DSA Member 


    A. DSA's members' responsibility to the general public & the client

1.1 The DSA member accepts a professional obligation to improve only the aesthetic standards of the projects they are contracted for unless licensed to do so.

1.2 The DSA member will in no way take responsibility or pass themselves off as capable of MAKING STRUCTURAL CHANGES unless you are a licensed or registered contractor. However, you can work with one.

1.3 The DSA member will always refer to themselves with their appropriate certification or licensing level with all the proof to substantiate it.

1.4 The DSA member will keep with the profession's honor and dignity and shall always act in the client's interests and within the limits of the professional duties and always seek other professionals should a clients' needs be beyond their scope and limitations.

1.5 The DSA member will respect the confidentiality of sensitive information such as the client's intentions, personal comments, expenses, sources & production methods and shall not, at any time, divulge such information without the consent of the client.

1.6 Should the DSA member have any employable staff or subcontractors working with them on a client's project; it is the designer's responsibility to ensure that all parties participating and involved are bound to confidentiality and are protected in the ways of the proper insurances needed to perform such projects and keep the decorator free from any liabilities.

1.7 Any DSA member with any connection to illegal conduct will be considered fair grounds for immediate discharge.

1.8 The DSA member must maintain good business relationships with suppliers, vendors, tradespeople, designers, etc., to ensure the best possible service to their clients.

1.9 The DSA member shall continue to add to their knowledge base and adhere to all DSA guidelines and Continuing Education requirements as they shall progress due to internal or external; influences, which may or may not ultimately result in the progression of interior designing being regulated as a profession.

DSA Members' Responsibility to the Organization, their competition and/or other decorators or designers

2.1 The DSA member must not attempt, directly or indirectly, to pursue another designer's client who has a firm commitment in relation to a particular project.

2.2 The DSA member shall not knowingly accept any assignment in which another designer has been involved without notifying that designer.

2.3 As in any profession, criticism as to the quality or integrity of any other designer's work should not be demeaned in any form, whether it be written, slanderous or any verbal outburst, for it would degrade the works or reputation of a fellow designer. This simply is not considered professional.

2.4 The DSA member will never take credit for work that is not theirs.

2.5 The DSA member agrees to be actively involved in DSA discussion boards to encourage, contribute and share their knowledge and success stories with other DSA members

2.6 Should the DSA member be employed within a company or organization; they shall not divulge information acquired and obtained from the course of their employment as to business practices, methods of recruiting business, fees, and client roster. Members shall not use this information to enter in direct competition with the previous employer.

2.7 All DSA materials, which have been provided to the DSA member either for the use of education or for application of business standards, practices, and procedures, cannot be revealed, duplicated, or shared with any sources without serious penalty and fines being enforced.

Designing Fees & Practices

3.1 The DSA member agrees that before accepting a project, the designer will define exactly and comprehensively to the client the basis on which the total fee will be calculated - retail, cost plus, flat fee, hourly, or any other creative means - and must do so in a Client-Designer Letter Of Agreement/and or Contract, using this as your acceptance of the project

3.2 The DSA member agrees to maintain respect for timelines, lifestyles, guidelines, and budget with respect to decisions made on projects.

Advertising & Publicity

4.1 The DSA member agrees that information given must be truthful, factual, and never misleading. It must clearly state that you are a DSA Member, DSA Certified Residential Designer, or DSA Residential Designer depending on your state regulations. The announcement shall be clear and present itself in a dignified format. It should also be free of any factor or circumstance that could bring disgrace to the profession. The certified title is not a state licensing title. It is used for residential interior design. Licensed professionals must be hired to pull plans, structural changes, and changes that require a permit. 

4.2 The DSA member agrees and should enter into an arrangement with their client before using a particular project's photos in any form of publicity or advertising. They should also provide consent and approval to the client if the client is using the designer's name in the form of publicity or advertising. The DSA Certified Logo must always be clearly included or it should be stated you are a DSA Certified Professional Designer or DSA Professional Designer or DSA Certified Residential Designer or DSA Residential Designer. The certification is not related to a state licensing exam. You are not allowed to work on areas that require a permit. You must hire a licensed professional. Examples: Contractors, Architects, Plumbers, Electricians

4.3 The DSA member agrees that should one elect to use DSA artwork and photos for marketing purposes, it must be clearly stated on the materials that these are property of DSA.

4.4 The DSA member agrees to obtain written approval from our corporate offices before anything affiliated with DSA ever goes into print. And consent must be kept in your records as proof and permission.

4.5 The DSA member agrees to clearly state on all advertising, along with their name, that they are a DSA member and by no means imply employment status with DSA.


5.1 Three Complaints within a one year period will result in a meeting with the board for review.

5.2 Should any of these guidelines in this code of ethics be ignored and brought to DSA's attention, DSA reserves the right to call you to our board immediately, and you must appear in person.

5.3 DSA reserves the right to call in attorneys or mediators at the expense of the DSA member should any form of arbitration be in order or if any formal complaints have been filed.

5.4 Should any member have reason to believe that another is acting in detriment to our codes, a board meeting will be called at once at the expense of the member in question.

5.5 Should any client file a complaint; it is your responsibility as a DSA Member to be held accountable.

5.6 As a student, one must never attempt to pass themselves on as holding any other status within our organization. These are grounds for immediate discharge.


6.1 DSA is an independent private organization, with no affiliation or connection to any other organization(s) governing the trade of interior design.

6.2 DSA will not assume any legal responsibilities for its members and for their business practices.

6.3 It is advised that one seek independent legal counsel to confirm their business practices and protect themselves and their organization.


Designer Society of America puts forth every possible effort to protect members and the public. However, we are not responsible for any issues that may arise as a result of connections made through the site. 

  • DSA always recommends that you use your best judgment and interview as you would normally.
  • DSA is not responsible for the accurateness, timing, and completeness of any employment information or opportunities that are placed by any company or individual on the DSA Web site.
  • DSA reserves the right to post or not to post any prospective entries presented to us that we deem suitable or unsuitable. You shall not in any way present, use, or exploit any information contained on this site in a method that is not consistent with any rules, laws, or regulations imposed by any governmental agency or the DSA Code of Ethics. You agree not to use this site to communicate or otherwise make available any illegal, harmful, detrimental, or invasive content of another's privacy or otherwise offensive. Companies or individuals listing employment opportunities are solely accountable to guarantee that their advertising is true and exact and conforms to all relevant laws, standards, and regulations and that the company or individual has all necessary authorization for the positioning of the complete content of its advertising within the site.
  • DSA makes no submission that the DSA web site or sites that may be linked to it are free of error. You agree to pledge to all affiliated with DSA and hold them harmless from any cost, claim, liability, or expenses arising out of or concerning in any manner to your (i) breach of this agreement or (ii) use of the DSA web site.
  • DSA may modify these terms, and your use of the DSA site after the changes to these terms are applied and thereafter means you accept the modified conditions.
  • This agreement represents the entire agreement between us relating to the subject of the preceding and cannot be changed except as provided for in this agreement or in a written amendment signed by a legitimate representative of DSA. By performing any and all activities related to DSA by any company or individual, one is held in agreement to these terms.


All members and advertisers must abide by the above Code of Ethics.