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Interior design associations are organizations formed by and for professionals involved in the task of interior design and decorating. In many cases, associations of this type provide a wide range of benefits to members, including networking opportunities and the chance to participate in community activities and educational endeavors on an ongoing basis. An interior design association may function as a local, national, or international entity.
Because the field of interior design is largely unregulated, a national association can often function as one means of promoting quality work among those who involved with the profession. An interior designer who wishes to join an interior design association must comply with the standards set in place by the group in order for the application to be approved. Even after obtaining membership, professionals within the association must continue to comply with all requirements defined by the organization on an ongoing basis. Failure to do so can result in suspension and even expulsion from the group.
Along with requiring all members to maintain high standards of quality and business ethics, an interior design association will offer privileges to all members in good standing. This can include simple benefits such as the opportunity to secure affordable health insurance through the association, or to take advantage of some other benefit that the organization has been able to secure for its members. For interior designers who work independently and have limited resources, benefits of this type can make the cost of membership well worth the price.
An interior design association is also likely to provide ongoing educational opportunities to its members. This many include periodically offering weekend courses that have to do with some aspect of decorating and design, or even seminars on how to organize and operate a small business. Along with periodic training, an interior design association may sponsor an annual event that allows all members to gather for social networking and instruction on a larger scale.
It is not unusual for a local interior design association to have ties with larger associations. In some cases, the local organization serves as a chapter of a national group. This can be especially helpful in terms of securing benefits and resources for members, as well as expanding the opportunities for networking and attending seminars related to the task of interior design. When the local group has a national affiliation, it is often possible for each member to take advantage of a reduced membership fee that covers annual membership dues associated with both levels of the association.