1.1 Quality of creative work & creativity
For a design organization, the creative quality of its work is obviously the major concern. The creative solutions presented and recommended should be innovative, imaginative and of high aesthetic quality, but at the same time they need to be effective solutions for the business problems of the client and address the brief for the project. The new solutions created have to cater to a whole spectrum of needs. A specific idea with a high degree of novelty might boost the image of the portfolio of a design organization, but not always the return of the client.
Therefore, in evaluation of the creative standing of the design organization special emphasis should be given to client projects. The effectiveness of the resulting design, including answering the brief, its aesthetic qualities and functionality and the outcomes for the business or organization, should be measured equally. Speculative work can be part of the work evaluated, but should be given minor weight.
The evaluation of the creative quality should be based on a peer review for which a panel will be established. Indicators can be awards in reputed design competitions and a project portfolio.
1.2 Staff Qualification
The design organization should have key staff with the relevant academic qualification in a design specialization of a recognized local or international University or Polytechnic in the field, and/or sufficient professional practice in the field for which the organization provides services. While overall there might be a mix of backgrounds in a design organization, and such a cross-disciplinary situation typically enhances the performance of a design organization, it should have a solid foundation in design expertise, both academically and in professional practice.
Evidence for this criterion should be certificates and CVs of key creative staff.