The SGD introduced the new form of membership to bring the society in line with other professional bodies such as the Landscape Institute and the Royal Institute of British Architects, so that businesses rather than individuals could be associated with the society.
Garden Company managing director and principal designer James Scott said: "We are very pleased to be able to demonstrate in this way to our clients and business partners that our whole practice is committed to design excellence. We work in a very competitive marketplace and not all garden designers are as qualified or knowledgeable as those that have passed the SGD’s strict accreditation processes.
"Our clients will know that we can be trusted to deliver design projects to the highest quality professional standards, that our work is fully accredited by the SGD and that we adhere to its Code of Professional Conduct. I see this as a positive move for the Garden Company, our clients and for our profession overall."
Under the rules of the new category, the lead designer (or designers) of the practice must be a Registered Member or Fellow and must sign a declaration stating that all work produced by the practice is under the supervision of a Registered Member or Fellow of the Society.
SGD chair Philippa O’Brien said: "We are delighted to offer our members a new status of membership which we feel reflects the way in which many of our members operate as garden design companies today. We believe the Registered Practice status will be of great benefit to our members, allowing them to stand-out in an increasingly competitive marketplace, whilst allowing the society to continue to improve standards in the industry."