SDN Trainer Accreditation

Why introduce such an initiative now?

Research carried out by SDN in 2017 showed that an astonishing 90% of the respondents expressed a desire for an accreditation initiative that provides transparency to available training sessions and their quality.

During the research, we’ve also identified a broad variety of service design training and development opportunities around the world: from introductory-level training sessions to masterclasses, in-house training to dedicated training venues, and programmes of various durations.

However, due to the broad variety, clients feel that there’s a lack of transparency. They’re looking for:

  •   a better understanding of the qualification levels that are offered
  •   a way to determine the quality of different sessions
  •   more specialised learning experiences
  •   certification awarded to attendees

The Service Design Network, as the leading global organisation for service design expertise, is now in a position to provide answers to these demands. Based on the survey we conducted, our Accredited Service Design Trainer initiative brings a new level of transparency to the market, connecting those in search of service design training to a qualified selection of training providers.

Who can become an accredited trainer?

SDN welcomes all individuals or groups of individuals within companies and organisations who are conducting training and educational/enabling activities within the domain of Service Design to become Accredited Trainers. There are two types of Accredited Trainers:

  • Service Design Trainer

The Service Design Trainer teaches fundamental knowledge about service design in a professional and state-of-the-art approach. He or she provides theory, methodology and practical exercises within training/enabling sessions in order to give the participants a solid understanding of the “Why”, “What” and “How” of service design and provides inspiring hands-on experience in using service design methods and tools. He/she is fully familiar with the service design process and terminology along with the fundamental service design literature and is able to cross refer and recommend related to this knowledge. The Service Design Trainer is able to clearly articulate and contextualises the benefits of service design based on the client’s business or circumstance.

  •  Service Design Master Trainer/Coach

The Service Design Master Trainer/Coach teaches fundamental skills in service design and additionally has practical service design experience, as well as having conducted a relevant set of service design projects in companies or organisations him-/herself.He/she is familiar with advanced service design literature and new research findings, as well as being familiar with a broad set of case studies from different areas, and he or she is able to cross refer to this body of knowledge.

The Service Design Master Trainer/Coach is familiar with the complexity of change processes that are initiated through service design. He/she knows how to identify relevant stakeholders within complex systems and how to design the service design process in order to drive it towards implementation. He/she has practical experience with controlling service quality after implementation. The participants in advanced training sessions offered by the Master Trainer/Coach are already familiar with the basic processes, methodologies and terminologies of service design. The participants shall learn how to design a professional service design project within an organisation and how to facilitate it. A Service Design Master Trainer/Coach is capable of supervising the participants in the course within their own approach to apply service design within organisations.

How does the accreditation work?

To become an Accredited Service Design Trainer, you’ll first need to register and start your self-assessment. After you’ve finished filling out the self-assessment, it’s submitted to the SDN Accreditation Committee. The Committee will review your application and you will receive their feedback within 2 weeks. Qualified applicants will be invited for a virtual interview. After a successful interview, you’ll receive our official accreditation. The process, therefore, takes in total 5-7 weeks.


What is the self-assessment and how long does it take to complete?

The self-assessment contains 21 questions divided into four steps:

  • Step 1 - My background and experience
  • Step 2 – My training experience
  • Step 3 – Participants and sessions
  • Step 4 – Additional info

The questions are aligned with what clients want to know about potential providers of service design training. Take a look at how the self-assessment looks like here. If a question doesn’t apply to your situation, you can leave it blank. Questions that you left unanswered will not be shown on your self-assessment.

Please put effort into your assessment – it is the most important document for the application process. Not sure how to self-assess? Here are five tips to help you complete your self-assessment successfully!

How long it will take you to finish the assessment is hard to say as this varies for each person, but take your time, you can save and finish the assessment at any time.

Who will see my self-assessment?

After you’ve finished filling out the assessment, it’s submitted to the SDN Accreditation Committee for review. 

In case of a successful accreditation, your assessment will be available for download on your personal SDN member profile, meaning it will be visible to the community and to your future clients.

Who is part of the SDN Accreditation Committee and how do they work?

The SDN Accreditation Committee consists of five very experienced service design professionals: Shelley EvensonBirgit Mager, Satu Miettinen, Stefan MoritzGassia Salibian and Richard Ekelman (learn more about the committee’s members by clicking on their names). The members of the Accreditation Committee are responsible for evaluating the applications on standardised criteria, interviewing the candidates and providing the final evaluation which will lead to the official accreditation, further recommendations for a future accreditation or rejection.

What is the interview process?

Qualified participants will be invited for a virtual interview at least two weeks prior to the proposed interview date. The interview will take place via Skype, joined by two members of the Accreditation Committee. During the maximum 30-minute interview participants will be asked to give a short 5-minute presentation (presentation can be verbal only or include slides) on a provided task (e.g. Explain in a 5 min session what Service Design is and why it brings new value), followed by the Q&A session. The evaluation criteria for the interview are: clarity, visuality, reflection on terms and definitions, examples, interaction and time management. After a successful interview, you’ll receive our official accreditation.

What does it cost to become accredited?

Your accreditation lasts two years and costs €1,620 (including VAT) for existing SDN members. Non-members pay €1,800 (including VAT). The price includes a two-year professional SDN membership (worth €360).

A non-refundable down payment of €180 will be charged when submitting your self-assessment. The remainder accreditation fee will be charged only after and if you are successfully accredited by SDN.

If you are seeking to secure accreditation for several people at once (3 or more), feel free to contact us to discuss an applicable discount.

What will happen to my accreditation after the two years?

After two years, you’ll be able to opt to go through a simplified re-accreditation process. Re-accreditation costs €900 for another two years, also including a two-year professional SDN membership.

What does my payment go towards?

The Service Design Network is a non-profit organisation and the profits from all initiatives are re-invested in the promotion and development of service design. We’re continuously aiming to improve the awareness of service design and to continue growing the service design community, for example by publishing high-quality content, creating service design events and discussions, and promoting service design – as we think it’s the key to future success in a social and economical sense. Read more about SDN in our Manifesto.