code of

To establish professional design standing worldwide it is necessary to have a broad acceptance of a shared professional ethos and a sense of common cause. Only the collective action of practitioners can establish the professional standing of a discipline.

Achieving professional standing begins with self-awareness and self-definition. Only when the broad community of practitioners adopts a common approach can wider society be expected to acknowledge the professional status of the discipline. Once these standards are established, the discipline benefits from enhanced respect, status and influence, independence and assigned value. But what form does common cause take and how is a shared ethos of professionalism communicated across countries and cultures? A defining attribute of any profession is an accepted Professional Code of Conduct.

The International Council of Design's Professional Code of Conduct for designers, is presented as an international standard and reference. It is an aspirational document, intended to serve as a touchstone for professional associations crafting their own Codes, and to support educational institutions developing curricula. It is a tool for any designer who seeks to adhere to international standards.

Individual design practitioners are not direct Members of the Council. The Council’s Members are organisations and institutions that represent designers, educate designers and promote design. Many national professional bodies have their own Codes (see link below). These Codes provide a more granular, local and context-specific framework for the designers in those regions and we strongly recommend for designers to make themselves aware of these national Codes.

We have provided a compiled Lexicon of terms used in the Professional Code of Conduct and in our Best Practice documents. You can see the complete Lexicon at the link below.