Who can be a DIA member?
The DIA has two membership streams: for professional designers and for people associated with the design sector.
There are four member categories for professional membership: Graduate, Associate, MDIA Member and Fellow. Refer How to Join to determine the category that is relevant to your qualifications and professional experience. Design students enrolled in eligible design courses are also eligible to be DIA members (refer How to Join: Student membership).
People associated with the design sector are welcomed as DIA members and are eligible to become Affiliate members (refer How to Join: Affiliate members).
Is my Australian design course accepted by the DIA?
The DIA only accepts design courses offered by Registered Training Organisations and registered Higher Education Providers (which include universities). Your course needs to be provided by one of these providers and needs to be rated by the Australian Federal Government’s Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) at AQF 6 or 7 or above that is, at least an Advanced Diploma or Degree course. The only exception is where the highest qualification available is an AQF5 Diploma: this typically applies to Interior Decoration, Furniture Design and Digital Media.
Does the DIA accept courses from outside Australia?
In many cases, yes. Courses from outside Australia need to be assessed against the Australian Federal Government’s Australian Qualification Framework (AQF). Graduates of courses that have been assessed as equivalent to AQF 6 or 7 or above that is, at least an Advanced Diploma or Degree, will be eligible. The only exception is where the highest qualification available is an AQF5 Diploma: this typically applies to Interior Decoration, Furniture Design and Digital Media.
Does a certificate IV qualification make me eligible to become a DIA member?
Graduates holding a Certificate IV qualification are eligible to become DIA Affiliate members (refer How to Join: Affiliate members).
Certificate IV qualifications are often a practical stepping stone to higher qualifications, the graduates of which are eligible to become DIA professional members (refer How to Join).
Does the DIA run design courses?
The DIA is Australia’s peak industry body that represents Australian professional designers and supports the design sector. The DIA is neither a Registered Training Organisation nor a registered Higher Education Provider and does not run diploma or degree courses.
The DIA does however offer professional development programs (both face-to-face and online) that assist design practitioners to expand their skills and keep their knowledge up to date. Refer the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) page of this site.
Why have membership requirements?The DIA welcomes membership from designers practising in all fields of design. Whilst this policy focuses on professional designers, the DIA also has membership streams for design practices, educational institutions and businesses and individuals who affiliate with, trade with or service the design sector.
What is special about the DIA Recognised Courses listed on this website?
DIA Recognised Courses are design courses offered by the DIA’s Education Members. All DIA Education Members are either Registered Training Organisations or registered Higher Education Providers (which include universities). The students and graduates of DIA Recognised Courses are automatically eligible to become DIA members.
Graduates of other qualifications need to provide details for consideration by the DIA. Refer How to Join: Graduate membership.
There is a list of DIA Recognised courses on your website. Do you run design courses or offer advice on which course I should enrol in?
Do I have permission to use the DIA logo and wording?
Use of the DIA logo, and/or any associated wording, is allowed subject to the following conditions, which vary according to membership status and relationship with the DIA.
Please visit Use of the DIA logo to see whether use is permitted in your case, and choose the appropriate, corresponding wording.
Is DIA membership due for renewal every calendar of financial year?
What should I do if my Student membership is expiring soon/ has expired?
Who are Education memberships for?
Education membership is ideal for the design departments or faculties within universities and Registered Training Organisations. To be eligible, the department or faculty must deliver at least one qualification that qualifies its graduates to become Graduate members of the DIA (refer How to Join).
Education membership is normally suited to department or faculty level. It is only granted at institution level if all the institution’s courses are in design-related fields.
Education members are acknowledged and listed on the DIA website. Education members are entitled to use the DIA Education Member logo on letterheads and websites, and promotional materials associated with their recognised courses.
In their documentation for recognised courses, Education members are also permitted to use the phrase: ‘Students and graduates of this course may be eligible for membership of the Design Institute of Australia’.
All courses offered by Education Members that satisfy the DIA membership criteria (refer How to Join: Graduate) are automatically eligible to be registered with the DIA as DIA Recognised Courses.
Why does the DIA have membership requirements?
The DIA places importance on supporting the professional design sector in Australia and the fully qualified practitioners within it. As a result, the DIA has strict eligibility thresholds for practitioners to be DIA professional members. To check eligibility, refer How to Join.
Does the DIA offer advice on which course I should enrol in?
While the DIA sets standards around the qualifications needed to be a ‘professional designer’, we do not provide advice around which design course will suit the individual. We recommend that you approach tertiary education providers directly to explore whether their courses are suited to your particular skill sets and educational goals.
For a graduate to be deemed a professional designer, we only accept design courses offered by Registered Training Organisations and registered Higher Education Providers (which include universities). For a graduate to become a DIA member, the course needs to have been provided by one of these providers and needs to be rated by the Australian Federal Government’s Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) at AQF 6 or 7 or above that is, at least an Advanced Diploma or Degree course. The only exception is where the highest qualification available is an AQF5 Diploma: this typically applies to Interior Decoration, Furniture Design and Digital Media.
When does my Student Membership expire?
Student memberships last for the full duration of a student’s course. As such they only expire if you choose to discontinue studies or defer, or if you have graduated. Please contact the DIA if you have discontinued your design studies or have deferred.
We seek to contact students at their anticipated time of graduation, however if you do not hear from us at this time, please contact the DIA to upgrade your membership to Graduate. We will need to receive a copy of your formal academic transcript or a copy of your Graduation certificate before we can accept you as a Graduate member. Refer How to Join: Graduate membership.
If you have graduated with a Certificate IV qualification, you will be eligible to become an Affiliate of the DIA. How to Join: Affiliate membership
Do I have permission to use the DIA logo and text?
Only Associates, MDIA members and Fellows of the DIA have the right to use the DIA logo and its associated text. These members can use the logo and text in business promotion, correspondence, in print and electronically. The logo can be found at Use of the DIA Logo.
When is my DIA membership due for renewal?
Your membership runs from the date you were accepted as a DIA member and lasts for one year, that is, it falls due in accordance with your ‘anniversary date’.
All members are issued a renewal notice prior to their anniversary date. Members who have paid by credit card or cheque need to make payment prior to expiry, while members who have paid by direct debit do not need to take further action.