Does anyone know much about the Chartered Society of Designers? And is it worth becoming a chartered designer?

I've been a designer for a number of years but I come from an architectural background that is heavily supported (sometimes in good ways, sometimes bad) by societies like the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and Architects Registration Board (ARB). To practice as an architect you have to be registered with ARB but RIBA is more optional yet almost all practices are registered. I was wondering if the design industry has a similar strong connection with these kinds of societies and if it's worth becoming chartered?

The other main ones I know of based around design are DBA, RSA, TDC and ISTD but they don't seem to have the same weight as the royal societies seen in construction, or am I just oblivious to it?

Would love to hear peoples' opinions.

Thanks in advance,



  • Thank you @Derek Watson and @Adrian Van Cooten for your replies. I can certainly see the appeal in terms of showing credibility to clients but it's a shame that you both feel CSD has let you down with support and benefits. I personally feel the industry could benefit from having a royal society that's heavily involved but I guess it's a little far off at the moment. I'll keep an eye on CSD for the moment to see if they improve. I really appreicate both of your honesty on this topic.
  • I’m a member of the Chartered Society of Designers and I can honestly say there is zero benefits to joining. They literally just take your money. Not worth it.
  • I have been a member since leaving art school and now have Charetered status. It is good as it does show credibility to clients and pushes you to keep up with CPD but I have been disapointed they have not done more for members during the pandemic as iSTD have for example.

    They don't push the benefits of being a member and for clients working with a Chartered Designer as much as RIBA etc and really should do more.

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