Anyone who knows me is aware, when I was younger, of how I felt about my professional association. Mind you, they had their challenges but even so, I had my opinion of their ability to represent our profession. At the time I decided I had no real reason to gain any sort of professional accreditation. I was working and doing well but things changed. I am still successful, however, I finally recognized that if for any reason I choose to work anywhere else in North America or even for myself without my professional accreditation I am handcuffed. Even in my own province.
The game changed for me.
And I am not alone.
When you hire an Interior Designer does their accreditation even matter?
Professional accreditation is really the only proof that an Interior Designer understands the basics of what it takes to operate at a minimum level in their field of expertise. Without a strong work ethic and continued skills development professional accreditation is not unlike a hammer. It can’t swing itself and if it gets into the wrong hands it can do some serious damage.
It’s simply a benchmark of core competency.
Having said that competency is not really a benchmark. It is a minimum requirement to a basic set of skills. Gaining professional accreditation simply tells a professional that they are capable of operating at a basic level of competency in their industry.
That’s about it.
It’s not meant to be but I can assure you that some people may see it that way.
As Interior Designers, before becoming accredited we work hard at growing our knowledge base and once accredited we must continue to do so, however, now our professional development is monitored. To say we are personally self-regulated is true however as an organization we are not legally bound by regulation. Regardless, like many professional organizations if we don’t adhere to the guidelines of our associations requirements for maintaining our continuing education we can lose our good standing.
Can we lose our professional accreditation?
Not really but as Interior Designers who wants to share the stage with the other professions in our field of expertise we need to maintain our professional standing and continuing education is a key ingredient to our success.
Many of our clients don’t understand this point or the impact it has on our profession as a whole.
Even though an Interior Designer’s professional standing is still self-monitored in most of Canada we hope not for much longer. In the meantime our governing bodies, IDC and ARIDO help keep the NCIDQ Certified and Intern Interior Designers on the professional development path; however, they can only do so much with respect to managing professional practice. The rest is up to us as Interior Designers to ensure we hold ourselves accountable for our own professional development no matter how seasoned or experienced we think we are.
How can you, our clients, ensure you get credible services?
Until such time as there is a Practice Act in place, you as a potential client, should continue to seek the expertise that comes with credible experience. Any Interior Designer who is worth your time and effort will dedicate a portion of their time ensuring their professional development remains a priority regardless of their professional standing. You can be assured that a Registered Interior Designer has not only the qualifications to take on your project but has made continuing education a priority in order to maintain the professional development requirements of their respective professional associations.
We don’t have to explain the value proposition to you further.
So, the next time you are thinking about hiring an Interior Design professional you may want to ask a few key questions beyond gaining a basic understanding of their professional experience.
Here are a few examples:
- What is your firm’s learning and development policy?
- How do you support your design professionals to maintain their good standing in their associations?
- Does your senior leadership volunteer its expertise to its industry? If so, what benefits are gained from a learning and development perspective?
- How does your firm support the growth of your professional association?
The other way to look at it is you, as the client, can work in the world of the lowest common denominator or you can choose to raise the bar yourselves. By doing so, you increase your chances of getting top notch talent and top notch services.
Besides, who doesn’t want the best?
It’s out there.
That brings us to today’s quote.
Anthony J D’Angelo founded collegiate empowerment which provides guidance to students in the US through coaching and programs geared to motivated college students who want to improve their chances at graduating from their institutions. The idea that these folks care about education and understand its importance to the health of the world’s economy, future and the future of our educational system is perfect for this week’s quote. Take it away Mr. D’Angelo.
If that doesn’t brighten your day then maybe this will.
Have a great day and an awesome week.
If you want to read last week’s quote simply click here.