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What is the rationale for the board exploring this new membership structure now?
During the development of the 2013-2016 Strategic Plan, feedback from RID members over the past few years pointed to the need to further explore the concept of voluntary membership.

The idea is not new to this organization. RID conducted member surveys in 2008 and 2012 that included responses which supported a voluntary membership association model. Feedback on this issue was most recently provided through the scope of work of the Strategic Challenges/Bylaws Review Task Force (SC/BRTF). The SC/BRTF, which provided a final report to RID members at the 2011 conference that suggested the removal of the membership requirement from the Bylaws. The SC/BRTF vetted new membership categories with RID members at the 2010 regional conferences. The survey of RID members found that while members were satisfied with their membership overall, they disagreed with the RID membership requirement in order to maintain their certification.

The board incorporated member feedback received over the years into the overall strategic planning discussions at the March 2013 board meeting. A transformation of the organization’s long-standing membership structure is one means to an end of providing a positive RID member experience and rebuilding trust with members as outlined in the 2013-2016 Strategic Plan.

What are some ways in which I can provide feedback and participate in the dialogue about this motion?
RID will provide a number of means in which members can participate in this dialogue and provide feedback. In addition to conducting a survey, which we anticipate to be released mid-July, the RID Board of Directors will host a forum at the 2013 RID National Conference on this subject. Additionally, RID will provide RID members the opportunity to participate in this discussion via online forums. More about these opportunities will be distributed in the coming weeks. RID also encourages members to talk about the Bylaws motion with your colleagues and peers at the local level and then bring those discussions to the national forums so that all perspectives and opinions are represented.

To maintain my certification, I currently must remain a member in good standing (current on my dues) and meet the requirements of the Certification Maintenance Program. How would voluntary membership change the requirements to maintain my certification? Will I be able to keep my certification if I choose not to be a member?
If you choose not join RID, you will keep your certification as long as you meet the requirements to maintain certification. Currently, that includes the requirements outlined in the Certification Maintenance Program (CMP) and adherence to the NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct.  The requirements for certification maintenance will go under revision through the work of and recommendations of the Certification Committee, Ethics Committee and Professional Development Committee during the RID member feedback period and during the development of the voluntary membership association model.

If I choose not to be a member, will I still be able to vote on certification-related issues?
Only members of RID will have voting rights. Non-members holding credentials will not have the right to vote.

It seems there are still many details that have yet to be determined. Why are we discussing it before we know what the details of voluntary membership will look like?
A change to the RID membership structure will change the culture that has been established over the past 50 years. The board is inviting members to participate in the development of the voluntary membership association model. RID will take into account member feedback while simultaneously researching best practices in association management to determine how the organization can best serve the members.

The board has identified the following overarching outcomes from a voluntary membership association model:

  1. RID would be comprised of members with a vested interest in the work, mission, and vision of the organization. Members who voluntarily join RID will do so as a demonstration of support and commitment to the mission, rather than by virtue of holding a credential. This will strengthen the association’s ability to move the profession forward in setting standards that meet the needs of RID members, the Deaf community, and the consumers that interpreters serve.
  2. RID advocacy would stand on its own merits and benefit all of its members. RID will have a stronger foundation for advocacy for the standards in the provision of interpreting services provided through RID certification by removing the perception that advocacy is driven solely to increase the number of members.
  3. RID would continually explore ways to heighten member experience through emphasis on member benefits and will focus on recruiting and retaining members through benefits that include advocacy, publications, research, listing in the RID member directory, discounts, professional development, networking, and more.
  4. RID would be able conduct operational program-by-program evaluations thus increasing the financial stability of the organization. Financial management of the certification program, as a stand-alone program, helps to ensure that it is financially self-sustainable, efficient, and effective.

Once the feedback period is over, will the board decide this issue or will it go to the RID members for a vote?
This motion will be voted on by RID members in the fall of 2013. The voluntary membership Bylaws Amendment requires a two-thirds vote of RID voting members, eligible and voting
during the voting process, for passage. The Bylaws vote will be carried out according to the rules for mail referendum/vote of RID members. The board will seek feedback from and encourage dialogue among RID members from now through August 31, 2013, including a forum to be held at the 2013 RID National Conference. If the Bylaws Amendment passes, the Board will direct RID Headquarters staff to work with volunteer leaders to implement an association model to ensure that the organization’s current programs are financially sustainable. Headquarters will seek feedback from RID members on the elements of the association model to include the voluntary membership option before implementation.

Will this be a vote of all RID members?
After consultation with the Bylaws Committee, all RID members would have the opportunity to vote on this Bylaws Amendment because the financial implications of a voluntary membership structure would affect all members, not just certified members.

Am I still required to be a member of the NAD in order to hold my NAD credential (NAD III, NAD IV or NAD V)?
Yes. According to the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), those interpreters holding the NAD III, NAD IV or NAD V certifications will continue to be required to be NAD members to maintain their NAD certifications. The NAD holds the right to continue to make decisions regarding their credentials and subsequent requirements for maintenance.

As a non-member holding an NAD, RID or NAD-RID credential under the proposed voluntary membership structure, will I still be required to follow the NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct and the Certification Maintenance Program?
Yes. Maintaining your certification will require the continued commitment to professional development and adherence to the NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct.  In reviewing feedback from RID members and working with the Certification Committee, Ethics Committee and Professional Development Committee, the requirements for certification maintenance may go under some revision as RID explores association best practices such as recertification, but these two essential elements to RID certification will continue to be requirements for maintaining certification.

What will the financial impact be on the organization?
The motion requires that any changes to the organization must ensure its continued financial sustainability. During the feedback process, RID will work to create an association model that does not change the current offerings of programs and services and does not affect the resources necessary to meet the goals of the  2013-2016 Strategic Plan.

Please explain the concept of recertification as it relates to maintaining my NAD, RID or NAD-RID credentials.
Recertification is a demonstration of skill that other certification organizations verify through either through re-testing or professional development requirements. RID currently requires that certificate holders maintain their certification through the Certification Maintenance Program (CMP).  The topic of recertification will be explored over  the next few months with RID members and the Professional Development Committee.