frequently revised and updated to reflect the latest innovations, technological developments as well as economic and social concerns. This 2-day forum – required for all senior and fellow members – includes courses, lectures and workshops addressing topics such as:

: legislation and contracts
: rights-management and copyright law
: project presentation skills: accessibility regulation
: the end-user as ultimate client
: design research, education and theory
: management, workflow and customer relationships
: responding to and challenging the brief

: communications design for non-profits
: working pro-bono
: sustainable practices and renewable energy sources
: ethical guidelines and codes of professional conduct
: responsive web and interactive design
: production & manufacturing innovations
: design for public spaces

05 : PORTFOLIO : The portfolio is integrated as additional proof of a designer’s skills and visual capabilities. However, it must remain centered in communications, strategy and responsible practice. Applicants must submit 6 case-study work samples, with visual references, accompanied by a written rationale. A maximum of 2 case studies can come from student work. An applicant must then elaborate and defend their work in front of a jury. Portfolios will be judged and graded based on the following criteria:

: application of the client’s brief
: concept, strategy and implementation
: production, delivery and effectiveness

Portfolio & written rationales : 1–3pts

06 : PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT CREDITS (PDC) PDC emphasizes the importance of a designer’s personal and long-term commitment to education, development and growth. All fellow, senior and junior certified members are responsible for completing the corresponding number of annual credits indicated for their membership level. Failure to comply can result in the cancellation of membership. pdc works in the following way:

1 hour (regular activity) = 1 credit
1 hour (cred-sponsored activity) = 2 credits

Fellow & Senior : 30 credits per year
Junior : 20 credits per year

Credit approved activities include but are not limited to:
: formal academic study
: research project
: teaching or mentoring
: participating in seminar, workshop or conference
: publishing an article, essay, book or other
: engaging in pro-bono work
: lecturing
: curating an exhibition