Our Code

AGDA’s Code of Ethics is the professional principles we hold to peers, clients, markets and consumers. A member of AGDA is encouraged to form their business practices around these principles to establish 'fair play' across the breadth of our sector. Our code protects both designers and clients from unethical professional practices, whether deliberate or unintended.

Over thirty years of consultation with our members has gone into developing our code. We outline professional conduct expectations in the critical aspects of client/designer/subcontractor relationships in plain English. The benchmarks we set for the communication design sector are our nation's go-to for government, private enterprise, education and the general public.

The Code of Ethics is a powerful tool in creating awareness around destructive practices such as competitive free pitching, to which AGDA and our members are unequivocally opposed.

The Code of Ethics will also enhance clients' understanding of the purpose and value of communication design.

How our Code works

The purpose of AGDA’s Code of Ethics is to provide AGDA Members with internationally accepted standards of professional ethics and conduct. This Code contains guidelines for the conduct of Members in fulfilling their professional and ethical obligations. Members agree to be bound by these guidelines. This Code was nationally ratified by the AGDA membership in October 1996.

Our Code comes with international backing

This Code of Ethics is based on the Model Code of Professional Conduct for Designers published in 1987 by ICOGRADA (International Council of Graphic Design Associations), ICSID (International Council of Societies of Industrial Design) and IFI (International Federation of Interior Architects/Interior Designers).

AGDA’s Arbitration Service

A Member, supplier or client may call upon AGDA for arbitration of a dispute regarding a Member's fulfilment of professional obligation. The guidelines in this Code will be used by an appointed AGDA Grievance Committee as the basis for reaching decisions and making recommendations.

AGDA’s Grievance Committee

Our Grievance Committee consists of local, non-partisan industry experts. A selected committee list is submitted to all parties for approval. The Grievance Committee is not a legal advice service, it acts impartially to clarify issues, and recommend equitable and amiable resolutions to conflicts. All proceedings are held in the strictest confidence, however in special cases, AGDA will publish case histories without real names in the interest to educating Members and the public about professional conduct.