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RGD Certification Test

General info

  • All questions are multiple-choice.
  • You have 90 minutes (18 minutes/12 questions per section).
  • The Test is entirely open book. Books and notes may be used during the Test and you can access digital PDFs for the RGD Accessibility Guidelines, the RGD's Code of Ethics & the RGD Handbook.
  • RGD lends suggested texts (for up to 2 months) to eligible candidates based in Canada.
  • Mettl Mercer is the online test platform used by candidates. Review their privacy policy.

Test requirements

  • The Passing mark for each section is 9 correct answers out of 12 questions.
  • Passing the Accessibility & Ethics is mandatory for all candidates.
  • How many non-mandatory sections you need to pass is based on the results of your Portfolio Presentation.
  • If you fail a section that you are required to pass, you must retake it.
  • Can be taken at a webcam-enabled computer from any location at any time.

Experienced candidates

  • Candidates with 15 years of a combination of relevant work experience and/or education are only required to write and pass the Accessibility and Ethics sections

Test sections


Based on The RGD Professional Handbook: The Business of Graphic Design, the aim of this section is to ensure Certified RGDs work professionally with their clients and understand the fundamental principles of operating a business in Canada.


Based on the RGD's AccessAbility 2: A Practical Handbook on Accessible Graphic Design, the aim of this section is to ensure Certified RGDs understand the principles of accessibility as applied to printed messages, websites and physical environments.


Based on the RGD's Code of Ethics, Certified RGDs are committed to the highest professional and ethical standards when working for clients, as employees and in service to the general public. The aim of this section is to ensure a thorough understanding of these responsibilities.

Design Principles

Based on Graphic Design: The New Basics (by Ellen Lupton & Jennifer Cole Phillips) and Chapter 3 of Design Elements: A Graphic Style Manual (by Timothy Samara), the aim of this section is to reinforce Certified RGDs' understanding of the concepts that underlie good design, from a logo to a brochure to a complex website.

Design Research

Based on A Designer's Research Manual: Succeed in Design by Knowing Your Clients and What They Really Need, the aim of this section is to ensure RGDs understand the tools available to help them determine client needs and markets and develop effective design solutions. 

Suggested texts

Preparation materials for Design Principles section

Slide from Timothy Samara's presentation
Slide from Timothy Samara's presentation

Timothy Samara

Preparation materials for Design Research section