In an age where regulation, accreditation and membership matters, being affiliated with a recognized professional association is almost a business necessity. More than just a meeting place for like-minded individuals to discuss the topics of the day, professional organizations offer their members and participants benefits beyond networking parties and letters behind their names. Professional organizations maintain up-to-date information on the latest technological advancements in the particular trade they serve, draw up rules and regulations to govern their industry, and set standards by which their members are required to measure themselves, thus insuring the quality of members' work.
One professional society striving to and succeeding in supporting its members and enriching its industry is the American Society of Interior Designers, or ASID.
The American Society of Interior Designers is a nonprofit, membership-based group representing the interests of interior designers and the interior design industry. Governed by a volunteer board of directors, the organization is also guided by the society's president, president-elect, and immediate past president. According to ASID spokesperson and public relations manager Michelle Snyder, this leadership structure allows the ASID to extend its scope beyond interior designers and into the design community as a whole, keeping the various industry elements in touch with each other, and establishing and maintaining strong professional and personal ties.
ASID works in much the same way most other professional societies do. With five levels of membership, the organization is able to support the various levels of involvement and expertise within the interior design field. Each membership level has its own set of professional and/or educational criteria, and each imparts a different set of benefits and involvement to that group of members.
Professional Members gain membership by meeting or exceeding rigorous acceptance standards; they must have a combination of accredited design education and/or full-time work experience, and pass the two-day National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination.