What to Expect During the Renewal of your RID Membership This Year:
On Friday, March 18, 2016, the RID Board approved the reconceptualization of the categories for membership dues and fees that RID Headquarters presented for Fiscal Year 2017. This new structure is a redistribution of revenue and expenses to more accurately reflect the actual costs associated with RID’s programs and services.
Over the past year, we have really dug down deep in reviewing many of the systems of RID and how that impacts our sustainability and growth for the future. One thing that has become abundantly clear is that our systems, policies, and procedures have not always evolved over the years to reflect or mirror the shifting paradigms of our association. Our structures are not reflective of how we are or should be conducting our operations. This reconceptualization of dues and fees works to align the services provided with a more accurate distribution of costs associated with operations.
Historically, RID has collected more revenue through membership dues than membership fees. However, there is more expense in operating the programs that are supported through the fees rather than the dues. But, we have not accurately reflected that in how membership or fees were priced. As well, we have not been sufficiently clear in defining what is included and covered by fees. As a result, our assessment of dues and fees has been out of sync with how we operate and do business.
The old structure was:
- Membership Dues
- Everything was lumped into member services except those fees below
- CMP Fees – Tracking of continuing education
- EPS Fees – Commitment to the Ethical Practices System and the administration of that program
The new structure dues and fees structure, as approved by the Board, include the following categories:
Membership dues represent your payment for participation in the governance of the organization, such as voting and volunteer leadership eligibility. It also offers you certain publication benefits and discounts for conferences, tests and products.
Fees represent your privileges associated with holding national certification (using it for employment purposes, as a credential for professional recognition, etc.), and the costs RID must absorb for all of its members to set and uphold national certification, defend certification standards, invest in advocacy for that standard at the local, state and national level, and services associated with maintenance through continuing education, enforcement through the Ethical Practice System, etc. These benefits may seem intangible to many members, yet are the very benefits that enable members to continue to enjoy the privileges associated with professional standing. At its core, this is why RID exists—to promote, defend and perpetuate quality standards for interpreting practitioners.
This realization necessitates a shift so that there is clear understanding of what your monies go toward through your involvement with your professional association. This move also aligns us more closely with the registration and licensure fees that are assessed at the state level for qualification to practice and commitment to standards.
Following are tables with the current FY16 dues and fees structure and the new FY17 structure that will be implemented with renewal this year.
This new structure will be implemented with the start of renewal, to open in April. Over the next year or two we will gradually shift so that the dues and fees are more representative of the true costs. The primary motivator with this structural change in dues is fees to more efficiently support the operations and administration of our programs and services.
Another aspect of this shift is the ongoing debate within the membership as to whether or not membership and certification should be tied to each other. Some members feel they should not be required to be a member of RID to hold RID certification. When this notion has been brought before the membership in the past, the majority of members have indicated that they want membership tied to certification to ensure that those holding RID’s national credentials were tied to the profession in a way that promoted engagement and accountability. This sentiment may change over time. If so, then this transition to clarifying what fees will be required, regardless of membership, is important to begin underscoring in a clear and transparent manner.
Each category of certified and associate membership will experience an increase in the total cost of membership and fees this year. The last increase was in FY13—so there have been no increases in four years, although our costs of operation have increased due to costs related to defending the national standard [both in terms of law suits and processing EPS complaints which have doubled], conference and vendor costs, among other costs. The increase ranges from $20-$30, depending on the membership category. So, although all dues amounts have decreased by the 10% allowed by the bylaws, the amount of fees has increased to reflect a closer reality to the distribution of costs associated with operations.
RID appreciates that members would prefer no increase and in our ever-changing economy, this is a preference all at HQ understands. In 2016, there are many life and professional expenses that have increased-health insurance, housing, rent, food in general, airfare, hotels, interest rates, college. The cost of the presidential elections is estimated to cost over $10 billion dollars–an increase of 37% since the last election! Even the cost of Girl Scout cookies increased by 25% this year!
When put into a broader context, the RID fees increase of $20-30 is modest given the four year gap since the last increase and the annual increases RID is facing in the cost of doing business and defending the national standards that the association and its membership have promulgated. The increase is for the professional affiliation that is tied to your livelihood and the credentials that mark your professional standing. RID exists to promote the standards of professional interpreting.
Look for your dues notice in the coming weeks and let us know if you have any questions! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.