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In my post last week, I stated that as a non-designer, I'm not sure how the EDAC credential has benefitted me professionally. Then I thought about it.

  • It gives me more credibility when I speak and write about evidence-based design
  • It ties me to a community of like-minded individuals
  • It allows me to counsel clients and others who ask about getting the credential

I also decided to ask a few others who have the EDAC credential why they got it and if they thought it has benefitted them professionally.

Upali Nanda, Vice President and Director of Research at HKS, wrote, "I was fortunate to be part of the EDAC Advisory Council. So I have always believed in the credential, not so much because we need another bunch of letters next to our name, but because knowledge is power, and the EDAC certification is a way to educate non-designers about design, and non-researchers about research. This is the critical first step towards bridging research and design -- without which evidence-based design will remain a pipe dream."

Jerry Smith, Owner/Principal of Smith/GreenHealth Consulting, was also part of the early development team for the EDAC program. He says that during that process, he questioned yet another certification burden on designers and stepped back to observe.

"In the long run, I do see the benefit and I do support it," he wrote.  "Without research, designers are just good or bad designers.  But design that is supported by research substantiates whether the design works or not by the outcomes it produces."

"It turns an aesthetic into a solution based on relative process that can be backed by fact, proven or measured," he wrote.  "It gives reason behind our work and the EDAC credential shows that I align with that.  So I’m proud to fly that flag."

As for the benefits, Nanda says that the EDAC credential has given her a better understanding of the complexity of healthcare architecture and design, and tools to communicate with both the design teams, and the owners. "To a researcher, it works as a practice credential --though I must confess that I still need my colleagues to walk me through the intricacies of project delivery," she stated.

Smith feels that the EDAC credential aligns him with other designers of other disciplines who are not only like-minded but who have the same knowledge base and focus.  "As a consultant in healthcare and therapeutic landscapes, it shows that I’m a team player with a focused and like-minded perspective and can walk the talk. I believe that helps me professionally," he shared.

Both Smith and Nanda are committed to keeping up their CEUs and renewing their EDAC credential. But Smith is not particularly happy about the burden of credentialing that is loaded upon design professionals.

"I’m responsible for getting CEUs for ASLA, USGBC, EDAC, and soon SITES -- all with their own individual responsibilities and financial requirements," he told me.  "It's an added burden in a mildly lucrative profession.  When it becomes a burden, its not a privilege any more.  And that’s a problem."

Are you glad you got the EDAC credential?  Or any other credential?  Comment below or contact me with your thoughts.

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Sara Marberry_013-Retouched-New copy

What's my story? I'm a healthcare and senior living design knowledge expert who writes and speaks frequently about trends and issues affecting these two industries. I'm also a strategic marketing consultant and content creator, working with companies and organizations who want to improve the quality of healthcare and senior living through the design of the physical environment. You can reach me at .

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