The Society of Garden Designers; a damp squib washed up on the shores of mediocrity.
Are so called professional body; the Society of Garden Designers, has forced through what I consider to be the worst piece of legislation in its pitiful 30 year history.
It has decreed that from 2010, if you want to apply to become even a lowly corresponding member you have to submit work before a panel of your peers to be weighed, measured and no double found wanting!
Its bad enough having to apply for full membership in this patronising and archaic fashion, but to expect potential probationary members to go through this as well is frankly bonkers.
It doesn’t take a genius to realise that the whole membership thing is in a mess. Why is it that the membership ratio of full members to corresponding has never risen much abou 1-10.
That’s right; after 30+ year there are only about 180 full members of the society in the whole world! This despite consecutive councils trying their best to up the numbers.
Councils discuss the same things and make the same mistakes time in, time out, like some giant horticultural ground hog day.
They think by vetting the ‘newbie's’ and putting a 2 year time limit on them to apply for full membership they will improve things.
Far from it! I predict the membership will fall further and the organisation will become even more redundant than it already is.
In any other professional organisation, education is the route to full membership. Surveyor, engineer, architect, all have to have a first degree before they can apply.
Unfortunately the SGD has been too much of a coward to go down this route, because so many of the founding members have a vested interest in the lucrative garden design education market.
Take away the corresponding members and you don’t have a viable membership. So the Society has become little more than a Surrogate training centre for sub- standard design schools.
It’s not until students have completed one of these lesser courses, that they realise how poor their training has been, only to be taken up by the SGD’s seminar program which in itself is a poor substitute for proper tutorage.
Instead of this controversial adjudication panel, I propose the SGD introduce and examination. This could then be sold to the schools and colleges at a profit and would weed out those courses not capable of passing it.
The colleges could then use there exam marks as a guide to the quality of the course.
If they still wish to have a period of professional practice before full membership then so be it, but stop this lunacy before more of us give up on you and don’t renew our memberships.