Are you a designer or design educator?
See 'Professional Stream' below.
Are you studying design at a tertiary level?
See 'Student' below.
Are you a professional designer who is not a resident of Australia?
See 'International Stream Membership'.
The DIA is a professional body. The Professional membership stream centres around fully qualified, experienced practicing designers.
If you are studying a recognised tertiary design course you are eligible for Student membership. A student member does not have a voting right at official DIA meetings but is welcome to become involved at State Branch level. Many students and recent graduates find it very valuable to involve themselves with the various state committees and become more rapidly assimilated into their local design community.
After graduation you may choose Graduate or Associate membership depending on your needs and eligibility under the Points System.
If you are an overseas student returning to your country of origin you may select International Graduate or International Associate membership.
Points System Requirement = 1 Point
All graduates of tertiary certificates, diplomas and degrees are eligible for Graduate membership. A Graduate member does not have a voting right at official DIA meetings but is welcome to become involved at State Branch level.
Graduates of University degree courses have sufficient points to be eligible for Associate membership on graduation.
Graduate members are automatically upgraded to Associate membership after two years.
Overseas design students who have graduated from Australian design courses are eligible for International Graduate membership.
Points System Requirement = 6 Points
Associate membership is ideal for designers employed in consultancies, design departments, for staff in university and TAFE design departments, and designers employed in other business areas. It's tailored for professional designers who do not require the services and benefits offered by Member (MDIA) status.
It recognises your status as a practising professional and connects you with the DIA professional network.
Associate membership also suits graduates and designers who are working toward the Points System requirements for Member and wish to be identified as practicing professionals.
Tertiary design educators who are not designers are eligible for Associate membership. Their Points requirements are assessed using their tertiary qualification and their length of experience as an educator.
Associate members are eligible for election to State Council but not to National Council. They do not have a voting right at official DIA meetings.
Points System Requirement = 9 Points
As a Member you are entitled to identify your status with the letters patent MDIA. Member status is available to designers who have chosen to access the full range of DIA services and have reached the necessary standard of professional training and experience. Members have full voting rights, can be elected to state and national office, and are eligible for inclusion in the DIA Designer Referral Service and other DIA services.
Designers with appropriate qualifications and experience may become Members under more than one design discipline to access discipline specific services such as Referrals (additional fees apply).
To join the DIA with Member status (i.e. be entitled to use the letters patent MDIA after your name), you must demonstrate that you have achieved the level of experience and education required by the DIA. See the Points System for a detailed explanation.
These are the basic conditions that govern Member entry:
A Member must have a minimum of three years of verifiable, relevant professional experience in the discipline of their application. Relevant professional experience means experience with a recognised individual, firm or business providing discipline specific involvement in the area of design specialisation of the applicant
They must satisfy the Membership Committee that their mix of education, experience and professional ability represents the current entry level required of a full Member.
Points System Requirement = 21 Points
These categories recognise the value of an individual's service to the design industry and the DIA. They are awarded by the Institute. Fellows and Life Fellows have full voting and office holding rights.
A Member may apply for recognition as a Fellow. Eligibility is determined by the National Membership Committee.
Honorary Fellowship is awarded to distinguished persons who are not members but are deemed worthy of recognition by the professional body. It is usually bestowed on individuals who have made a significant impact on, or contribution to, the DIA or professional design. Honorary and Life Fellowship cannot be applied for. Both Life Fellows and Honorary Fellows pay no subscription fees.
Accredited DesignerTM provides you with a strong point of differentiation in your profession. In addition to your status as a full member of your professional body Accredited Designer signals that you have a commitment to maintain and build your knowledge base and performance as a professional. It demonstrates your capacity to integrate professional development with your professional responsibilities.
An Accredited DesignerTM makes an annual commitment to comply with the DIA's Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program. An Accredited DesignerTM must be a full member of the professional body (MDIA or FDIA). A CPD logbook must be lodged annually that records your CPD activities and the CPD points earned. Compliance and eligibility are determined by the National Membership Committee.
Designers who want to maintain membership and contact with the DIA network on ceasing full time practice and in cases of hardship (for example maternity, prolonged sickness and financial difficulties).
Associate members and above who will not be practising in design for a period of 12 months or more, or in cases of hardship. Granted at the discretion of the National Membership Committee.
In order to provide a consistent basis for the assessment of applicants the DIA has developed the Membership Points System It is used to assess eligibility for all DIA Professional Stream applicants.
These are the basic premises that the system is built on:
DIA Membership Points System - worked examples
Points System Quick Guide - one page summary with table
The Points System was developed following amalgamation with SIDA and ATDA in 1998. The enlarged DIA embarked on a substantial revision of its Professional membership process to ensure equitable access to all designers.
In particular it was recognised that there was a need to move away from both the subjective folio assessment process that was unable to be administered consistently and the need for a potential new member to know and be referred by existing members.
As an inclusive organisation recognising the diversity of areas of design practise and the vastly differing commercial requirements experienced by designers, depending on their discipline area and clientele, the DIA recognises that it cannot apply a consistent membership assessment standard to designers' professional output (portfolio) that will have meaning to the marketplace.
The DIA does recognise and promote skilled design output and practise through awards programs, and provides for peer assessment and recognition of exceptional achievement levels through this method.
Assessment of an entrant's portfolio is only called for where the Membership Committee is unable to adequately determine an applicant's appropriate status from Education and Experience information provided.
An applicant may request that a portfolio be taken into account where they feel that the points assigned via Education and Experience do not adequately reflect their status.
If your training and experience does not match the guidelines in the Membership Points System, Member status can be assessed by examination of portfolio.
The membership rules of the DIA provide for a panel of Members to recommend Member status based on their knowledge of an individual's professional ability, or by interview and/or review of CV and portfolio.
All membership applications are subject to Membership Committee approval and must be endorsed by the National Executive Secretary.
‘ “It looks good” is the worst feedback you can get.’