IDSA Revises Its Membership Code of Ethics

Apr 21 2021 - 1:25pm


IDSA’s Code of Ethics is an important part of the IDSA membership experience. Every member of IDSA agrees to adhere to this Code as a part of their membership. These statements help ensure that our members are held to a high standard in their business and community interactions. Further, they are a benchmark of honesty, fairness, and accountability for each of us to individually strive for in our work as industrial designers. 

To that end, we are pleased to present IDSA’s updated Ethical Principles and Code of Ethics, which was ratified by IDSA’s Board of Directors in early 2021. This expanded collection of Principles and Articles now includes more direct expectations of member-to-member interactions, as well as revised statements of accountability, to help each of us maintain high standards in the professional service of industrial design.   

Another addition is a new Complaint and Review Process. It is important to have a written protocol in place from an association governance perspective and to ensure that members have an established process for voicing their concerns.  

We hope that our community will find these revised Ethical Principles and Code of Ethics to be a powerful, yet humble, reminder of the impact our actions can have on others every day. We intend that these statements empower you to serve each other as IDSA members with honesty, respect, and integrity befitting the great responsibility we have as professional industrial designers. 



Background on the Review and Revision Process for IDSA’s Code of Ethics

As part of our regular governance review practices, IDSA’s Board of Directors initiated a review of our existing membership Code of Ethics in 2020. 

A small team led by Jerry Layne, CAE, IDSA’s Chief Operating Officer and resident association governance expert, researched best in class examples of membership ethics statements and collaborated with IDSA’s legal counsel to develop a revised collection of ethics. The goal of this review phase was to draft revised statements which would provide a greater level of detail and guidance, designed to advance the quality of our profession as well as our interactions with one another. 

This work dovetailed with an update to IDSA’s ongoing efforts to improve the experiences attendees have at IDSA virtual, local, and national events. It is absolutely vital that our organization consistently creates safe spaces and welcoming environments for our community to gather, no matter the scale or format. We want everyone who wishes to be a part of the IDSA community to feel that they can be and to be appreciated for their contributions to our success. We also want everyone to feel that they belong and are valued for their participation. 

Link to Previous Code of Ethics and Explanation of Changes

You may read the current and previous version of IDSA’s Code of Ethics here.

Our review found that the previous version focused more heavily on a member’s interaction within their professional environment. For the Code of Ethics to be more impactful we incorporated robust language related to IDSA member and volunteer interactions. Articles 7-12 in the updated Code are all additions that provide this focus. 

Additionally, the newly added Complaint and Review process outlines the steps a member can take to voice their concerns. It demonstrates IDSA’s commitment to ensuring these principles are adhered to and brings accountability to all aspects of the process.