Thursday, December 9, 2010

“What’s more prestigious ASLA or CLARB?”

Professional associations lend a degree of credibility and may include accreditation to the Professional; however, when I read the above, while viewing recent keyword searches which landed a user on the website, I began to wonder the reason for the research…was this to make a choice for a financial, credence, or marketing reason?  Perhaps something else?
Here’s how my association with two was ‘born.’ 
The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) was first presented to our lower division class at the University of Florida.  We were told that by becoming a member, we would receive a copy of LAND, the official publication of the ASLA, updates (back then, via snail mail) to licensure issues across the Country, and would become a member of the largest association of Landscape Architects, along with Allied Professions in the Nation.  We joined, and I did not think too much of it, until graduation.  As an Emerging Professional, absorbing as much Code, Practical, and Professional knowledge as humanly possible, the ASLA’s impact and reach was much more apparent.  I discovered the ‘Florida Chapter’ (perhaps, the Chapter took a backseat to school work while at UF) and began to take advantage of local meetings, conference updates, and Licensure issues, affecting the Profession, at the State level.
More than three years ago, the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB) came to my attention in order to attain a Professional Registration in another State.  Similar to the Florida Chapter, this organization also escaped my radar, and I’m still not sure why I did not establish a relationship during registration to take the Landscape Architect Registration Examination (LARE).  As I compiled, two Registered Landscape Architects’ recommendations, proof of passing the LARE, degree in Landscape Architecture from an accredited school, etc., I began to appreciate the breadth, depth, and reach of this organization.  ‘They’ were indeed insuring that I was competent, current (CE credits), and consistent (no Professional actions by the DBPR, State of Florida), prior to the establishment and issuance of a Council Record, Number, and Certification.  As a result of the final action, I could apply (via license reciprocity) for Registration in other States, extremely valuable when the economy was in ‘full gear!’
The main difference is the individual who can attain an ASLA membership versus a CLARB designation.  Again, I was a member of ASLA while in school, but not yet a Registered Landscape Architect; however, to attain the Council Record/verification under the CLARB guidelines, I had to have a current license as a practicing Landscape Architect…period.  This is similar to the distinction between Landscape Designers and Landscape Architects – that’s another discussion entirely and centers around Design while safeguarding the Health, Safety, and Welfare of the Public.
Prestigious?  No.  Limited company, yes.  Thus, those who choose to display the CLARB acronym have an additional degree of prequalification, nationally, on those who display ASLA.  That’s my opinion and answer to “What’s more prestigious ASLA or CLARB?” – I wonder if the user will ‘land’ back to the page, for the answer?

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