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Professional Pathway to Becoming Registered


The SGD is committed to high standards of professional practice. To encourage Members to raise and maintain standards in garden design, and help them achieve accreditation, we have designed our Professional Pathway to Registered Membership.

The Pathway is a three-step program that should be undertaken while you are a Pre-Registered Member and working as a garden designer, typically over three to five years. Through the Pathway, we can guide your development and support you in achieving Registered Membership.

Step 1

Registration Starts Here

This introductory presentation provides useful information on the standards required and preparations you will need to make for adjudication. Pre-Registered Members and Students can download it here.

Step 2

Adjudication Clinics

Adjudication clinics are design workshops where you can get a brief overview of the quality of your work and tips on how to develop it to adjudication standard. Sessions are purely advisory and comprise a general discussion on adjudication and what the SGD looks for in submitted work, followed by a review of the work you have brought in an open forum. Attending an Adjudication Clinic is not compulsory but is very strongly recommended.

Clinics are offered free on an annual basis around the regions to Pre-Registered Members. Students have the opportunity to attend a presentation as part of an SGD Educator Status course or at an annual graduate presentation. It is also possible to arrange your own Adjudication Clinic with a group of members in your region. Email the SGD office at to discuss venues, prices and dates.

Step 3


Adjudication is a qualifying assessment - the Society’s way of evaluating your work and professional competence. It involves submitting your work to a panel of three highly qualified SGD Members, who assess and decide whether it is up to the required standard.

You will be asked to submit drawings and documents for three separate projects that should vary in character, size and scope, and have been completed within the previous five years. You may submit projects one at a time in a staged submission over a period of time, or all three projects at once for a full submission.

You must have a complete understanding of the drawings you submit, and be able to demonstrate that all the design decisions are your own, as well as a thorough knowledge of the project from survey through to construction.

The panel will assess your work in absentia, but you should be available on the day of your adjudication to receive a phone call from the adjudicators. Written feedback is given on all work submitted. After the assessment, you will find out if you have passed, been referred for further work or does not meet the required SGD standard - there is no grading system. If all three pieces of your work pass, you become a Registered Member; but should parts of your application need to be referred, you will need to submit further material within six months.

An applicant has the right to appeal against the decision. Details on the appeals process can be found here. To find out more about this or to answer any other adjudication queries, please contact the SGD office.

Members can download our Adjudication Pack for more in-depth information on what is required. Those going through adjudication can download the adjudication checklist here.

You can find dates of upcoming adjudication clinics and other Professional Pathway sessions in our Events section.

The adjudication panel consists of 3 members of the adjudication committee who have been fully trained in the assessment process. 

Upcoming adjudication dates can be found below. Please contact the SGD office on to book yourself onto an adjudication.

 Adjudication date  Submission deadline
 26th August 2020  12th August 2020
 16th September 2020  2nd September 2020 
 21st October 2020  7th October 2020
 18th November 2020  4th November 2020