IFI Model Code Of Professional Conduct

ICOGRADA/ICSID/IFI, Model Code Of Professional Conduct For Designers


  • The object is to state the principles for an international basis of ethical standards related to the practice of design which are accepted by all Members of ICOGRADA, ICSID and IFI.


  • For the purpose of the Code, the word ‘designer’
    1. shall deem to include:
      • designers concerned with graphics and visual communication
      • designers concerned with products and capital goods
      • interior architects/interior designers
    2. shall mean an individual practising design as a freelance or salaried designer, or group of designers, acting in partnership or within other forms of association


  • OGRADA/ICSID/IFI require that Members accept that they and their individual members when working in a country other than their own shall observe the relevant code and practice of the national Member and Members of that country.
    1. The Designer’s responsibility to the community.
      • A designer accepts a professional obligation to further the social and aesthetic standards of the community.
      • A designer accepts professional responsibility to act in the best interest of the ecology and of the natural environment.
      • A designer shall act in keeping with the honour and dignity of his profession.
      • A designer shall not consciously assume or accept a position in which his personal interests conflict with his professional duty.
    2. The Designer’s responsibility to his client.
      • A designer shall act in his client’s interests within the limits of his professional duties
      • A designer shall not work simultaneously on assignments which are in direct competition without informing the clients or employers concerned, except in specific cases where it is customary for the designer to work at the same time for various competitors.
      • A designer shall treat all knowledge of his client’s intentions, production methods and/or business organisation as confidential and shall not, at any time, divulge such information without the consent of his client. It is the designer’s responsibility to ensure that all members of his staff are similarly bound to confidentiality.
    3. The Designer’s responsibility to other designers
      • A designer must not attempt, directly or indirectly, to supplant another designer, nor must he compete with another designer by means of a deliberate reduction of fee or by other unfair inducement. A designer shall not knowingly accept any professional assignment upon which another designer has been acting without notifying the other designer.
      • A designer must be fair in criticism and shall not denigrate the work or reputation of a fellow designer.
        A designer shall not accept instructions from his client which knowingly involve plagiarism nor shall he consciously act in a manner involving plagiarism
    4. Designer’s Remuneration.
      • A designer shall not undertake any work at the invitation of a client without payment of an appropriate fee. A designer may however undertake work without fee or at a reduced rate for charitable or non-profit organisations.
      • Before accepting an assignment the designer shall define exactly and comprehensively to the client the basis on which his total remuneration is calculated.
      • A designer who is financially concerned with any company, firm or business which may benefit from any recommendations made by him in the course of his work shall notify his client or employer of this fact in advance.
      • A designer who is asked to advise on the selection of designer shall accept no payment in any form from the designer recommended.
    5. Competitions.
      • A designer shall not take part in any open or limited international competition the terms of which are not in accordance with the regulations established by ICOGRADA, ICSID and IFI.
    6. Publicity.
      • Any advertising or publicity material must contain only truthful factual statements. It must be fair to clients and other designers, and in accordance with the dignity of the profession.
      • A designer may allow his clients to use his name for the promotion of articles he has designed or service which he has provided but only in a manner which is appropriate to the status of the profession.
      • A designer shall not allow his name to be associated with the realisation of a design which has been so changed by the client as to no longer represent the original work of the designer.
  • Published by the International Council of Graphic Design Associations, the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design and the International Federation of Interior Architects/Interior Designers.

Adopted by General Assembly in 1983 and amended in 1987 He, his, him shall be read as she, her.