SDN Trainer Accreditation

Why introduce the SDN accredited service design trainer programm?

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 while ensuring an established educational standard for all trainers. During this research, we also identified a broad spectrum of service design training and professional development opportunities around the world which included everything from introductory training sessions to masterclasses, in-house training to dedicated training venues, as well programmes of varying duration. Despite the breadth and depth of the offering, those interested in taking advantage of such training were looking for yet struggled to find:

  • assurances with respect to the quality of the educational offering
  • variable learning levels to meet individualised needs
  • specialised learning experiences
  • official certification upon completion

The Service Design Network, as the leading global organisation for service design expertise, is now in a position to provide a solution. Our SDN 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?

The 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 thoroughly familiar with the service design process and terminology, along with fundamental service design literature and is able to cross-reference and make recommendations related to this knowledge.
    The Service Design Trainer is able to clearly articulate and contextualises the benefits of service design based on a business or circumstance.

  • The Service Design Master Trainer/Coach

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

    The Service Design Master Trainer/Coach is also 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 to drive it towards implementation. He/she also 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 underlying processes, methodologies and terminologies of service design. They will learn how to design a professional service design project within an organisation and how to facilitate it. The Service Design Master Trainer/Coach is capable of supervising these participants using their own approach in applying service design within organisations.

How does the accreditation process work?

To become an Accredited Service Design Trainer, you’ll first need to register online via your SDN dashboard. Once there, you will find the word “Accreditation” on the navigation bar. Once you click on this section, you will see to the left a drop-down that states “Start Self-Assessment.” Please click accordingly. 

Note that this self-assessment contains a series of questions to help the SDN Accreditation Committee to better understand your background and the work you have accomplished. After completion, the assessment is submitted to the committee, who will review and provide their feedback to you within a  two-week timeframe. Qualified applicants will then be invited for a virtual interview. After a successful interview, you will receive your official accreditation. This process usually takes between five to seven weeks.


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

The self-assessment contains 21 questions and is divided into four parts:

  • Step 1 - Background and experience: Should include insights regarding your educational background and what type of work you have done (and where) under the service design umbrella
  • Step 2 – Training experience
  • Step 3 – Participants and sessions
  • Step 4 – Additional info

All questions on the self-assessment are aligned with what a potential client would ask of a trainer they are considering to employ. For further insight, please review the self-assessment here. In the event a question does not apply to your particular situation, you may leave it blank. Items that are left unanswered will not be shown on your self-assessment.

Please note that it is imperative that you take the time and effort in the completion of your assessment – it is the most important document of the application process. Remember to be professional when writing your self-assessment. This means giving the self-assessment its due attention and care. Reflect on and support your accomplishments with actual data and online resources whenever possible. 

Be aware that the length of time needed to complete the assessment is difficult to say as it varies based on the individual.

Here are 5 tips to help you complete your accreditation self-assessment successfully in time!

Not sure how to self-assess?

Who will see my self-assessment?

After you have finished filling out the assessment, it will be submitted to the SDN Accreditation Committee for review. In the event 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 experienced service design professionals: Shelley EvensonBirgit Mager, Satu Miettinen, Stefan Moritz 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 either 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 spoken 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 continues for two years and costs €1,620 (including VAT) for existing SDN members. Non-members pay €1,800 (including VAT). The price of accreditation includes a two-year professional SDN membership (worth €360).

Please note that a non-refundable down payment of €180 will be charged when submitting your self-assessment. The remaining accreditation fee will be charged only after and if you are successfully accredited by the SDN.

If your company is seeking to secure accreditation for several individuals at one time (3 or more), please feel free to contact us to discuss an applicable discount.What will happen to my accreditation after the two years have expired?

After two years, you are eligible to take part in an abbreviated re-accreditation process. Re-accreditation costs €900 for another two years which also includes a two-year professional SDN membership.

How are my accreditation fees used by the SDN?

The Service Design Network is a non-profit organisation whereby the fees we collect are reinvested back into the promotion and development of service design. We are continuously looking at ways to enhance awareness around service design and to grow the overall community by engaging in such pursuits as publishing high-quality content, organising events and discussions, and actively promoting service design across both the public and private sectors. We believe passionately that service design is the key to future success in a social and economic sense and rely on your support to make that happen. Read more about our commitment in the SDN Manifesto.

Still not sure whether to apply?

Have a look at the Live Q&A Session with Birgit Mager on SDN Service Design Accreditation