CGD Certification

Why Certify?

GDC is Canada’s only national association for professional certification.

We all strive to demonstrate in clear terms the sum of our experience and skill to prospective clients or employers. A portfolio is one of a designer's many tools that help convey that ability. Clear communication and credentials are also essential tools in demonstrating the broader picture of your abilities and skills. In that way, CGD Certification acts as essential universal credential, recognized across Canada.

The reasons to certify are different for everyone, but here are some key reasons we've heard from other CGD certified designers:

With CGD at the end of your name, you are able to more effectively establish your credentials and spark discussion with your clients about professional design.

Certification engages you with your profession. You connect with local design leaders throughout the certification process, and participate in growing your local design community.

GDC is Canada's largest network of CGD certified designers. Once you become CGD certified, you join that network and are able to connect with designers and design leaders across the country.

Certification Myths

Certification is about elevating the profession for you and all designers so that clients get better results and designers can earn fair and consistent wages. Below are some common myths we hear about certification:

Many clients are unaware that there are different skills and levels of skill within the profession of design. Certification is a way to spark discussion with your clients about those differences. This can strengthen the relationship and dialogue you have with your clients, especially in a competitive marketplace.

Certification is perfect for established designers. Credentials are the result of accumulating experience, expertise and demonstrating accomplishment. CGD certification is a clear and Nationally recognized credential.

CGD Certification is not an artistic judgement. It is an unbiased quantitative measure of an experienced designer's demonstrated skills.

How to Become Certified

The process to become CGD certified is simple (only five steps) and standardized across Canada:


Each applicant for CGD Certification must either be a practicing Designer or Design Educator with the following requirements:

For Designers:
  1. Possess seven (7) years of combined professional experience and/or education
  2. Completed the Certification Application Form
  3. Curriculum Vitae / Proof of Experience
  4. Portfolio of 7 case studies of your design work. For educators
For Design Educators:
  1. Possess seven (7) years of combined professional experience and/or education
  2. Completed the Certification Application Form
  3. Curriculum Vitae / Proof of Experience


The annual membership fee for CGD Certified designers is $300.


Step 1: Application Form

Download and fill out the certification application form. This form includes information on the process and criteria for the portfolio review step.


Step 2: Resume

Prepare a PDF of your CV or proof of education and/or work experience.


Step 3: Portfolio

Prepare a portfolio (PDF or physical) of seven (7) case studies/examples of real client work you have done.


Step 4: Join GDC

Join GDC and select "CGD" at the registration step.


Step 5: Schedule Portfolio Review

Alberta North membership.abnorth@gdc.net
Alberta South membership.absouth@gdc.net
Arctic membership.arctic@gdc.net
Atlantic Canada membership.atlantic@gdc.net
BC membership.bc@gdc.net
Vancouver Island membership.vibc@gdc.net
Quebec, Ontario & International mal@gdc.net
Manitoba membership.mb@gdc.net
Saskatchewan North membership.skn@gdc.net
Saskatchewan South membership.sks@gdc.net

If you have any questions about the process or how to proceed, reach out, we are always here to help: certification@gdc.net

Join GDC!

Join Canada's creative community and start your journey today:

Join GDC